Curbar Edge with Baslow Edge in the background

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Lathkill Dale Stroll

A shorter walk than the 'Lathkill Dale and Bradford Dale' one which, nevertheless, still takes in the beauty of the dale.

Walk Facts:

Start National Park car park at Moor Lane (SK 193 644), above Youlgreave (click for MAP). Note: The concessionary path through Lathkill Dale is closed on Wednesdays between October and February, so the walk therefore cannot be done on those days
Terrain Field and riverside paths, one climb through woodland. Can be muddy in places.
Length Six miles
Time Three hours or so
Food/Drink None en-route. Shops and pubs in Youlgreave and Bakewell
Toilets None en-route - nearest are in Youlgreave


From the car park, turn left onto the road. After a short distance, where it joins another road, cross to a stile with a finger-post alongside. Cross the stile and walk diagonally left across the field to a short section of new wall which looks as if it was built specifically to carry a step-stile!

Cross this stile and then another in the adjacent wall to gain access to a large field. Follow the obvious path through several fields, passing through a small wood at one point and later taking a signposted diversion through a second wood to the right of Calling Low farm, to eventually reach the rim of Cales Dale. From here there's a wonderful airy view of both Cales Dale itself and Lathkill Dale.

Descend a steep stone staircase into the valley floor, then turn right and follow the path until Lathkill Dale is reached at a footbridge. Cross the bridge and turn right onto the path through the dale. The river may be dry around here - this happens because the river bed is on porous limestone so the water gradually drains away underground.

Misty Lathkill Dale

Follow the path for two miles through the dale, which is mostly wooded and is a National Nature Reserve. Although now the haunt of birds and walkers, this part of Lathkill Dale has an industrial past. There were once several lead mines and evidence of the workings can still be seen - there are derelict buildings and at one point several stone columns which are the remains of an aqueduct. There are still mineshafts around and although the path is perfectly safe you should not go exploring in the woods.

When a cluster of buildings is reached at a gate, turn right and walk down to the river bed. Cross the river bed, using the bridge if there happens to be water in the river. Turn left onto a track and follow it as it zig-zags up the hillside through mature woodland. This can be a nice cool interlude on a hot day!

Eventually a gate is reached. Pass through it and turn left to walk across the field to the farm (Meadow Place Grange). A grange, incidentally, is a farm which was originally established and run by a monastery. They were often used as places to send monks who had violated the rules of their Order and were serving penance. Pass through the farmyard via three gates - the footpath is well signposted.

Once you're in the field on the opposite side of the farm follow the arm of the finger post which indicates Middleton, ignoring the route to Youlgreave which leaves to the left. Walk alongside the wall for a short distance, then follow another finger post which points to the left and is also inscribed Middleton.

Follow the path across several fields until a road is reached. Cross the road and use a stile opposite to enter another field. Cross this field, then cross a short strip of woodland. This is the beginning of Long Rake, a mineral vein which is still being mined today a little further along. The woodland looks inviting but conceals deep excavations and you must keep to the path.

Cross another field to reach another minor road. Turn right and follow this road back to the car park.

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