One of the most wonderful places to walk in the Peak District is Chee Dale in the White Peak Area. The unique Chee Dale walk is hidden beneath the Monsal Trail and it is a fantastic location for a short walk with a few hidden surprises.
This circular walk starts from the old station at Miller’s Dale and initially follows the Monsal Trail, before heading down steps to the River Wye and Chee Dale Nature Reserve. The walk takes you along a beautiful path, which can be muddy and rocky in places with plenty of twists and turns. It is essential to have some appropriate hiking footwear.
Then there’s the fun section, crossing the Chee Dale stepping stones, which get you safely past a section where limestone cliffs make a footpath impossible. There’s also an array of different wildlife and nature on this short stretch alongside the River Wye, perfect for nature lovers.
After following the route through Chee Dale, you reach the Monsal Trail. Our route now takes you above this trail for a different view on the walk. Alternatively, for an easier option with less ascent, you can take the Monsal Trail back to Miller’s Dale.
Here you will find details on how to get to the start of the walk, parking, route information, map, GPX, facilities on the walk, plus step-by-step instructions for this Peak District walk.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve done the Chee Dale walk and what you think of the stepping stones?
Buy a printable/downloadable PDF route guide for the walk here.
Chee Dale walk from Miller’s Dale
Chee Dale walk map© Crown copyright and database rights (2022) OS 002572460
Walk start point
Start grid reference: SK 138 732
Car parking address: Miller’s Dale Car Park, Wormhill, Buxton, SK17 8SN
The car park has about 80 spaces, but it’s a popular place to visit for the Monsal Trail so arrive early to guarantee a space during peak times.
- £1.50 up to 1 hour
- £2.50 up to 2 hours
- £4.00 up to 4 hours
- £4.75 all-day
Nearest train station: Buxton train station (6 mile/10 km). From the train station, it’s about 16 minutes on a bus that drops you close to the car park.
Facilities on the walk
There are public toilets available at the start of the walk at Miller Dale car park but no other ones on the walk.
During weekends and peak times, there is also a cafe that opens with drinks and snacks. There is also a bike shop at the opposite end Chee Dale as you return to the Monsal Trail – I know they sell ice cream and a few snacks because I’ve treated myself!
Water on your walk – I recommend a filter water bottle for your Peak District walks, it saves you from carrying extra weight and you can fill up safely and drink water from the streams on your walk.
Other useful information
The Chee Dale Nature Reserve can be muddy in places and the ground is uneven, due to tree roots and rocks. There’s a sign reminding you that you’re going to be walking on uneven ground and at this point, you can opt to detour around.
If you don’t have any hiking boots or shoes then it’s worth getting a decent pair for your walks – Cotswold Outdoor often have items in their footwear clearance so you can sometimes grab a bargain!
Also, the Chee Dale stepping stones can get flooded in heavy rain. You can check the water levels for the River Wye here. Or check the recent photos on Instagram or Facebook.
The route is signposted in places but we recommend you take a map and compass (see below).
Please keep the Peak District beautiful and respect everyone who uses the park. Take ALL your rubbish home to dispose of and remember close gates (as you found them). Thank you so much.
Would you know what to do in an emergency situation?
We have a guide with what to do, who you need to call and also some useful kit that should be in your backpack. Ask us any questions in the comments or via our social media.
Happy hiking + stay saferead here
Peak District weather
The route through Chee Dale can feel sheltered from the weather conditions but it’s worth taking a warmer layer for the second part of the walk where you are more in the open. I recommend a lightweight fleece or top which is perfect for walking in.
- BBC Weather for Tideswell
- Met Office weather for Tideswell
- Met Office weather and/or MWIS (Mountain weather information service) for the Peak District
Ordnance Survey Walk Map
The map required for this walk is the Ordnance Survey OL24 – Peak District (White Peak Area). Check prices here with Ordnance Survey or Amazon. If you’re hiking in all weather the Active OS maps are good to have as they are laminated so better on rainy days.
View both Peak District map options here.
For online maps, I recommend OS Online App (I have been using it for many years and it is worth getting if you want to start walking more). Check prices here for the one-month or annual option with OS Online App. All the walks on the website are created using OS Online + you can download them to the App.
Want to learn more map skills? Check out our Guided Walks with map reading skills here.
Check prices here for the one month or yearly option with OS Online App.
Want to read later? Save the walk to Pinterest
Chee Dale walk route
Stage 1 – Miller’s Dale to Chee Dale
Distance: 0.7 miles/1.1 km
Grid reference SK 138 732
Start the walk from the far left path from the car park. This way you will get to see the old platform and station of Miller’s Dale which used to be the busiest station in the area.
Turn right onto the Monsal Trail, popular with walkers and cyclists. Walk the track past East Buxton Lime Kiln, an impressive structure which was in use until 1944.
Just before you reach the bridge on the Monsal Trail, take the path on your right which heads down to the River Wye. (You’ll be coming back here so you can walk across the bridge then).
Follow the single path along next to the river until you reach a crossroads (on your left there’s a bridge crossing the River Wye).
The path continues straight on via the wooden boardwalk next to the river.
Please note, if there has been heavy rain you may need to take this path across the bridge. Or alternatively, pick a good weather day to do the walk!
Stage 2 – Chee Dale to Monsal Trail (Inc Stepping Stones)
Distance: 1.7 mile/2.8 km
Grid reference SK 127 734
Follow the boardwalk that will take you over the muddiest sections of the route, although it doesn’t cover the entire path so be prepared for muddy sections.
The path can also be rocky in places.
Continue following the path as it snakes up and down through the Chee Dale Valley. The path leads you away from the river, over a small wooden bridge and then back towards it.
Then there are two long sets of stepping stones to make your way over. There are a couple of stones that are lower in the water so when the river levels are high, they may underwater.
Once you’re across the stepping stones, you then continue walking along the path for about a mile next to the River Wye all the way until you reach a footbridge.
Here there’s a cycle hire shop with a small shop if you want to treat yourself, but no toilets!
Stage 3 – Monsal Trail Bridge to Miller Dale
Distance: 2.5 miles/4 km
Grid reference SK 112 726
Once across the bridge, continue walking straight until you reach the Monsal Trail. (Option to shorten the walk here)
But instead of joining the trail, take the path on your left which takes you up and over the bridge on the trail.
The path then heads uphill all the way to a small man-made pond, created to help the endangered Great-Crested Newts.
Shortly after the pond, there’s a gate on your left, go through here and head across two fields, before you come out on a track. Walk along the track until you reach a road.
Turn left here and head past a few houses, before reaching a public footpath on your left.
Take this path across the fields, gradually descending until you reach a wooden gate at the bottom of the hill.
Continue following the trail until it leads you back onto the Monsal Trail, this time on the opposite side of the bridge. You might want to turn right to explore the tunnel, before then returning back via the trail to Miller Dale car park.
Do you have any more questions about the Chee Dale walk? Ask me in the comments below.
Additional options for the walk
Shorten the walk
If you want to shorten the Chee Dale walk, you can opt to follow the Monsal Trail at the beginning of stage 3. Follow the trail all the way until you come out of the tunnel and meet up with the walk route.
This will save you about 1.5 km, but also it will reduce the ascent on the walk by about 100 metres and you’ll have done the fun stepping stones section too.
Extend the walk
If you want a longer walk, then why not add on the Monk’s Dale walking route to double the distance to a 10-mile walk, which also starts from Millers Dale car park but heads in a different direction.
You can read the full walk here – Monk’s Dale and Limestone Way walk
Buy a printable/downloadable PDF route guide for the walk here.
More walks in the Peak District
Chee Dale is included in our best walks in the Peak District list – check out all the other walks to pick your next route.
Love the walks in the White Peak Area of the Peak District? You might like these Peak District circular walks.
- Gratton Dale and Long Dale walk from Elton
- Robin Hood Stride’s walk
- Chrome Hill walk
- River Dove from Alstonefield
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Please note 'Peak District Walks' accepts no liability for any injuries or accidents resulting 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.