Bradford Dale walk is a wonderful walk near the quaint village of Youlgreave. And there’s even a small swimming spot on the route – perfect on a hot summer’s day (if we have one of those again!)
The route starts on a quieter section, initially following the Limestone Way path down to the River Bradford. Here you can see the books in the wall before heading along the river then across fields of sheep walking towards Youlgreave.
Once you reach the village, you’ll do a lovely short loop before returning to the same spot and walking down the River Bradford, until you ascend back up to pick up the Limestone Way to the car park.
It’s a lovely fairly low-level walk, in fact, most of the descent is the section to and from the car park. A beautiful walk, perfect any time of year but spring is especially idyllic as the dale comes to life with plants and flowers.
Here you will find details on how to get to the start of the walk, car park, route information, map, GPX file, plus a detailed step by step guide of the walk.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve done this walk near Youlgreave and what you think!
Bradford Dale from Youlgreave
Bradford Dale walk mapClick for online map
Walk start point
Start grid reference: SK 19401 64453
Car parking address: Moor Lane car park, near Youlgreave, Derbyshire,
A small free car park, with room for about 15+ cars, if the car park is full there are laybys further down the road where you can park but mostly this car park isn’t that busy.
There are no public transport options to the walk start point.
Facilities on the walk
There are no public toilets available at the start of the walk at Moor Lane car park, but there are public toilets in Youlgreave, a short distance off the route (SK 20969 64153).
Water on your walk – I recommend a filter water bottle for your Peak District walks, it saves you carrying extra weight and you can fill up safely and drink water from the streams on your walk.
Other useful information
This route follows sections of the Limestone Way which is signposted on the route but I’d also recommend getting a map for the walk – see below which map you need for the walk.
The swimming spot in Youlgreave can be very busy on hot sunny days and since it’s only small be prepared to change your plans if necessary.
Check the weather for your walk location and hills
- BBC Weather for Youlgreave, Derbyshire
- Met Office weather for the Peak District
- Met Office weather for Youlgreave, Derbyshire
Ordnance Survey walk map
The map required for this walk is OL24 – Peak District (White Peak Area). Check prices here with Ordnance Survey or Amazon. If you’re hiking in all weathers the Active OS maps are pretty good to have.
And don’t forget your compass, I recommend the Silva Expedition compass
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Bradford Dale walk route
Stage 1 – Moor Lane Car Park to Bradford Dale
Distance: 1.1 miles/1.7 km
Grid reference SK 19401 64453
From the Moor Lane car park, pick up the Limestone Way path that runs alongside the car park, there’s a gap in the top left corner that takes you on to it. Walk down the track until you reach a small gate. Go through and head diagonally across the field to a narrow track, with uneven ground.
Walk down until you reach a gate signposted Limestone Way, ignore this (this stops you from walking on the road). Keep walking parallel to the road, past the pond and at the next gate, go over, across the road and over the stone stile signposted Limestone Way.
Head across the grassy section to another gate then you’ll turn right and walk up the road (on a pavement) until you reach a fingerpost on the left, signposted Limestone Way (photo below). Walk down through the woods then follow the path as it zig-zags down to the bridge, River Bradford and Bradford Dale.
Stage 2 – Bradford Dale to Youlgreave
Distance: 1.3 mile/2.1 km
Grid reference SK 19968 63620
Turn right and walk along the path, look out for the books in the wall, next to the old sheep wash (very hidden in the summer when it’s overgrown). Shortly after take the narrow footpath on the left and walk down until you reach a bridge, cross over and keep on the narrow path.
Go up the metal steps and the path brings you to an open field, there’s no obvious path but keep to the top of the field, next to the tree line until you reach a stone gap in the wall. You’ll now walk through several fields, with small gates in between each boundary (6 in total) – in most cases you can see the next gap once you walk through each one.
At the seventh gate (next to a phone pole), you’ll see three arrow choices, keep going straight and then through another narrow stone gap and gate, you now come out on the path with views down to the river and towards Youlgreave village.
Stage 3 – Youlgreave to Bridge over River Bradford
Distance: 2.2 miles/3.6 km
Grid reference SK 21355 64007
Head downhill to the gate, go across the stone bridge, turn right towards the road. Go across the road and through the wide gate signposted ‘Path to Alport’. This wide track takes you alongside the water past some cliffs and a lovely bridge.
Keep on the right-hand side and follow the track as it loops around, go through another gate and head across to the trees. Keep walking until you reach a large gate, go through and head up towards the road and bridge in Alport.
At the road turn left, walk along until you see a stone gap and gate on your left. Go through here and along the narrow upper track, through a gate and keep next to the boundary until you reach a gate back at Youlgreave village.
Turn left and walk down the road, then turn right, go through the gate and head alongside the River Bradford towards Bradford Dale. After a short distance, you’ll spot the small wild swimming spot with a sign on the left – a perfect spot to cool off on a sunny day!
Walk along the river, but at the next stone gap/gate cross the bridge to the other side and continue walking down but on the other side of the River Bradford towards Bradford Dale. You’ll see several sluice gates on this section, previously used to control the water levels for the trout fishing (no longer there).
Stage 4 – Bridge to Moor Lane Car Park
Distance: 1.3 miles/2.1 km
Grid reference SK 19985 63647
At the bridge (the one you crossed at the beginning), go back across and head up the track. There’s a narrow track a short way up, turn right here and stay walking alongside the river, through a gate and follow it as it then ascends back up to the road.
At the road, turn left (there’s a pavement) and follow the path, the road splits, keep left until you reach the gate on the corner of the road (where you walked through at the beginning).
Go through the gate, up the field, to the stone stile, across the road and over the stone stile on the other side. Turn left, past the pond and follow the narrow track up next to the boundary. As you reach the open field, cut diagonally across (retracing your steps), go through the gate, along the track and you’re back at the car park!
Ask me any questions about the walk in the comments below.
Other options for this walk
Shorten the walk
You can shorten the walk but missing off the second loop on the walk. This will reduce the length of the route by about 1-mile, so will make it a 5-mile loop. View the online map here.
Turn left at the stone bridge instead of right (photo above).
More walks in the Peak District
Love the walks in the Derbyshire Dales? You might like these Peak District circular walks.
- Chee Dale (Stepping Stones Walk) | 5-Mile
- Tideswell Dale, Miller’s Dale + Monsal Trail Walk | 7-Mile
- Wolfscote Dale + Biggin Dale | 5-Mile
Or check out all our Peak District walking routes here
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