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A village, Abbey ruins, a hermit cave and maybe one of the country’s smallest churches.

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Various parking available depending on your start point.


Toilets may be available at pubs and cafes. Always ask first if you are not eating or drinking there.


Use Dale Abbey as your starting point for exploring some of the hidden gems of rural Erewash. There’s an abundance of nature and history here, perfect for inspiring youngsters.

Once known as Deepdale, the village gets its current name from the 11th century Abbey that survived until 1539. Although only the frame of the chancel window can be seen, remains of the old Abbey are found in houses around the village.

Visit the tiny church that is just 26 feet by 25 feet, joined onto a farmhouse and thought to have once been an infirmary for the Abbey. The church also once served as a pub – the Blue Bell – and the bar was the vestry, with a door into the aisle.

Walk behind the church into Hermit’s Wood and you’ll find the 12th century Hermit Cave, hewn out of the rock by a Derby baker who wanted a life of solitude. He lived here until given money by the owner of the local land, which he used to build a chapel on the site of the church.

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