When the weather is nice there is nothing more than I like doing than spending time outdoors – walking in nature and cycling are two of my favourite outdoor activities. I love walking in Peak District and at the weekend me and my fiancé made use of a good weather and visited Dovedale, a valley in southern Peak District, close to Ashbourne and not too far from Birmingham and Manchester.
Dovedale is a wonderful beauty spot which is a great starting point for walks of all levels. It’s suitable for families with small children as well.
Whether you want an easy short walk or something longer and more demanding, you decide! You can leisurely walk by the river or you can take it to the hills, Dovedale has it all.
We started our walk with a plan in mind – we wanted to follow one of the Dovedale walks we found online but I quickly gave up following instructions as it wasn’t straightforward and I had no map of the route on my phone.
Instead, we decided to follow the path by the river and create our own walking route. I am glad we did. See the map of our walk below (starting in Thorpe).
Walking by the river Dove is lovely. The scenery is beautiful and as you walk you have to remember to look up. You will see some interesting rock formations and even caves! We’ve actually been in one of them (Reynard’s Cave) and to reach it we had to climb up a really steep slope which was very slippery – something to keep in mind if you decide to go (good walking boots are a must!). It was one of the highlights of the walk and we even saw some people doing proper climbing.
The walk by the river is mostly flat until you start ascending to reach Lover’s Leap viewpoint from where you can observe hills and rocks around you.
We continued walking by the river until we reached Dove Holes and from there we decided to take a different route back which took us up to the pastures above the valley.
We followed the main path as much as we could (not always clear) and at some point descended back to the valley to join the path we were previously on (by Lover’s Leap viewpoint).
This is when a thunderstorm ruined our wonderful walk and there was no shelter anywhere so we ended up all soaked! Luckily from there it wasn’t too long to get to the car which was parked in Thorpe (free parking!).
This Peak District walk was around 6 miles or 10 km long which is a good distance considering that we haven’t walked this long this year yet.
I definitely want to come back to Dovedale in the future but this time I want to try other walks – there are two hills I want to conquer: Thorpe Cloud and Bunster Hill. I am already looking forward to it!
Have you been to this area of Peak District? I definitely recommend it if you are looking for the best walks in the Peak District.
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