Walk: Ilam and Dove Dale, Staffordshire and Derbyshire
An five-mile hike from the pretty village of Ilam to the leafy Dove Dale gorge and back
Explore Dove Dale and its surrounding countryside with a three-hour walk, starting at the pretty village of Ilam.
Ilam and Dove Dale walk
5 miles/8.2km | 3 hours | moderate
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.
2. Meadow walk
Continue through meadows to Dove Dale, 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.
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.
Ilam and Dove Dale map
Helen is the author of Slow Travel The Peak District, Bradt and A Time of Birds, Saraband, a memoir and travelogue describing her journey across Europe to Istanbul on her sit-up-and-beg bike.