Dovedale, Milldale and Alstonfield

Lovely walk through one the Peak District's most famous dales, the beautiful village of Alstonfield, finishing with a traverse around Bunster Hill. This is a great walk on a sunny winter's day as the sun shines into Dovedale most of the day.

Technical sheet
No. 994000
A Ilam walk posted on 26/02/18 by P&MFletcher. Update : 10/03/18
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h15[?]
Distance Distance : 7.76mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 804ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 781ft
Highest point Highest point : 1004ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 459ft
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Peak District
Location Location : Ilam
Starting point Starting point : N 53.05474° / W 1.782751°
Download : -

Description

(D) From the car park at Dovedale head down the footpath to the right of the toilets towards the Dovedale. Follow the river on either side of the bridge for 700m to the stepping stones.
(1) After the stepping stones turn left through the stile and follow the river down the dale for 4 km until you reach Milldale, enjoy this beautiful dale at any time of the year. ( N.B. About halfway along the path a bridge crosses the river, heading towards Stanshope)
(2) Cross the bridge into Milldale. Turn left away from the river and immediately turn right up Millway Lane past the shop/cafe and the telephone box. Follow the lane up the hill for 1.25 km until you reach the village green in Alstonefield.
(3) Facing the George public house take the road on the left. At the first junction continue and then turn left at the end of the road. Almost immediately turn left again down the lane passing a cottage closely on the right. Continue on this lane until you reach the sign post, follow the public bridleway to Stanshope crossing the field heading for the bottom right hand corner by the large tree. Go through the gate, cross the next field and proceed through the gate and down the steep slope. This can get muddy and there are a couple of alternate routes that go around the steep part of the slope. Cross the road and head up the green lane opposite until you reach Stanshope Hall on the right hand side.
(4) Turn left at the junction and proceed down the road for 2km. (N.B An alternative is to take the left turn and immediately turn left again down a lane towards Hall Dale, this takes you back to the bridge specified in waypoint 1, then retrace your steps along Dove Dale and back to the car park).
(5) After 2km there is a finger post on the left, cross the stile and the track towards the distant wall. Over another stile, proceed along the footpath to the right hand corner of the field by the trees. Cross the stile and follow the path to the gate in the distance. Go through the gate and traverse Bunster Hill heading towards the saddleback, the path is rocky in places. Cross the saddle and head down the hill towards the path by the wall, turn left and follow this path back to the River Dove passing through two gates. At the river turn right and head back to the car park
(A) Finish

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 459ft - Dovedale Car Park
1 : mi 0.5 - alt. 522ft - Dovedale Stepping Stones
2 : mi 3.19 - alt. 594ft - Milldale
3 : mi 4 - alt. 935ft - Alstonfield
4 : mi 5.01 - alt. 873ft - Stanshope
5 : mi 6.26 - alt. 932ft - Towards Bunster Hill
D/A : mi 7.76 - alt. 459ft - Back at the Car Park

Useful Information

Pay car park at the entrance to Dovedale along with pay toilets
Cafe van in the car park usually open all year
Shelter on the left after the bridge at Milldale, shop/cafe on Millway Lane
The George public house in Alstonefield, walkers room available in the stable block at the back when weather is bad.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Dovedale
Milldale
Alstonfield Village
The green lane to Stanshope is full of snow drops in February as is the garden of Stanshope Hall B & B.
Bunster Hill

Opinions and comments

Average

Global average : 4.46/5
Number of opinions : 8
Description quality : 4.5/5
Routemap quality : 4.5/5
Walk interest : 4.38/5


Walker
on Mon 02 May 2022 09:08:43 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 30/04/22
Description quality : Very good
Easiness to follow the route : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

An easy to follow walk, visiting Derbyshires famous tourist attraction of Dovedale. Very busy at the weekend but the crowds thin out as you progress. Would recommend it it to anyone.


Walker
on Mon 02 Aug 2021 23:16:50 CEST

Global average : 3.67 / 5

Date of walk : 30/07/21
Description quality : Average
Easiness to follow the route : Good
Walk interest : Good

Enjoyable walk that starts through Dovedale and then through countryside on the return leg.
The instructions across the final hill are a bit vague and left us a bit lost. In retrospect the alternative route back through Dovedale may be preferable


Walker
on Sun 11 Jul 2021 21:50:03 CEST

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 08/07/21
Description quality : Very good
Easiness to follow the route : Good
Walk interest : Very good

Excellent and very popular which can be a problem in busy periods. Car park is £5 for more than 3.5 hours so take plenty of change and there are no payments by credit card. a
also we went on a Thursday (08/07/21) and the car park was almost full.

Walk is excellent to Alstonfield but a touch boring after that with much of the distance covered on road, I would suggest cutting back after Alstonfield and going back via the Dale.


Walker
on Mon 03 May 2021 16:55:37 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 29/04/21
Description quality : Very good
Easiness to follow the route : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Walked last week in good weather which helped for the part downhill after Alstonfield which has an alternative route indicating problems when muddy underfoot,
Interestingly for those with National Trust cards the car park at Dovedale was changing over to NT on 30/4/21. For those not NT members the cost has risen from £3 to £5.
Would happily walk this route again. Original directions are still relevant.


Walker
on Mon 13 Jul 2020 15:30:16 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 10/07/20
Description quality : Good
Easiness to follow the route : Good
Walk interest : Good

A very enjoyable walk. Directions and map were superb and the views lovely. A great choice of route.


Walker
on Mon 07 Jan 2019 22:19:16 CET

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 25/08/18
Description quality : Very good
Easiness to follow the route : Very good
Walk interest : Good

Walking from the youth hostel, we managed to get there before the crowds, which was a plus. Usual picture at the Stepping Stones (I still don't understand the fuss!) and next stop at the George's. Probably longer than stated, but we enjoyed it all the same.


Walker
on Mon 27 Aug 2018 16:07:58 CEST

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 27/08/18
Description quality : Very good
Easiness to follow the route : Very good
Walk interest : Good

Walking from the youth hostel, we managed to get there before the crowds, which was a plus. Usual picture at the Stepping Stones (I still don't understand the fuss!) and next stop at the George's. Probably longer than stated, but we enjoyed it all the same.


Walker
on Fri 13 Jul 2018 22:07:30 CEST

Awwww Mandy & Nick that is such good news... glad you liked it.


Walker
on Tue 10 Jul 2018 12:18:26 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 10/07/18
Description quality : Good
Easiness to follow the route : Good
Walk interest : Good

This is a fabulous walk. We are new to hiking but loving every minute. The directions and map were good. Lovely views from start to finish.
Thanks
Mandy and Nick.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.