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Peaks #1: Dove Dale to Thorpe

Updated: May 22

A wonderful hike for the day, with beautiful nature all around, complete with coffee, cake and a pub lunch stop.

Nearest town: Ashbourne

Location: The Peak District, Derbyshire

Distance: Around 8 miles

Duration: a day adventure but the location is totally flexible

OS Map link: Thorpe | OS Maps

I would totally do this one alone, but it is worth baring in mind that phone signal can be questionable and some paths are challenging, not very accessible and remote. Though I've seen so many families with young children and solo adventurers on route, so there is clearly something here for everyone.

We parked at the Ilam National Trust Car park (Google maps location). We got to the car park around 10:30am and already this early it was a popular location but there was plenty of space for everyone. The car park was £7 for non National Trust Members, but it's great to have had a toilet stop, ice cream, coffee and cake trucks (all the things you'd look for in a good car park ahaa!)

The path is highlighted in yellow on the images below. Please do have a peruse because there are some interesting spots worth mentioning and telling you about.

(1) The Stepping Stones - though the river isn't very strong, the stones are rather wobbly, and at that point I wished I didn't have Pepper attached to me, as well as a camera ahah! And definitely wished for my walking boots and a walking stick to help the balance.

(2) You might find that from now on as you turn right and everyone else goes straight or left, the walk will become less crowded, but actually was so much more enjoyable from now.

(3) At this point I was really grateful for my Outdoor active App because the paths immediately around the farm were not particularly well labelled. However, the farmer has gone above and beyond to ensure that there are plenty of reasonable and safe alternative to get around the many moos on route through (4). The views across that stretch were absolutely magnificent by the way.

(5) Looks like a road, but it was safe and beautiful and super relaxing.

(6) and (7) Slightly busier roads but many people with children using safe paths nearby, it was a quick and reasonable walk back from the Pub to the Car park in Ilam near Dove Dale.

At 1:40pm we arrived at The Old Dog, where I had already booked us a table for lunch at 2pm, and having eaten the walk back was around 45 mins or so.

An absolutely incredible time, but one that called for a bath, dry shoes and a happy early night afterwards :)

For more photos, ideas and adventures, please don't hesitate to visit @absoecolutely on Instagram!

Free OS Map Route

I've created the route we walked on You can follow this link or download the app on your phone free. You don't need to sign up to follow the route I have created, but signing up doesn't cost you anything and will enable you to save the routes you want to walk, free of charge. The difference with the paid version is that you will be able to see the Topographic map with all the paths labelled clearly, and will be able to plan your own routes (and more) which costs around £34 a year. But you can follow the route linked below completely free. Though as ever, a disclaimer, that since I've last visited this route, it is possible (as with any outdoor adventures) for it to have become not walkable , so please, do your own research too, and be prepared for all weather conditions, and to change your plans if needed:


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