A flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

We were staying with my best friend last weekend.  She lives in Derbyshire, close to the border with Leicestershire and on the Saturday we spent the day walking round the Calke Abbey estate.  It’s somewhere we all love exploring, and a must for every trip.  For the first time we actually went inside the house to look at a few of the rooms which were open.  We got talking to one of the National Trust volunteers who mentioned a number of local walks we’ve not tried before.  One would result in a flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve the next morning.

A flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

Over the years that my friend has lived in the area I’ve lost count of the times we’ve driven to Calke Abbey and passed the car park for Staunton Harold Reservoir.  We’ve never understood why it had such a large car park, when there is no walking route around it.  All has now been made clear!  The car park would give us a base for a flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve which is literally just a stones throw away along the side of the main road.  The car park is free to park in but does get busy, so it’s worth arriving early like we did.

We’d spotted the entrance to the nature reserve on our drive back from Calke Abbey the previous day (clearly we’ve been blind for the last 13 years) and walked single file along the verge to access it.

A flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

Founded on the old limestone quarry, it’s possible to walk to both Calke Abbey and Staunton Harold from the nature reserve.  We knew we had to face the journey home on the motorway so on this particular day we weren’t planning on spending more than an hour exploring before heading home.  On future visits we will definitely walk on to both locations and enjoy the views as we go.

A flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

For our first time spending a flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve, we decided to walk around the Laundry Pool and look out for snowdrops.  We’d heard reports that there was quite a covering.  It was time to explore.

A flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

It was a really cold weekend and parts of the pool were frozen over.

A flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

The paths are well-defined and we passed a few walkers along the way.  But we never felt that the area was busy.  It was a perfect way to spend a Sunday morning, blowing away the cobwebs.

A flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

As we walked along we found evidence of the old limestone kilns.  They’re blocked off now, but it gave my son an idea of what would have happened for 200 years up until the 19th century.

A flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

A flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

Before too long we’d discovered the Snowdrop Garden with its blanket of white waiting to be admired.

There were certainly enough to see to make our short trip worth while.  We all love walking and it was so tempted to just keep on going, but I find driving for more than an hour really tiring these days, so we knew we’d have to curb our enthusiasm.  We did however just have a quick walk along the two paths, one leading to Staunton Harold and one on to Calke Abbey.  Just for reference for the future.

A flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

Both options look interesting and we can’t wait to explore them in the future.

A flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

We’d made a flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve and it was time to head home, but we will definitely be back to explore this hidden gem in more detail soon.

A flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

Where have you been exploring recently?

A flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

Country Kids
Our Weekend Happy

About Over 40 and a Mum to One

I'm a Mum with an 8 year old son. I had a busy life in Export Sales before my Monkey came along, but decided to become a stay at home Mum once he arrived. Now I enjoy writing my own family lifestyle and travel blog. sharing the adventures that we have as Monkey makes his journey through school. We have a cat called Brewster who makes appearances and I’m a mad Ferrari Formula 1 fan, so that expect to hear about as each season unfolds. We love reviewing days out, toys, games and books and would love the opportunity to look at anything that fits in with our family lifestyle. We are always out and about and offering an insight on the places we visit, with a passion for nature thrown in for good measure. If you like what you read please leave me a comment, I love to hear from people, and always try to reply. Enjoy the read.

24 thoughts on “A flying visit to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

  1. Ahh we haven’t done enough exploring around Derbyshire – I’m now thinking that we should have a short break there when there’s a Bank Holiday and make the most of what’s there (We’ve got National Trust, English Heritage, Historic Houses Association memberships) – it looks fab! I love stumbling upon places I had never realised existed – it’s a great feeling, you think you know somewhere and the somewhere always wins as it has something else there, if that makes sense? 🙂 #countrykids

  2. I love visiting places like this, somewhere you’ve seen a million times and never clocked until someone tells you about it. It’s clear Monkey loved exploring the small parts of the nature reserve you were discovering. I can’t wait to read more about your adventures around Dimminsdale Nature Reserve next time you go.

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids

  3. OH wow it’s great to find a new place to explore. I love that old quarry’s get made into places like this. Making something old new again for not just humans to enjoy! Looks like a good one! #countrykids

  4. Stunning photographs. It’s lookks cold but apart from that the weather looks perfect for a walk. Those snowdrops are stunning and I really like the sound of being able to see the old kilns. It looks like a fabulous flying visit. Thanks for linking up to #ourweekendhappu. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  5. That’s not an area of the country I have ever visited but it looks great! I love countryside walks, this looks right up my street (even though it’s really far away from my street)! #CountryKids

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