Posts tagged ‘Dove dale’

July 25, 2015

Across the Peaks – Ashbourne to Hayfield

by backpackingbongos

I have always fancied walking across the Peak District from south to north taking in the best parts of the National Park. Before setting off on the TGO Challenge I planned to do just that as a way to get fit. However when I actually sat down with maps to plan a route it became apparent that it was too far for a three day weekend. The original idea was to go from Ashbourne to Marsden, but in the end Ashbourne to Hayfield was much more manageable at 63 kilometres and 1700 metres ascent. The route went through a great variety of landscapes, from deep dales to high moorland. It’s good fun linking areas that you know well from day walks into a long linear route. You get to see them from a different perspective, a small part of a bigger picture.

Wild camping is difficult in the Peaks, especially in the south. Rather than staying in large commercial sites I booked two Certified Locations that are affiliated to the Camping and Caravan Club. Chrissie joined me for the weekend and she helped with the travel logistics. Her husband Geoff picked me up from Monyash where I left the car and dropped us both in Ashbourne. Chrissie lives in Hayfield so after finishing she dropped me off in Monyash. It all worked rather well.

Anyway, rather than a blow by blow account of the walk, here are a few photos and comments.


Thorpe Cloud, a mini mountain that guards the entrance to Dove Dale.



Lin Dale, leading towards the famous stepping stones in Dove Dale.



Looking down at Dove Holes, Dove Dale.



Early spring in Upper Dove Dale.



Wolfscote Dale.



Campsite at Pilsbury Lodge. A bit overpriced at £10 each and spoiled by the hyperactive screaming children who were running round until 10.30pm.



Crossing the Limestone plateau just past the Bull-i’-th’-Thorn pub. 



Descending into Deep Dale.



Descending into Litton Dale.



Looking towards Tideswell Dale.



Millers Dale from the Monsal Trail.



The lower reaches of Monks Dale before it gets tricky.



The wooded section of Monks Dale is a chaos of slippery limestone rocks, tree roots, mud and vegetation. We were relieved to leave that behind and follow a simple path through the woods.



A lovely little campsite in Peak Forest that is basically someones back garden. A bargain at £8 between us.



Climbing out of Peak Forest.



On the limestone plateau above Conies Dale.



Rushup edge looking towards Mam Tor and loads of paragliders. Mam Tor and its surroundings were swamped with people on a fine Sunday. Rushup edge was all but deserted.



Looking down into the Edale valley with Kinder Scout on the skyline.



Crossing Moorland en-route to Brown Knoll.



Looking down to the upper River Sett.



South Head.

Three days of glorious spring sunshine and with good company from Chrissie. What the photos don’t show are the numerous stops for ice cream, cafe’s and a pub. Sometimes it is good to backpack away from wild and remote mountains.

You can read Chrissie’s version of the trip here.

February 22, 2009

Hartington to Thorpe above the dales

by backpackingbongos

I have wanted to do a walk along the edge of Dovedale using the CROW access rights for a while now.  So yesterday I jumped in the van and drove to Thorpe in the Peak District, less than an hour away from Nottingham.  I then caught a bus to Hartington with a rough plan of walking south back to Thorpe, sticking to the eastern edges of Biggin and Dove Dale.

I left Hartington by the path that starts by the public loos and cut across to Reynards lane which soon turned into a track descending into Biggin Dale.  There were a few groups of walkers out so it was with relief that I headed straight up the steep pathless hillside on the other side of the dale.  The plan was to stick roughly to the edge of open country just below the line of the field boundaries.  I headed south without any paths to follow with great views to my right down into Biggin Dale.

There was nothing barring my way until I came to a barbed wire fence near Dove Top farm.  There was no gate or stile to be seen, and as I was still within access land I gingerly climbed over without tearing any skin or clothing.  Some scrabbling through undergrowth and almost vertical hillside brought me to the top of the tor near the farm.  Wow what a view down onto the river dove to where it splits at Wolfscote and Biggin Dales.


The next section was lovely as I picked a sheep trod along the edge of the dale past stands of Scotts Pines until I entered a beech wood full of badger sets.  I turned east above Coldeaton bridge and followed the unnamed dale edge until it became less steep and I could clamber to the bottom.  I ascended a path on the other side which quickly brought me to the Tissington trail for a quick stomp before I took another path leading to Shining Tor.

For a while I had a clear path to follow as I contoured the hillside.  This soon descended to Milldale so I struck across open country to ascend Bailey hill, the highest point of the day.


A strong wind kept me moving south through a landscape of strange hummocks then a very steep descent to the footpath near Hanson Grange.  This was immediately left to ascend the dale edge on the other side of this tributary valley where I had a long lie down in the grass with stunning views below me.


I soon picked up a well defined if little used concessionary path that lead me along the final stretch of Dove dale where Thorpe Cloud put in an appearance, dominating the view ahead.  I passed Moor barn before a steep descend and re assent brought me to Thorpe pasture.  It was then a simple walk back to the van.

A great day out with stunning views down into the dales below me.  When walking along the dale edges I did not pass a soul but could see the crowds walking along the dale bottom.  Next time I will try the western edges!