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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones, Dovedale

This is my first post from our recent trip to the Peak District. With Matlock as our base, we explored the surrounding areas over a few days. Day One saw us heading out to Ilam and Dovedale. We drove to Ilam Hall, a lovely neo-Gothic structure, now used as a youth hostel. We parked at Ilam Hall car park (parking is free for National Trust members) and spent some time exploring the country park.

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale


Located on the banks of River Manifold, the park stretches for miles and along with the hall is a site of special interest. After spending some time at the country park, we began our walk to Dovedale, a beautiful valley cut out by River Dove.

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale


The walk starts at Ilam Park heading out to Ilam Church. Keep following the path and you will be in Ilam village with its beautiful Swiss-style cottages.

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale


A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale

Continue walking and as you leave the village, you will come across a small wooden gate which leads up to a steep slope path, which in turn leads to the footpath. If you follow the footpath, it will lead you to the Dovedale car park. The path is muddy at places as it crosses through several fields and you will need to squeeze through a couple of stiles as well. But the beautiful views of Manifold valley more than make up for it.

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale

As you reach the end of the walk (the distance is around 1.5 miles and took us an hour as we had my elderly parents with us) you will need to cross the final stile and follow the path downhill. The path joins a road that leads to the Dovedale car park.

There are two paths - one on each side of River Dove. The path on the left is paved and suitable for the elderly and for those with children and pushchairs. The path on the right is more rugged and natural and can be a little rough to navigate at certain places. We walked along the paved path and reached the Stepping Stones. What a beautiful place! Stunning scenery that looked even more lovelier than in photographs. The river was crystal clear and the sun was out that day - perfect for a riverside picnic.

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale

A Scenic Walk from Ilam Hall to Stepping Stones Dovedale


There were some challenging paths/routes as well - like the climb up to the Thorpe Cloud. But as we had my elderly parents along with us, we did not climb up to the summit. You can also continue walking along the footpath for another 2.5 miles to Milldale.

We crossed the Stepping Stones, had a picnic near the river and spent some time enjoying the stunning scenery. And then we began our walk back towards Ilam Hall. The weather was fantastic throughout the day and we enjoyed our day in Ilam and Dovedale.

If you are visiting the Peak District, then Dovedale is a must-see. You can find information about places to stay and facilities at the locations on National Trust's website.

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1 comment :

  1. Dear Globe Trotter
    A million thanks, what a refreshing blog you all have posted on England’s Peak District. The walk which you have described from Ilam to Dove dale is something which I could just imagine, with its rolling vast hills of green and green everywhere. My child will be thrilled, when I take this trip next year.

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