16 Aug 2016

Beeley, Chatsworth and a River Swim

Having found out that it is relatively easy to go for a swim in the river at Chatsworth and also being somewhat obsessed with wild swimming, I was desperate to return as soon as I could.  The next day of good weather came around, so I dragged Kyle and the pup along with me.
Slippery Stones, my other favourite wild dip spot, isn't accessible by car at weekends and I didn't like Kyle to feel like he was missing out on a swim now that he has a 9-5 job.

The first time I went for a swim at Chatsworth it was late afternoon on a Thursday (the joy of working from home) and there were hardly any people there.  A Sunday at lunchtime however, was an entirely different affair.  There were a lot of groups of people all complete with windbreaks, pop-up tents and full sized barbecues.  We decided to have a walk downstream to tire Doug out first and hope that there may be fewer people around on our return.
Having walked through a field full of sheep (which is always fun with Doug...not), which snaked alongside the river, we came to a gate which opened onto a road.  Across the road were beautiful stone buildings, all with woodwork painted in the same shade of blue which is used in the Chatsworth Estate signage.  It was so quiet and seemingly empty, that we thought it would be a perfect place to explore.

We wandered along empty streets, marvelling at the stunning flowers, architecture and gardens.  There were vegetable patches, greenhouses and tree houses.  Gardens with geese, chickens, horses and goats.  We reached the end of the lane and there was a wonderful log cabin and what seemed to be a clay oven next to it.  Kyle began enthusiastically talking about all of the plans he has for his future cabin that he intends to build as a workshop/hideaway.
Mooching further through the village, which we learned was called Beeley, we discovered that the people we had yet to see happened to all be at the local pub and/or cafe.  The pub sat next to a pretty stream and opposite yet more stunning houses.  
We decided to follow the stream which brought us to a public footpath out into open farmland.  There were fields with long grass and wild flowers, which are Doug's personal favourite; he just loves bounding through the long grass like a slightly less graceful and decidedly shorter gazelle.
After a suitable amount of leaping and excited exploring for Doug, we set back towards the swimming spot by the river, but first making a pit-stop at the cafe.  I had the tastiest chocolate-dipped flapjack I've ever had and Kyle had a mound of delicious rocky road.
Back by the river, we found that if you walk away from the shallower area and towards the main house, there were far fewer people around.  We in fact ended up at the exact spot I had swam the week before.  Kyle made the executive decision that it was by no means warm enough for a swim sans wetsuit, which I of course chose to ignore and got in anyway!
Poor little Doug however, got awfully confused as to why I was suddenly in the river.  He looked at me like he didn't know what I was, purely because I wasn't where he expected me to be.  I took him in for his first little swim too, which he wasn't all too pleased with!

I was particularly excited to see a herd of deer across the river, as they hadn't been around last time I visited.  It made the whole experience especially magical.

I began to get somewhat chilly (after all it wasn't really that warm) so we made our way back up the hill to head home to change and then go for a pub dinner.  It was such a fun day of exploring and the perfect end to the weekend.



  1. Your photos are gorgeous. And you're making me want to go and jump in the nearest lake!

  2. Oh gosh can I just move into that little cabin?! That's all I want in life haha.
    Go you for getting in the water! I'd love to go in swimming with Baker but I'm scared of fish and the rest of the secrets of the deep.

    Danielle xo

    1. Me too!!
      Thanks, I wish Doug were as enthusiastic about swimming, haha! x

  3. I think Doug makes a great Gazelle! He's trying his best haha!

    It looks like such a gorgeous area, perfect for a walk in the sunshine!

  4. Lovely photos! My parents live in Rowsley so we're always walking through the park at Chatsworth. And the cafe at Beeley is great - they do a fantastic cooked breakfast :)


    1. Thanks :) Oh how lovely, I wish I'd visited much sooner. We should definitely try and stop there for something other than cake then! x


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