Walks in the Dovedale Area - From relaxed to Challenging
The Peaks is well known as a fantastic place to walk and Dovedale in Derbyshire is no exception. With such a quantity of different routes and suggestions though it's easy to get overwhelmed by information and not know where to start. Below are a few walks which will introduce you to the Dovedale area and get you on the right track. They're ideal for newcomers who want to try out a few different paces of walking during their stay in Derybshire.
One of the most popular routes for walkers looking for something gentle but with lots to see is the route from Thorpe to Mildale. It's a five mile (8km) walk and should take about three hours depending on the speed you go. Along the way you'll cross the well-known stepping stones, see Lover's Leap, Reynard's Cave and Ilam Rock. The route's really easy to follow: you'll be walking up to Milldale in a straight line and then back. It starts from the Dovedale pay car park, near Thorpe.
If you want to do a circular route, at Ilam rock leave the main footpath and follow a sign saying 'Public footpath to Stanshope', and cross the footbridge. You can then do a circle and come back down Ilam-moor Lane to get back to the car park.
A slightly harder walk but by no means challenging walk goes from Ilam down to Carlton and back in a circle. It's 4.75 miles (7.7km) and should take you 2hrs30mins. You'll get the chance to try and spot the remains of a medieval ridge and walk near the River Manifold, which runs into the River Dove. If it's wet make sure you're attired appropriately as this walk can get a little bogey in the rain.
Likewise a slightly more taxing walk is that from Tissington to Parwich. Unique to this walk is the opportunity to look around both of the villages. It's a 4.25 miles (6.8km) walk which will take 2hrs 30mins.
For a challenging walk in the same area try a walk which will lead you further down the Manifold to Hamps Valley. Along the way you'll see the towering Thors Cave pictured here, as well as the cave above Wetton Hill, where you'll be walking to. It's a 12 mile (19.3km) walk, not for the faint hearted, but very rewarding and will probably take you between 4 to 5 hours.
If you're itching for a bit of height then why not try walking up Thorpe Cloud. Follow the route laid out in 'relaxed walks' up to the stepping stones. The path up to the summit is just a bit further near Lin Dale. In total it's a one mile walk which will only take an hour, and the views at the top are well worth it.
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