Walk 1475 - Bunster Hill and Dovedale from Ilam

Outline Route Map Walk Grading

Nat Park - Peak District

County/Area - Staffordshire & Derbyshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 4.5 miles / 7.3 km

Ascent - 1300 feet / 394 metres

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SK135508
Lat 53.054288 // Long -1.800043
Postcode DE6 2AZ (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Bunster Hill and Dovedale from Ilam Photo from the walk - Bunster Hill and Dovedale from Ilam Photo from the walk - Bunster Hill and Dovedale from Ilam 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This walk starts from the village of Ilam and takes a high level route along the western rim of Dovedale to Ilam Rock. The route then descends into Dovedale and follows this well known river downstream.

The start is near the centre of Ilam village (grid ref SK135508) where on street parking is usually available. If not there is pay and display parking alongside Ilam Hall. After parking walk east along the road towards Thorpe. Just past the last building go over the stile on the left. Ignore the main path to Dovedale, instead walk north on a less obvious path that climbs across the western flank of Bunster Hill. The right of way crosses the field on your left but there is no need to follow this. Just continue walking uphill with the field boundary on your left. Ignore the path leading to Ilammoor Lane and continue alongside the field boundary to reach a stile (Grid ref. SK139520). Cross the stile and field to enter a walled lane with trees.

Turn right to Air Cottage as you reach Ilamtops Farm and continue to follow the waymarked route around the back of Air Cottage. The onward path follows the western rim of Dovedale and you get some good views into the dale and across to the other side. The route is well signed and eventually you begin to descend into Dovedale. The path zigzags down to reach the banks of the River Dove below Ilam Rock. Turn right, cross the River Dove using the footbridge and once on the other side follow the river downstream (right). Despite walking downstream there is still some ascent to complete on the section up to Lover's Leap.

It is likely, especially in fine weather, for this section to be very busy. However you can still admire the dramatic gorge through which the river flows. Quite soon the shapely outline of Thorpe Cloud comes into view. Arriving at the stepping stones (Grid ref. SK151514), stay on the eastern bank continuing downstream until you reach a footbridge. Cross this and walk along the lane. Reaching the entrance to the car parks on both sides of the lane, turn right into the car park and walk parallel with the lane to take the signed path on your right across fields and down to a lane in Ilam. Turn right along the lane back to the centre of the village.

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OS Map showing start

Ordnance Survey Map showing starting point of walk - Click Here

Suggested Maps

It is recommended you take a map with you when following a walk route. The preferred scale is 1:25000 used by the Explorer series. Note : If two maps are listed at the same scale then either (a) both are required for full coverage of the route or (b) the route is covered on both maps.

Explorer Map graphic - OS Explorer - Sheet OL24 BUY MAP

Landranger Map graphic - OS Landranger - Sheet 119 BUY MAP

Accommodation nearby

Thorpe Cottage Country Guest House, Thorpe, Ashbourne
Bed & Breakfast - 1.3 miles / 2.1 km away
Valley View, Milldale
Self Catering - 2.5 miles / 4.0 km away
Swallows Cottage at The Priory, Fenny Bentley, Ashbourne
Self Catering - 3.2 miles / 5.1 km away
Callow Cottages, Ashbourne
Self Catering - 3.3 miles / 5.3 km away
Sandybrook Country Park, Ashbourne
Self Catering - 3.3 miles / 5.3 km away
Rivendale, Alsop-en-le-Dale
Where to Stay Directory - 4.0 miles / 6.4 km away
The Laurels B&B, Oakamoor
Bed & Breakfast - 4.9 miles / 7.9 km away
Cotterill Farm Cottages, Hartington
Self Catering - 5.3 miles / 8.6 km away
Overdale Cottage, Youlgrave, Bakewell
Self Catering - 9.4 miles / 15.1 km away
Darwin Forest Country Park, Matlock
Self Catering - 12.3 miles / 19.7 km away

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