One of my favourite places to walk in the Peak District is Chee Dale in the White Peaks Area. The Chee Dale walk is hidden beneath the Monsal Trail and a wonderful place for a short walk with a few hidden secrets.
This circular walk starts from the old station at Millers Dale and follows the Monsal Trail for a short distance, before heading down to the River Wye and Chee Dale Nature Reserve. It takes you along a beautiful path, rocky in places but plenty of twists and turns – worth getting some good hiking footwear if you don’t have yet.
Then there’s the fun bit of crossing the Chee Dale stepping stones, which get you safely past a section where cliffs make a footpath impossible. There’s also a hub of wildlife and nature on this short stretch along the River Wye, perfect for nature lovers.
After following the trail through Chee Dale, you then reach the Monsal Trail, where this route takes you above for a different view on the walk. Alternatively, for an easier option, you can take the Monsal Trail back to Millers Dale if you prefer.
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 a detailed step by step guide of this Peak District walk.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve done this walk and what you think of the stepping stones!
Chee Dale walk from Miller Dale
Chee Dale walk mapClick for OS online map
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.
- £1.40 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.
During weekends and peak times there is also a cafe that opens serving drinks and snacks. There is also a bike shop at the opposite end Chee Dale as you return to the Monsal Trail, they sell icecreams and a few snacks because I’ve treated myself!
Or you could treat yourself to a small flask and take your own tea, coffee or hot chocolate – on those cooler days 🙂
Other useful information
The Chee Dale valley can be very muddy in places and there’s also plenty of uneven ground, due to tree roots and rocks. There’s a sign reminding you that you’re going to 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.
Water on your walk – We 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.
The route is signposted in places but we recommend you take a map and compass (see below).
Please keep the Peak District beautiful and take all your rubbish home to dispose of. Picnics are welcome but please, no disposal BBQs due to the high fire risk. Thank you.
Peak District weather
Check the weather for your walk location and hills
The walk 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.
Ordnance Survey Walk Map
The map required for this walk is OL24 – Peak District (White Peak Area)
And don’t forget your compass, I recommend the Silva Expedition compass (more expensive but a good bit of kit). Or if you want to get one to get the kids practising the Silva Starter compass is a good budget option.
Check prices here for the one month or yearly option with OS Online App.
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Chee Dale walk route
Stage 1 – Miller 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 Dale which used to be the busiest station in the area.
Turn right on to 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 of paths, (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 be covered in water.
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 here 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 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 on to 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 on 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
More walks in the Peak District
Love the walks in the White Peak Area of the Peak District? You might like these Peak District circular walks.
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Need more help planning your Peak District trip?
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.
Top tips - Read our useful guides on hiking tips here.
Guided Walks with introduction to map reading (see dates 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.