Last week I decided that a day trip to somewhere different was something I wanted to do. My plan was to be somewhere outdoors but not too far from home, so the Peak District seemed like the perfect choice. The Peak District is about an hour and a half from where I live, so it didn’t take Liam and I long to get there. Before we went, I wanted to do a bit of research about the different walks we could go on, as the Peak District covers such a huge area! I found the 10 Adventures website helpful for showing where the different walks were located and how easy/difficult they all were.
The walk we decided to take was the Dovedale Walk, a long but not too challenging walk along the River Dove that includes a river crossing over the Dovedale Stepping Stones. It was helpful to know that Dovedale had its own carpark and was at the southern end of the Peak District, so closer to us than some of the other walks. After parking up, it was quite clear that the walking route followed the River Dove all the way, so we used the river to make sure we didn’t get lost. The Dovedale Stepping Stones were right at the start of the walk, and it was a bit of a challenge trying to cross them without falling in!
All the way along the walk, we came across some beautiful scenery and snapped lots of photos as we went. The river looked particularly beautiful in the sunshine and it was lovely to be surrounded by the peaks and greenery. Although the Dovedale Walk does have some uphill climbs, they were few and far between and weren’t steep, so there was no climbing up huge hills which can often be expected on Peak District trails. The Dovedale Walk starts near to Ilam and takes you to a place called Milldale, which made a nice halfway stopping point for us and we were able to enjoy an ice cream from one of the independent shops in the little village.
The walk is circular, so once we reached Milldale we came back on ourselves and followed the river back to where we started. It was really nice to retrace our steps and see the trail from a different perspective, taking photos of scenery that we may have missed the first time. All in all, the walk took us about 3 hours, because we were much slower on the way there as we stopped to take photos. I think the Dovedale Walk could quite easily be done in 2 hours if it was done at a good pace, so ideal for a first timer to the Peak District like me!
After our lovely walk last week, I would definitely recommend a trip to the Peak District, especially if you live close to the area and haven’t been before. It really is a beautiful part of the country and somewhere that you can really get immersed in nature. The Dovedale Walk is perfect if you’ve never been to the Peak District before, as it’s a fairly easy walk and follows the river all the way. Next time, I’d definitely like to try one of the more challenging routes and explore more areas of this beautiful National Park.
For more information about visiting the Peak District, take a look at visitpeakdistrict.com.