Walk: Ilam and Dove Dale, Staffordshire and Derbyshire

An 8km hike from the pretty village of Ilam to the leafy Dove Dale gorge and back

Heavily wooded slopes in Dove Dale, Peak District National Park

Explore Dove Dale and its surrounding countryside with a three-hour walk, starting at the pretty village of Ilam.

1. Start

The Church of the Holy Cross has a curious crown-shaped annex. Inside, find Bertram’™s shrine: King of Mercia turned hermit, who dedicated his life to God after his Irish princess and baby were mauled to death by wolves.

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Olney in Buckingahmshire

2. Meadow walk

Continue through meadows to Dovedale, crossing stepping stones where Thorpe Cloud hill drops like a plumb-line to the river.

3. Stepping stones

Cross the stepping stones where Thorpe Cloud hill drops like a plumb-line to the river. Dippers bob on the shallows and great pinnacles of rock rise from the valley. A boardwalk squeezes through the gorge.

Church of the Holy Cross near Ilam, Staffordshire, UK
Church of the Holy Cross near Ilam, Staffordshire ©Getty

4. Up and over

Crossing a bridge, climb out of the steep-sided dale, returning along the valley top before tumbling down through fields to Ilam.

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Map

Click on the map below for an interactive version of the route.

Ilam and Dove Dale map