The beautiful Dovedale is one of the must see areas in the Peak District. The area attracts a million visitors each year because of its stunning natural beauty.
The walk starts at the Dove Dale car park, near Thorpe. It's a large car park so there should be spaces available most of the time. You then head north along the River Dove to the famous
Dovedale Stepping Stones. The stones were first set down in the 19th century for Victorian tourists to cross the river. It's a lovely place to stop for a while, with great views of Thorpe Cloud, a large limestone hill towering over the river.
From the stones you continue north to Lovers' Leap. Legend says that a young woman who believed her lover had been killed in the Napoleonic Wars threw herself from the rock. She was saved when her skirt caught in the branches of a tree below. When she returned home, she heard her lover was still alive. You can use the steps provided to climb this rock formation for splendid views of the dale.
The next section takes you to the fascinating Reynard's Cave, passing the huge Tissington Spires on the way. You can enter the huge natural arch of Reynard's Cave and enjoy wonderful views of the area.
You continue to Pickering Tor and then onto the imposing Dove Holes caves, before the final stretch to the village of Milldale. Here you can enjoy refreshments at the tea shop before the return leg.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could head to the nearby Ilam Park. The park can be easily reached from the same start point for this walk by following a footpath west for about a mile. Youl can then visit Bunster Hill, Hinkley Wood and the beautiful Ilam Hall gardens.
If you continue north along the riverside path you will come to Wolfscote Dale and Biggin Dale nature reserves.
For a longer route try our Dovedale Circular Walk which starts from the delightful village of Tissington and makes use of two of the long distance trails which run through the area.