Walking in Peak District: Thorpe to Dovedale

river Dove

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.

Walking towards the river Dove
Walking towards the river Dove

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.

Thorpe Cloud hill
Thorpe Cloud hill near the river Dove

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).

Popular Stepping Stones across the river Dove
Popular Stepping Stones across the river Dove

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 Caveand 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.

Just before Reynard’s Cave
Just before Reynard’s Cave
Reynard’s Cave and a natural arch
Reynard’s Cave and a natural arch
Interesting rock formations
Interesting rock formations

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.

ascent towards the Lover's Leap
An ascent towards the Lover’s Leap

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.

Dove Holes
Dove Holes
Above the valley
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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  1. Thanks for highlighting somewhere beautiful and somewhere that is actually pretty much right on my doorstep and I’ve never been! It looks like a pretty place and like the weather was on good form for you too.

    1. So good to hear this is not very far from you, I didn’t realise you live so close to Peak District! I really liked the area and I cannot wait to go back there to do more walking. Weather was good until around 5.30pm, then the thunderstorm started and we got all soaked!

  2. I haven’t been to this part of the Peaks since I was a child, must go back!

    I am however heading to Edale and hope to do some walks in that area next weekend 🙂

    1. I really loved Dovedale and I cannot wait to go back and do more walks there. I’ve been to Edale before and it’s nice there as well. Enjoy!

  3. What a lovely day out Petra! I adore the Peak District and used to head out there quite a bit when I lived in Sheffield (a fair few years ago now!) There’s nowhere prettier on a sunny day 🙂

    1. Yes, it was a lovely day indeed! I love Peak District and when the weather is good it’s one of the best places to be. Which part of Peak District was your favourite?

    1. It’s really beautiful there indeed. I actually feel the same, I don’t like crowds but once you’ve been walking by the river for a while people just disappear as most of them walk just to the Stepping Stones.

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