A two-part walk taking in the crème de la crème of Dovedale and the Manifold Valley.
Book either one or both of these walks together as the first walk ends at the start of the second with breakfast in between.
Part 1. Ilam and the Compete Angler 3.9 miles 8.30am-10.30am (this walk)
Part 2. Looking over the Dove and Manifold Valleys 4.4miles (book separately here)
The walk starts at Ilam Park at the National Trust Car Park (free to members) passing by Ilam church, look out for the shafts of two 1,00 year old Saxon crosses in the churchyard. In the distance you’ll see Thorpe Cloud. Following a surfaced path here you’ll find alpine style houses and a school and then the Ilam Cross which was commissioned by Jesse Watts-Russell as a memorial to his wife Mary, and is officially known as the Mary Watts-Russell Memorial Cross. Jesse and Mary lived in Ilam Hall and had a lasting impact on the look and character of Ilam village.
On leaving the village just after the green and bridge you’ll then turn onto a stone track along the base of Bunster Hill where sheep graze unfazed by the passing walkers. The route across the fields passes behind the Izaak Walton Hotel, named after the author of the book The Compleat Angler. He fished the River Dove in the mid 17th century. Bunster Hill is on your left and Thorpe Cloud is ahead of you, with the flat top. The path will go downhill to join the surfaced track by Dovedale car park (not National Trust) and the public toilets (20p charge, not National Trust. The River Dove is on your right, at the base of Thorpe Cloud.
The river marks the boundary between Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Dovedale became a National Nature Reserve in 2006, because of the vast range of rare habitats and wildlife found here. The river is an important habitat for fish, invertebrates and birds. Look out for dipper, heron and ducks on the river bank as you walk along. The steep valley slopes have woodlands and grassland meadows with wildflowers, fungi and ferns.
From here you take a short walk to the famous Stepping Stones and then head back along the Dove to Coldwall bridge. Another beauty spot, the bridge was used for a route to Cheadle until the early 1900’s when the modern car of that time could no longer climb the hill to Thorpe and was closed.
Back to the Ilam National Trust Tea Rooms for breakfast. Booking essential, please inform the instructor.
An easy walk due to little elevation.
Elevation Lowest: 425ft Highest 528ft Total ascent 466ft
Stiles: squeeze and step stiles, gates.
Some muddy areas.
Cows – yes
LATE CANCELLATION POLICY: Coreconcept Nordic Walking has a late cancellation policy whereby full price will be paid for any walks cancelled within 12 hours of the start of the walk. Any refund will be at the discretion of Coreconcept and will be dependent on the cancelling client making contact with us before cancelling.
Coreconcept offers Nordic Walking in the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District. With 10 years experience and a team of qualified Instructors and Leaders we offer many walks each week of varying levels. Come and join us, get fitter, be outdoors, enjoy the benefits that hundreds of people have discovered already. Once you have tried it you'll want to stay with Nordic Walking as a form of exercise as it's cost effective, varied and fun. We run well-being, active, adventure walks as well as weekend trips in the UK and Europe.