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Looking down Cales Dale to Laskill Dale
Looking down Cales Dale to Lathkill Dale

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Route No 251 - Saturday 14 June 2008
Youlgreave, Bradford Dale, Monyash,
Lathkill Dale, Alport circuit - 17km
Derbyshire Dales. . .

Ordnance Survey route map on the Landranger series map base
View the route in Google Earth

Map: OS Explorer OL24 The Peak District White Peak Area


The Market House, Winster, Derbyshire
The Market House, Winster, Derbyshire

One of which is the Old Market House in the main street opposite our cottage. Yesterday when we arrived there was a parade at the start of the Morris Dancing festival, which made a very colourful start to the weekend.

Today was the first full day of a long weekend break at a cottage in the village of Winster near Matlock in Derbyshire. In the past Winster was a very prosperous lead mining centre and so has some fine old buildings.

Morris dancing festival in Winster
Morris dancing festival in Winster

View from the Car park at Youlgreave
View from the Car park at Youlgreave

We walked through the village and turned right down a lane past the village hall and into Bradford Dale.

Today we drove a few miles to Youlgreave and parked in a very pretty car park next to the fields on the western edge of the village.

Heading into Bradford dale from Youlgrave
Heading into Bradford dale from Youlgreave

The river Bradford as we set off along Bradford Dale
The river Bradford as we set off along Bradford Dale from Youlgreave

Water weed in flower on the River Bradford
Water weed in flower on the River Bradford

After about a kilometer we turned right over a stone bridge to continue along the Limestone Way climbing out of Bradford Dale.

We crossed the river and turned right to walk upstream on the Limestone Way beside the clear water of this limestone river.

Young Moorhen
Young Moorhen on the River Bradford


Water weed in flower on the River Bradford
Yellow Flags (wild irises) by the River Bradford
Yellow Flags (wild irises) by the River Bradford
Bridge taking the Limestone Way over the River Bradford
Bridge taking the Limestone Way over the River Bradford
Comfrey
Comfrey
The Limestone Way climbing out of Bradford Dale
The Limestone Way climbing out of Bradford Dale
The Limestone Way passing round a hay field
The Limestone Way passing round a hay field
A wild flower meadow straddling the Limestone Way
A wild flower meadow straddling the Limestone Way
Purple Vetch
Purple Vetch
Yellow Vetch
Yellow Vetch
Limousin bull checking on his harem
Limousin bull checking on his harem
Wood next to Calling Low
Wood next to Calling Low

Approaching cales dale on the Limestone Way
Approaching Cales Dale on the Limestone Way

There is an endless series of stone steps down into the bottom of the dale and I was becoming a bit concerned about the climb out of the other side.

We continued on the Limestone Way across fields bounded by the traditional limestone dry stone walling for about three kilometers to Cales Dale. This is a steep sided limestone gorge off Lathkill Dale.

Fossils in the limestone steps down into Cales Dale
Fossils in the limestone steps down into Cales Dale

Looking North accross Lathkill dale from the Limestone Way
Looking North across Lathkill Dale from the Limestone Way
Climbing out of Cales Dale
Climbing out of Cales Dale on the Limestone Way

Damsel Fly on a step at One Ash Grange Farm
Damsel Fly on a step at One Ash Grange Farm

We sat on a limestone outcrop in the field at the top of the climb for our lunch and then followed the Limestone Way through One Ash Grange Farm and across the fields for over two kilometers to the village of Monyash.

As it turned out the climb up the western side of the dale is much easier and quite pretty as the path skirts the foot of a limestone cliff on the wooded side of the dale.

Limestone Way leaving One Ash Grange Farm
Limestone Way leaving One Ash Grange Farm

Village pond at Monyash
Village pond at Monyash
Village green at Monyash
Village green at Monyash

The start of Lathkill Dale
The start of Lathkill Dale

Here we turned right off the road to follow the footpath down Lathkill Dale. For the first 2km the valley is dry with the water running underground in the porous and fissured limestone.

We walked through the village heading east along the B5055 for about 500m to the public footpath at map ref. SK157664.

Jacob's Ladder by the path in Lathkill Dale
Jacob's Ladder by the path in Lathkill Dale

Heading down Lathkill Dale
Heading down Lathkill Dale

Clear limestone stream starting to flow down Lathkill Dale
Clear limestone stream starting to flow down Lathkill Dale

The amount of water in the River Lathkill varies along the valley as some of the water runs underground and some on the surface.

As the valley deepened with craggy cliffs and rocky outcrops I became aware that there was now a crystal clear stream running along side of us.

River Lathkill flowing down its wooded valley
River Lathkill flowing down its wooded valley

Waterfall on the River Lathkill
Waterfall on the River Lathkill
Stone clapper bridge across the River Lathkill
Stone clapper bridge across the River Lathkill

Path down Lathkill Dale
Path down Lathkill Dale

We crossed the river on the road bridge and followed the path down the river for another 1.5km to Alport.

We passed the end of Cales Dale and from there continued through the woods down Lathkill Dale for about 4.5km to Conksbury Bridge.

Path down Lathkill Dale
Path down Lathkill Dale

Series of weirs & fish ponds on the River Lathkill
Series of weirs & fish ponds on the River Lathkill
Fish pond at Conksbury Bridge on the River Lathkill
Fish pond at Conksbury Bridge on the River Lathkill

Free range poultry by the path at Alport
Free range poultry by the path at Alport

At Alport we left the River Lathkill and took the path heading upstream on the south bank of the River Bradford.

It had been a lovely sunny day with a cool breeze, ideal for walking but we were ready for a visit to the ice-cream van that is usually parked next to the river in Alport.

A piebald horse grazing by the path
A piebald horse grazing by the path near Alport

Returning to Youlgreave up Bradford Dale
Returning to Youlgreave up Bradford Dale
Returning to Youlgreave up Bradford Dale
Returning to Youlgreave up Bradford Dale

Returning to Youlgreave up Bradford Dale
Returning to Youlgreave up Bradford Dale

From there we retraced our steps up the lane past the village hall to the main street in Youlgreave and back to the car park.

We followed the River Bradford for about 1km back to the point where we had joined it at the start of our walk.

Returning to Youlgreave up Bradford Dale
Returning to Youlgreave up Bradford Dale

Returning to Youlgreave up Bradford Dale
Returning to Youlgreave up Bradford Dale

We drove the few miles back to our cottage in the main street in Winster to find the road closed for the Morris Dancing festival which was in full swing providing us with a very colourful spectacle to round off an excellent day.

The whole route had been just over 17km and had taken us almost 6 hours including our stops for refreshments and to admire the scenery and wild flowers along the way.

Morris Dancing iwhen we got back to Winster
Morris Dancing in the village street when we got back to Winster