10 BEST Derbyshire Dales Walks in the Peak District

Limestone cliffs on Dovedale walk

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The Derbyshire Dales is a beautiful area of Derbyshire with some stunning scenery, it covers a wide area with some iconic walks.

Within the Derbyshire Dales district you can visit the beautiful dales, there are over 50 Derbyshire Dales in the Peak District National Park, dotted in between the quaint towns and villages, including Bakewell, Milldale, Tideswell, Tissington and many more.

The dales are located within the White Peak area of the Peak District. They include some popular places like Dovedale with it’s stepping stones or Monsal Dale, not far from the scenic viewpoint at Monsal Head. As well as some less well-known dales, that are equally stunning to explore.

Here are our favourite Derbyshire Dales walks complete with beautiful routes to visit them!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve done any of these routes and what you think!

10 Best Derbyshire Dales Walks

Keep reading to see our top 10 Derbyshire Dales walks for you to enjoy.

Each Derbyshire Dale has a link to a walk (or walks) that you can click the link to get full details of the route, map, parking and GPX file.

How many of these Derbyshire Dales have you visited?

Lathkill Dale

Waterfall at Lathkill Dale
Waterfall at Lathkill Dale

Lathkill Dale is a beautiful walk to start this Derbyshire Dales list. The River Lathkill runs through the dale and with dramatic limestone cliffs this walk has plenty to tease your senses as you explore through the dale.

The River Lathkill and Lathkill Dale is a National Nature Reserve and also a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), which means it is incredibly beautiful but more importantly there’s no wild swimming, paddling or even letting your dog in the water. (There are signs but these are easy to miss!)

Along the river you can see Dippers, maybe a water vole and there’s plenty of wild flowers to make you feel immersed in nature. 

You can explore Lathkill Dale from a few different start points, Monyash, Over Haddon or Youlgreave. We have a lovely short route on the website from Monyash, that explores above and below the Lathkill Dale see route details below.

Lathkill Dale walks

Wolfscote Dale

Wolfscote Dale walk in Peak District
Wolfscote Dale walk

Wolfscote Dale is wonderful walk taking you alongside the River Dove for a sense of calm with flowing water. 

This walk also has the bonus of having a few fun caves that you can explore at the start of the dale too! You can visit Wolfscote Dale from nearby Hartington, Alstonefield or Milldale.

Our walk begins from Hartington, which is a lovely location complete with pubs, cafe and large car park. There’s a few bonus Derbyshire Dales on this route as it includes two other dales (Beresford Dale and Biggin Dale). See link below for all the details.

Wolfscote Dale walk

Chee Dale

Chee Dale Stepping Stones walk
Chee Dale Stepping Stones walk

The Chee Dale walk is probably one of my favourite Derbyshire Dales walks in the Peak District.

This route explores below the popular Monsal Trail so you can enjoy the quiet tranquility of the flowing river and impressive limestone cliffs with luscious green flora and fauna along the path.

But the best, and my favourite part of the walk is the Chee Dale stepping stones that wind along past the rocks on two sections of the path.

Note – after heavy rain and high river levels the stepping stones can flood, this is normally in the winter months.

You can start the walk from Miller Dale. Click the link below for the full walk details.

Chee Dale walk

Bradford Dale

River Bradford
Swim spot on River Bradford near Youlgreave

Bradford Dale is lovely Derbyshire Dale close to Youlgreave and Middleton, winding alongside the River Bradford, which you can see evidence of old sluice gates along the river.

There are a few treats on this walk, the interesting ‘books in the wall’ and even a small swim spot, perfect for kids to cool off on hot sunny days.

We have a couple of different walks along Bradford Dale, a couple from Moor Lane car park near Youlgreave and a longer route including Robin Hood’s Stride from Elton. See the walk routes below.

Bradford Dale walks

Water-cum Jolly Dale

Water-cum-Jolly Dale
Water-cum-Jolly Dale

This Derbyshire Dale takes you close to the River Wye where the river widens around Water-cum Jolly Dale and looks impressive against the back-drop of the limestone cliffs.

This is another walk that can experience flooding on the path after lots of rain, but there is a detour path available.

We have two walks that includes a few other Derbyshire Dales as well as Water-cum Jolly Dale so this route is a real treat. The first begins at Litton, where there’s a lovely pub to end your walk and the second starts from Tideswell, both are lovely routes.

Water cum-jolly Dale walk

Dove Dale

Dovedale stepping stones
Dovedale stepping stones (on a quiet day!)

A list of the Peak District Derbyshire Dales wouldn’t be complete without Dovedale, probably the most well-known Derbyshire Dale. But with this it does mean it’s the busiest of places to visit. If you want those stepping stones to yourself then you’ll need to visit off-peak!

You can start the walk from nearby Thorpe and at the other end Milldale or Alstonefield. View our two different walk routes on the website below.

Top tip – if you can visit mid-week or on a summer evening for a quieter walk.

And don’t forget if you do our Dovedale and Thorpe Cloud walk we have charity patches for Thorpe Cloud that you can order from our shop 🙂

Dovedale walks

Deep Dale

Deep Dale
Walking through Deep Dale

Deep Dale is one of the much quieter Derbyshire Dales, there’s no river running directly through the dale but you’ll cross over. Deep Dale is a Nature Reserve so be on the look out for plenty of wildflowers including Early Purple Orchids and Cowslips.

As well as the wildflowers there’s also a dew-pond which is home to the rare Great Crested Newts, difficult to spot but nice to know they are happy in there!

The walk on our website from Ashford-in-the-Water includes two dales, Deep Dale and Monsal Dale, as well as a visit to Magpie Mine so this route offers a great mix of things to see.

Deep Dale walk

Cressbrook Dale

Views towards Peter's Stone
Views down Cressbrook Dale towards Peter’s Stone

A dramatic Derbyshire Dale with some interesting history towards the end of the dale. It’s a rather grim so you may or may not want to read about what the stone was used for (maybe you can guess), but thankfully it’s now known as a beauty spot to climb and admire the views.

Our walk begins from Litton and again goes via several other beautiful Derbyshire Dales on the way before finishing with Cressbrook Dale. You can read the full walk route here.

Cressbrook Dale walk

Monk’s Dale

Monk's Dale dry stone wall covered in moss
Monk’s Dale dry stone wall covered in moss

Monk’s Dale is another Derbyshire Dale Nature Reserve, it’s a beautiful walk in all seasons but like the other walks during spring and summer they really come to life.

This route begins from Miller’s Dale station car park, but instead of picking up the popular routes this Monk’s Dale walk takes you on a quieter walk before looping round to pick up the Limestone Way.

The path is rocky and you’ll have numerous tree roots to climb over but it does make it feel rather mystical as you explore the dale. Read our full walk below.

Monk’s Dale walk

Monsal Dale

Hills, trees and river
Views of Monsal Dale from Monsal Trail

Another well known Derbyshire Dale to complete the list. Monsal Dale runs alongside the River Wye and it’s a popular walk from Monsal Head.

The dale has plenty of beautiful spots to stop and enjoy the scenery as well as admiring the impressive Headstone Viaduct with the Monsal Trail above.

We have two walks on the website, a shorter route from Monsal Head (which you can extend to explore more of Monsal Dale) or a second longer route that starts at Ashford-in-the-Water and you walk the entire length of the dale.

Monsal Dale walks

 

Do you have any more questions about the Derbyshire Dales walks? Ask me in the comments below.

Ordnance Survey Walk Map

Derbyshire Dales

For these Derbyshire Dales walks, the OL24 – Peak District (White Peak Area) covers the whole area.

Shop online at Ordnance Survey

And don’t forget your compass, I recommend the Silva Expedition compass, it’s more expensive but a valuable piece of kit!

For online maps, you can get via OS Online App or Viewranger App.

Check prices here for the one month or yearly option with OS Online App. 

More walks in the Peak District

Love the walks in the White Peak area of the Peak District? You might like these circular walks.

Or check out all our Peak District walking routes here

View walks directory here

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More about the charity project here.

Charity Patches

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Charity Patches

Kinder Scout Patch

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Thorpe Cloud Patch

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Please note 'Peak District Walks' accepts no liability through any injuries or accidents that may result from walking our routes. We always recommend you wear appropriate footwear to avoid injuries and to take a paper map and compass on your walks. Read more here.

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