Distance 4 miles
Time Approx 2 hours
Terrain Field paths and quiet lanes, rocky and uneven in places
Accessibility Uneven ground, steps, gates, stiles and squeeze stiles
Start and End Point Grid Ref SK15006, Nearest Postcode DE45 1JH, /// ending.corkscrew.buzz
Map Ordnance Survey Explorer OL24
This lovely walk takes you out of the pretty village of Monyash on the Limestone Way, through classic White Peak scenery. It passes through part of Cales Dale, lined with twisted, moss-covered trees, before following the stunning Lathkill Dale past the source of the River Lathkill, where it springs forth from a cave. From there the route heads up through the wide open countryside of Bagshaw Dale before returning to Monyash.
This is a walk of 4 miles. There are gates, steps, stiles and squeeze stiles. The terrain is very uneven in some places through the dales, although there are no steep ascents or descents. Some parts of the walk may be wet underfoot after periods of heavy rain. You may encounter cows on this route. Street parking in Monyash is free, but please park with consideration for residents. There are no toilets or refreshments en route, although there is a wonderful dog-friendly pub and a lovely tearoom in the village at the start/end point. Allow around 2 hours to complete this walk at a moderate pace.
1. Park considerately on any of the quiet streets in the village of Monyash. The walk starts on Rakes Road (nearest postcode DE45 1JH), right opposite the village green. Walk along this quiet road away from the village, passing the picturesque duck pond on your left.
2. Where the road bears right, carry straight on along a farm track called Milkings Lane, signposted for the Limestone Way. This lovely track passes through beautiful rolling White Peak countryside, characterised by limestone walls. Continue on the track, ignoring paths off. After some distance it narrows down to a footpath, but the route is easy to follow.
3. On reaching a gate with a stile beside it, walk on and through the next field, keeping to the left of a stone wall. When you see a National Trust sign for Fern Dale on your left, the path heads right through a gate in the stone wall, still signposted for the Limestone Way.
4. Walk diagonally right across the field you’ve just entered, heading for a gate in the wall ahead. Go through the gate, still following signs for the Limestone Way, and walk up through the field to the right of a stone wall. There are wonderful views back over the fields. After a short distance the route crosses the wall by way of a stone stile. Continue on the path, now walking to the left of the wall.
5. On reaching a wide farm gate on the right, ignore the signs off for Lathkill Dale to the left and instead go through the gate, turn left and follow the farm track towards the buildings ahead of you.
6. Where the track forks in front of an old barn, take the left hand fork, signposted for the Limestone Way and Lathkill Dale, passing a row of charming old (disused) pig sties.
7. The track soon forks again, and you should take the right hand fork down towards a collection of barns. Walk between the two barns ahead of you, through a gate and down some steps into a field. Follow the well-marked path straight on through the field.
8. After approx. 250 metres you will reach a further gate. Go through the gate and head down a narrow track into the lovely Cales Dale. The path is easy to follow as it passes to the right of a high rocky cliff.
9. At a crossroads of paths, turn left and follow the signs to Lathkill Dale. This path meanders through pretty mixed woodland and, after a short time, passes over the spot where a tributary of the River Lathkill emerges bubbling from the ground.
10. Continue on the path until you reach a footbridge over the crystal-clear River Lathkill and enter Lathkill Dale. Go over the footbridge and turn left, following the obvious path through this pretty dale, with the river on your left.
11. After approx. 300 metres you will pass the spectacular Lathkill Head Cave on your left, which is the point at which the River Lathkill bursts forth into the dale.
12. Continue on the path between the spectacular limestone cliffs, having now left the river behind. Stay on the path, through a squeeze stile and over rocky ground. The rocks can be slippery, especially after rain, so do take care.
13. On emerging from the dale the path goes through a gate. Go straight on through wider countryside, ignoring paths off, and head towards the road you will eventually see ahead of you.
14. Cross over the road and turn left, then turn almost immediately right just before farm buildings, keeping to the left hand side of a stone wall. The path crosses a stone stile and enters a field, often occupied by horses.
15. Continue straight on into the open countryside of Bagshaw Dale, keeping to the right of a stone wall. The path is easy to follow, going over a further stile and through a succession of small gates.
16. The path eventually leaves the fields by way of a squeeze stile at the side of a wide gate, and joins a quiet road. Turn left on the road and then very quickly left again, to walk down back into the village of Monyash and your starting point.