Begin your walk at the charmingly titled Old Man's Mouth
hink of geology and you’ll probably imagine a bearded professor in a ‘Geology Rocks’ t-shirt enthusiastically buffing a fossil.
But you don’t have to know the difference between calcareous grit and Hambleton Oolite to enjoy the impressive history of the Forge Valley.
The walk might begin in the car park at the unattractively named Old Man’s Mouth, but things soon get a whole lot prettier as you pass the lime-rich waters of the meandering River Derwent and plenty of colourful wild flowers. As you progress along the boardwalk, you’ll also pass through different types of rock formation, the oldest being 165 million years old.
The Forge Valley was carved out at the end of the last Ice Age (over 170,000 years ago) by water from huge melting ice sheets. Over the course of the walk, you’ll get a sense of how the landscape has been shaped by everything from the sub-tropical seas of the Upper Jurassic period to the arctic conditions of the last Ice Age.
Take the time to rummage on the floor at Whetstone Quarry and you’ll find fossil seashells. The Forge Valley trail is a fascinating day out, and the kids can tell their friends with hands on heart that they’ve been to Jurassic Park.