Youlgrave (or Youlgreave as the Ordnance Survey persist in calling it) is a sleepy village. Now mainly devoted to farming it was once one of the centres of the Derbyshire lead-mining industry. Though lead is no longer mined some of the old mines are still used for the extraction of fluorspar and calcite but this is low-level and unobtrusive.
The village was built on a ridge between the rivers Bradford and Lathkill, and is a fine centre for exploring both of these beautiful valleys. The village spills down the slope to the Bradford to the south in a topsy-turvy fashion. The river is often dry here in summer, having found an underground course to the Derwent at Darley Dale in 1881, but the dale upstream is very pretty.
At the crossroads at the eastern end of the village lie the George Hotel and the church and from here the main road goes westwards past rows of old cottages.
There are several shops and a second pub before you reach the former Market Place where the main feature is the Conduit Head, a large circular tank which was once an integral part of the village's water supply. Opposite, the former Co-op building now houses the Youth Hostel.
The church is one of the most interesting in the Peak, and the village contains many rows of lovely old cottages. Behind the Market Place is the original Hall, now Old Hall Farm, a grand building dated 1630, and there are some fine buildings along the main street.
Downstream of Youlgreave the hamlet of Alport lies at the junction of the Lathkill and Bradford rivers. It is a pretty spot and a good place to start a circular walk of the two valleys.