Milldale, River Dove


Route: Milldale

Area: Peak District

Date of walk: 10th June 2021

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 4.0 miles

Ascent: 500 feet

Weather: Mostly cloudy

This is a popular walk and can be quite busy at times. With that in mind we made an early start and were under starter’s order at about 8am. We parked in the free car park just outside Milldale village and strolled into the village (where there are public toilets and an information centre)

We crossed over the ancient packhorse bridge which is known as Viator’s Bridge, and was made famous in the English classic ‘The Compleat Angler’ by Izaak Walton. We then joined the delightful path beside the River Dove, with the river on our right. Thanks to our early start we had the place to ourselves, and during the course of the walk only passed two other walkers. Along the way we passed by Dove Holes, two large caves in the limestone cliffs. The larger cave is about 30ft high and 60ft wide and known as ‘The Bat Cave’ to local climbers

All too soon the riverside section of the walk came to an end as we reached Ilam Rock. We crossed the wooden footbridge here and, after walking along the other riverbank for a short distance, started the climb out of the valley via Hall Dale at a sign indicating ‘Stanshope’. The gradient was gentle and we eventually emerged into buttercup meadows. We followed a path to the edge of Stanshope village and turned right to join a track between dry stone walls. This took us across the fields before the final descent down a narrow path back into Milldale to complete a lovely short walk

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