Tideswell village is one of the White Peak's most popular picturesque villages. Famously home to the spectacular 14th century 'Cathedral of the Peak', Tideswell is a popular walking holiday base within easy reach of nature reserves within the Derbyshire Dales National Nature Reserve and close to the popular Monsal Trail.
Tideswell village contains a superb selection of historic coaching inns, craft and gift shops and ample quality accommodation. The village also hosts one of the prettiest annual Well Dressing events in summer. The Pennine Bridleway Long Distance National Trail, open to mountain bikers, horse riders and walkers, also weaves up through the Peak District just to the west of Tideswell.
Tideswell is one of the most popular villages in the Peak District in the heart of the limestone uplands to the south of Buxton. A great walking base, Tideswell village is home to the famous 'Cathedral of the Peak', the 14th century St John the Baptist Church with its spectacular perpendicular tower. Tideswell's 'Cathedral of the Peak' was one of the poet John Betjeman's favourite churches. The 'Cathedral of the Peak' at Tideswell has changed little since the 14th century. The village features traditional village stores and fine historic coaching inns like the George Hotel.
Craft shops, gift shops and tearooms all feature in charming Tideswell village centre. Tideswell also hosts one of the Peak District's most popular Well Dressing events, usually at the end of June annually. (the Saturday nearest St John the Baptist Day/24 June). Tideswell Well Dressing includes festivities and events across a week culminating in a torchlight procession and Morris Dance. The ebbing and flowing well at Tideswell was one of the Seven Wonders of the Peak in Michael Drayton's famous 1622 set of poems 'The Seven Wonders of the Peak'. The village is regarded as a real centre for the tradition of Well Dressing in the Derbyshire Dales villages where springs or wells across villages in the Derbyshire White Peak are decorated across the summer months. Nearby Litton and Foolow villages also host annual Well Dressing events.
Largely untouched by the full thrust of the Victorian industrial revolution, Tideswell in the 14th century was a centre for both lead mining and the wool trade. The village is an ancient Peaks village which received its market charter in 1251 and was the site of the 'Great Courts' of the Royal Forest of the Peak under Edward I.
Stunning Derbyshire Dales nature reserves around Tideswell include Cressbrook Dale and Tideswell Dale. These nature reserves contain reminders of old industries which were once here incuding lead workings remains at Cressbrook Dale. The National Nature Reserves of Cressbrook Dale and Tideswell Dale are just south of Tideswell village. Easy access on to the popular Monsal Trail which features en-route the famous White Peak beauty spots of Chee Dale, Monsal Head and treasured industrial heritage sites like the Monsal Viaduct, Litton Mill, The Limekilns of Millers Dale and Cressbrook Mill is also just south of Tideswell.
Tideswell makes the perfect walking base from which to access the Monsal Trail and Wye Valley as well as the beautiful Derbyshire Dales Nature Reserves in the area including Cressbrook Dale and Monk's Dale. These National Nature Reserves in the Derbyshire Dales near Tideswell feature some of the best examples of geology and wildlife within the White Peak. The Pennine Bridleway, the first purpose-built long distance bridleway for horse riders, mountain bikers and walkers stretching 120 miles in total, also weaves up through the Peak District National Park passing Tideswell just to the west. Tideswell is an ideal stopping off point along this spectacular National Trail. Access to Tideswell Dale, a disused quarry now a nature reserve, from Tideswell village is an easy downhill walk heading south towards the Monsal Trail.
The Monsal Trail sits just south of Tideswell and runs for 8 miles from Coombs Road Viaduct just south of Bakewell to Blackwell Mill at Wyedale Junction just east of Buxton. This spectacular central White Peak Trail follows part of the old Midland Railway link from Rowsley to Manchester first opened in 1863 and closed in 1962. The trail cuts through the central Peaks limestone plateau from Blackwell to Monsal Head running through the heart of the Wye Valley south of Tideswell. Industrial heritage sites, nature reserves and famous Peak District beauty spot Monsal Head all feature along the relatively gentle Monsal Trail. The Monsal Viaduct is a legendary feature along the trail and historic cotton mills include Cressbrook Mill built for Richard Arkwright dating from 1783 and Litton Mill dating from 1782. Litton Mill was notorious under mill owner Ellis Needham for its ill treatment of child workers, many of whom died young and are buried in Tideswell churchyard.
Cressbrook Dale, one of five Dales in the White Peak which together form the Derbyshire Dales National Nature Reserve, sits just off the Monsal Trail. Cressbrook is a haven for wildlife, is rich in wildflowers and features industrial heritage sites. Wardlow Hay Cop (cop meaning hilltop) backs on to the nature reserve. Natural England have produced an excellent guide to Cressbrook identifying key sites of interest and footpaths within the nature reserve. See the Cressbrook Dale website link right for details.
Monk's Dale National Nature Reserve also sits to the southwest of Tideswell up from Miller's Dale on the Monsal Trail. Monk's Dale is less accessible than Cressbrook and higher up in the White Peak. Remains of ancient Roman settlements can be found in Monk's Dale which during spring and summer is covered in stunning wildflowers. Natural England have also produced a definitive guide to Monk's Dale (website link right for details and a map). Three paths enter Monk's Dale Nature Reserve from the south.