Five Dales Around Milldale Circular Walk

An 8 mile Peak District walk starting from Alsop en le Dale.

Start: SK 15574 54916
Map: Landranger 119, Explorer OL24
Difficulty: 12
Refreshments : Milldale and Alstonefield

This Peak District walk around Milldale takes in access land high above Dovedale. The first point of interest is Shining Tor a rocky outcrop overlooking the Wolfscote Dale path near Milldale. The walk traverses first Milldale and then Dovedale before heading up to Baley Hill with its views northwards to Alstonefield and beyond.

Next the walk crosses The Nabs before descending steeply down to Nabs Dale and onto Dove Holes and the Bat Cave as local rock climbers know it. The walk then takes the popular Dovdale path to the footbridge over the Dove. Here stand two mighty tors of sandstone, Pickering Tor and Ilam Rock, both have small caves in the base of them but not really big enough for much exploration.

After crossing the Dove the walk continues through Hall Dale and onto Milldale where tea and cakes or perhaps a hot pasty is the order of the day at Polly’s Cottage. The walk then climbs above Milldale with views back over to Shining Tor on the left and Baley Hill to the right. In Alstonefield we pass St Peter’s Church and then the George Pub. Children and adults should keep an eye out for the dinosaur that lurks in the village.

Gypsy Bank later in the walk provides good views over the River Dove to Coldeaton Dale, the last of the five dales we visit on this walk. The walk joins the Tissington Trail for the last leg of the journey back to the start. Look out for speeding cyclists coming up fast from behind as the section from Parsley Hay down to Ashbourne is on a slight gradient allowing cyclists to pick up a good turn of speed.

Five Dales Around Milldale Photo Gallery

Five Dales Around Milldale Circular Walk Directions

This Peak District walk starts at the former Alsop en le Dale station on the Tissington Trail. Carefully cross the A515 Buxton Road and go through the stile opposite following the path to Green Lane. Turn right down Green Lane shortly turning left onto another footpath to Shining Tor and on towards Milldale. Do not descend down into Milldale. (The next section of the route over access land is not recommended in mist or for small children in which case descend to Milldale and follow the route along the River Dove picking up the path at Dove Holes).

Turn left to follow the boundary wall. around on the River Dove side keeping the wall on your left. Head diagonally over to the wire fence alongside the copse and follow the fence up to a stile. Go over the stile heading in the same direction to meet the wall coming down from the summit of Baley Hill. Follow this wall all the way up to the rocky top of Baley Hill.

Descend off the summit of Baley Hill along the ridge keeping over to the left near the wall over to the hummocky ground ahead known as The Nabs. From here the descent is very steep and quite tricky with no definite path. Carefully descend the steep grassy hillside aiming for the head of Nabs Dale down to the path leading from Hanson Grange.

On reaching the path turn right through Nabs Dale down to the River Dove. Turn left and follow the River Dove passing Dove Holes to the footbridge beneath Ilam Rock. Cross the footbridge turning right along the other side of the River Dove to Halls Dale.

Turn left up through Halls Dale. Shortly after exiting Halls Dale but before reaching Stanshope turn right along a footpath signposted Milldale towards Pasture Lane (track). Turn right along Pasture Lane then left onto a footpath that leads to Milldale.

At the road turn right into Milldale and left past Polly’s Cottage onto Mill Way Lane and immediately turn left onto a footpath that climbs across pasture to Alstonefield. Turn left onto Mill Way Lane past St Peter’s Church and into Alstonefield. Go into the village and turn right along Lode Lane.

Ignore the turning on the left Gratton Lane, but shortly after turn left signposted to the YHA Youth Hostel. Follow this track to Gypsy Bank and down to the River Dove in Wolfscote Dale. Cross Coldeaton footbridge turn right and then left into Coldeaton Dale.

Go through Coldeaton Dale then turn right up Bradbury’s Bank to the Tissington Trail, here turn right and follow the trail back to the start and the old station at Alsop en le Dale.

Copyright © Peter Cox. All rights reserved.