Ilam - Dovedale - Thorpe - Ilam

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Starting from the attractive little village of Ilam, the walk is fairly strenuous up to the left of Bunster Hill. Soon the gorgeous view looks down into Dove Dale with the famous Thorpe Cloud in the distance.

The way then passes through hillside woodland to descend steeply into Dove Dale, near the timber bridge that spans the River Dove by the rocky outcrop of Pickering Tor, with its accompanying cave at the base. Nearby is Ilam Rock, a mind-boggling rock monolith pointing to the sky.

Turning to follow the direction of river flow, we soon espy Reynard's Cave with its massive rock arch to the front. This is seen high up on the left of the gorge. Further on we pass the Tissington Spires and Lover's Leap. Further on again, the valley separates into two at the renowned stepping-stones. Turning right to follow the river will cut short the walk.

Turning up to the left along Lin Dale, the route continues to the village of Thorpe (where there are toilets). We then take a leisurely stroll back to Ilam.

England - Central England - Derbyshire - Peak District


Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Nature Trail, Pub, River, Toilets, Wildlife
9/2/2013 - Ann Lakin

Did this a walk for the second time excellent but can be improved by avoiding the mile road walking at the end.At point 15 instead of bearing right down the narrow walled gap, continue on past the church, over the bridge and turn right ,follow the river on the right to return to Ilam bridge/monument.

10/8/2011 - Walkingworld Admin

Our thanks to Ray Gillett for his updates for this walk. October 2011. Adrian (Admin)

9/14/2011 - David Simkins

A really good walk which we both enjoyed. A couple of minor points, firstly at the beginning the footpath now goes over a ladder stile and across the field and not around it. Secondly when you reach the house and having gone down their drive there are now very clear waymarks clearly discouraging walkers from shortcutting around the cottage.

2/13/2011 - Ann Lakin

An excellent walk, quiet for the first half, busy once Dove Dale reached. The steep climb down to the river much improved, the climb up to the woodland well worth the views.

9/3/2010 - Kevin Mulligan

lovely walk - highly recommended.

3/22/2008 - Chris Christodoulou

Chris Christodoulou I did this walk on a very cold but sunny day and was soon puffing and slipping on the mud at the first hill but was rewarded later by good views. It would be clearer to add at point 10: `Go through the gate and up the steps to Lovers Leap then to proceed down the other side to rejoin the river'. Great walk otherwise.

8/10/2007 - sonya grainger

Dove Dale is an amazing place. It is fairly safe for young children, my 4 year old and 8 year old loved it. The nature is great as well if you walk further up the river you might see the otters. Me and my family have been here several times and we will be back again. Car parking is aound £3.50 but worth it. All I say is have fun and don't forget your boots.

6/18/2006 - Stephen Harris

Great walk but for the steep descent through woodland. The path does need improving and great care is needed (steep slope drop otherwise!). At way point 16 we went around the cottage and not as in the directions. The 'exit' gate from the cottage was locked and marked 'Private' so maybe this is not a right of way. The stepping stones were a little disappointing but the walk was very rewarding with good views and features. 8/10.

1/26/2006 - Steven Pitts

At point 16 on the walk (153504) the layout of the farm has changed due to building work. Now pass the cottage on your left, go straight ahead through a new five bar metal gate into a field then straight ahead. The stile will appear in front of you as you descend.

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Holidays and activities
Distance away
24.3 Miles
Pubs, cafes and restaurants
Distance away
14.9 Miles