The River Wye rises on Axe Edge above Buxton and flows in a south easterly direction through Buxton and Bakewell to join the Derwent at Rowsley, 15 miles later.
Perhaps one of Derbyshire's prettiest and better known rivers because of it's limestone uplands and superb dales and on account of Buxton, Bakewell and Haddon Hall, all popular with visitors.
The river disappears underground soon after its source and re-emerges in Poole's Cavern to flow down into the town centre of Buxton via Pavilion Gardens, though their is liitle to see of the river, still only a stream in Buxton, as when the 5th Duke of Devonshire built The Crescent between 1780 and 1784 he culverted the river to pass beneath the building, and more recently it has been culverted again to pass beneath the Spring Gardens shopping centre. Below Buxton it starts to grow into a sizeable river running through a series of gorges, often deep and narrow, tree lined in places as in Ashwood Dale, with steep cliffs raring up from the sides of the valley as in Cheedale.
The Wye passes several mills, notably Litton Mill and Cressbrook Mill in Miller's Dale before entering Monsal Dale where the valley widens out, though remains steep sided. Monsal head provides a spectacular view over the Wye valley here, with it's famous viaduct.
At the village of Ashford in-the-Water, the Wye passes beneath Sheep Wash Bridge which is both picturesque and ancient. It was originally a medieval packhorse bridge and it is only until recently, that sheep were washed here prior to shearing. The lambs would be penned within the stone-walled pen on one side of the river, whilst the mothers would be thrown in at the other side. They would naturally swim across to their offspring, thus ensuring a good soaking. The Wye here now has a modern bridge crossing the Buxton to Bakewell road into the village.
The river Wye widens into a broad river valley leading to Bakewell where it passes beneath an 13th century bridge with 5 gothic arches before passing Haddon Hall and joining the river Lathkill before flowing on to Rowsley and the junction with the Derwent.
The Wye is a popular trout fishing river, frequently stocked for syndicates, hotels and others who pay for the fly fishing. The limestone gives the river it's lifeblood., enriching it with nutrients and giving it an alkaline nature. This leads to an abundance of insect life, thriving in the rich weed beds. The Wye trout quickly grow to large proportions on this heady diet of shrimps, sedges, upwing flies and many other invertebrates.
Photographs of the River Wye in Derbyshire at Derbyshire and Peak District Photographs
Derwent Valley Reservoirs