White Peak Way
Total distance covered; 82 miles (132kms)
7 days walking based in Bakewell
The ‘White Peak’ area of the Peak District National Park, which centres on the Derbyshire Dales, offers a wonderful diversity of scenery - tranquil wooded river valleys, high limestone pasture, spectacular limestone gorges and picturesque villages. This diversity, together with the generally excellent underfoot conditions, makes the White Peak Way, a circular walk of 82 miles (132kms), a very enjoyable excursion.
The route visits Dovedale (made famous by Izaak Walton, the ‘father of angling’) where the sparkling river Dove twists and turns as it passes through narrow wooded gorges and below limestone pinnacles, and every corner reveals new delights. It also visits the lesser-known, but equally beautiful, Beresford Dale, Gratton Dale, Miller's Dale, Biggin Dale, Chee Dale, Tideswell Dale, Cave Dale and Deep Dale, amongst others. At its northern-most point the route ventures onto the margin of the White and Dark Peak areas with a traverse of Mam Tor. Villages visited include Tideswell, Earl Sterndale, Hartington, Ilam, Milldale, Biggin, Youlgreave, Rowsley, Baslow, Grindleford, Castleton and Hathersage. The only town on the route is Bakewell, our base for this holiday.
Highlights of the walk include the walk through Dovedale, below the towering limestone pinnacles known as Tissington Spires; Thorpe Cloud; the ornate village cross in Ilam; Weag's Bridge, an historic and attractive packhorse bridge in the Manifold valley; dramatically located Peveril Castle; the view down into Winnat's Pass from the Speedwell Cavern; the walk through the parkland of Chatsworth House; the panoramic views from Froggatt Edge and Curbar Edge; the fantastically sculptured natural gritstone boulders and the Wellington Monument on Baslow Edge; and the ascent of Mam Tor, with its splendid views across Edale to Kinder Scot and the Dark Peak, at 517m the highest point on the White Peak Way.
We shall hope to see an abundance of wild orchids in the limestone dales.
Day 1: Bakewell to Elton 10 miles (16kms)
Day 2: Elton to Ilam 13 miles (21kms)
Day 3: Ilam to Hartington 10 miles (16kms)
Day 4: Hartington to Miller’s Dale 13 miles (21kms)
Day 5: Miller’s Dale to Castleton 11 miles (18kms)
Day 6: Castleton to Hathersage 13 miles (21kms)
Day 7: Hathersage to Bakewell 12 miles (19kms)
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