Bradford Dale Walk From Youlgreave | 6-Mile Route

River Bradford

Share with your hiking friends

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

Stone books in wall
Books in the wall on Bradford Dale

Walk information

Walk type: Short circular walk

Distance: 5.9 miles/9.4 km

Walk time: 2.5-3.5 hours

Total ascent: 367 m/1,204 ft

Highest point: 303 m/994 ft

Walk highlights: Bradford Dale, books in the wall, River Bradford and small swimming spot near Youlgreave

gpx file

Bradford Dale walk map

Bradford Dale walk map
Bradford Dale walk map
Click for online map

Walk start point

Car park in Peak District
Moor Lane Car Park

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.

Public transport

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

River Bradford
Small swim spot on River Bradford near Youlgreave

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

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

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.


Want to read later? Save the walk to Pinterest

 Bradford Dale walk in Peak District 

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.

Gate that heads across the field

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.

Signpost and path
Signpost for Limestone Way to 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.

Bridge next to cliffs
Small wooden bridge across River Bradford

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.

Gate through field
Following the path across the fields towards Youlgreave

Stage 3 – Youlgreave to Bridge over River Bradford

Distance: 2.2 miles/3.6 km

Grid reference SK 21355 64007

Cliffs, river and bridge
Following the path to Alport

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.

Bridge and river
Views towards 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!

River Bradford
Path next to the River Bradford

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

Views from bridge
Crossing the bridge again

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

Stone bridge across river
Stone bridge across River Bradford

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.

Or check out all our Peak District walking routes here

View walks directory here

Save me to your Hiking boards on Pinterest

Bradford Dale walk in Peak District

Bradford Dale walk in Peak District

*Peak District Walks participates in the Amazon Services Associates Programme, as well as other affiliate programmes. If you make a purchase through these, Peak District Walks earn from the qualifying links. This is at no extra cost to you. Read more here.

Peak District charity patches

(order here)

Peak District Walks have now launched their charity iron-on embroidered patch raising funds for the Edale Mountain Rescue Team (charity no. 1138626) - one of the busiest mountain rescue teams in the UK.

Order our Mam Tor charity patch now or our latest Kinder Scout patch. Please visit our shop below. If you'd like to know when new designs are created, join our mailing list here to be notified.

More information about the charity project here.


Mam Tor Patch

visit our shop

Need more help planning your Peak District trip?

Join our Peak District walks Facebook page, follow on Instagram and/or Twitter for inspiration.

More information on the Peak District, including transport options, where to stay + other useful resources.

Check out the 7 YHAs in the Peak District and find the best walks direct from your accommodation.

Find out what maps you will need for your trip here.

FREE beginner's hiking eBook. (Coming soon - request a copy here).

*NEW* Read our useful guides on hiking tips here.

Visit our hiking recommendations page, (footwear, clothes + kit).

Or get in touch and I will help as best I can :).


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.

Share with your hiking friends