Ilam is a pretty village in the National Park, five miles to the west of Ashbourne.
Ilam Hall is now a youth hostel but the grounds are owned and run by the National Trust with plenty of parking (free for members), cafe & toilets, fabulous views across to Thorpe Cloud & Bunster Hill and gentle riverside walks. There are often organised activities for children in summer - check out the NT website.
It is simple to combine Ilam with Dovedale in one visit. They are just a mile apart along the road or there is an easy scenic walk across fields.
By car from Ashbourne
The nicest route is to drive via Mapleton and over Blore Pastures, with fabulous views of Thorpe Cloud and Bunster Hill. You can also go via Dovedale but this can get gridlocked.
By bus from Ashbourne
There is no bus service.
By bike or on foot
Its a scenic 10 mile round trip walk to Ilam from Ashbourne (walk directions coming soon). By bike it is a surprisingly strenuous ride up the Tissington Trail to Thorpe and then continuing by road.