Iconic Landscapes to Explore

Explore some of the beautiful and iconic landscapes the Peak District National Park has to offer, all conveniently located on the near Knockerdown Cottages

Dovedale, the famous Stepping Stones and Thorpe Cloud

Visit Dovedale, a National Nature Reserve managed by the National Trust. The River Dove flows through this limestone valley and is home to the famous stepping stones, which you will find just a short walk away from the main car park. From the stepping stones its possible to hike to the top of the imposing Thorpe Cloud, it’s a steep ascent, but one with lots of stunning vistas once you’re at the top.

For a more family friendly walk, you can continue up the path past Thorpe Cloud and carry on up along the river. There’s lots of great wildlife and woodland to explore along this riverside stroll, and the path is very clear and flat which is a plus point for families with small children.

Car Park: There is a National Trust car park at Dovedale.

Toilets: There are toilets located beside Dovedale car park, managed by Peak District National Park Authority. There is a 20p charge to use these. There are free public toilets at Milldale along the route. ​

Refreshments: Whichever route you choose to explore we suggest you bring along a snack or sandwich (please take your litter home with you). Alternatively you can incorporate a visit to Ilam Park into your route where you will find a tea room and shop for refreshments or stop off at The Izaak Walton Hotel for afternoon tea or a sandwich

Dogs: Welcome on a lead.

Terrain: Please plan you trip to Dovedale beforehand as river levels can rise making the stepping stones inaccessible and be aware that the paths and routes (particularly up Thorpe Cloud) can be tricky to navigate so its essential to have appropriate footwear. Dovedale Barn is open from April to October where you can pick up maps, walking guides, postcards and gifts.

Thor's Cave & The Manifold Valley

The Manifold Valley - Its possible to start this walk from many spots but the National Trust recommends heading out from the pretty village of Wetton. From here its just a couple of miles to the magnificent Thor’s Cave, a popular tourist spot and is definitely worth a visit. From here follow the old railway track (formerly the Leek and Manifold Light Railway from Waterhouses to Hulme End – now the Manifold Way) through rolling countryside and past farm houses until you cross the River Manifold into Ilam Park and the path takes you to Paradise Walk at Ilam Hall. 

Here you will find National Trust tea-room, shop, toilets and visitor centre in the stableblock, perfect for a pit stop and some refreshments. Then head on out to Casterne Hall and the village of Alstonefield where there is a great pub for more refreshments and then on back to Wetton.

Car Park: There is a National Trust car park in the village of Wetton and one at Ilam Park. Further on street parking can be found in Wetton.

Toilets: There are toilets at Wetton Mill (only open at weekend in Winter) and Ilam Park

Refreshments: There is a pub in Wetton and Alstonefield. There is also a tea room at Wetton Mill and at Ilam Park.

Dogs: Welcome on a lead.

Terrain: Easy terrain but some hilly sections, route is mainly public footpaths, over stiles and quiet country lanes.

The Roaches and Ramshaw Rocks

The Roaches and Ramshaw Rocks will make for a full days exploring for those who are confident walkers and hikers. Start from the car park near Gradbach, following the Dane Valley Way into Forest Wood to the road at Danebridge. After a steep climb you have two options the right fork leads to the beginning of The Roaches or the left fork heads back down towards Forest Wood, and to the impressive chasm known as Lud’s Church it's definitely worth the extra walk! 

Once you have explored Luds Church you can head back up on to the Roaches for fantastic views. Then its possible to walk from here up to Hen Cloud and on to the gritstone edge called Ramshaw Rocks, again head to the top for a ridge walk and some amazing views and don't forget to look out for the Winking Man rock formation.

Car Park: There is a Car Park at Gradbach

Toilets: There are toilets at The Roaches Team Rooms along the route

Refreshments: The Roaches Tea Rooms in Upper Hulme serves an excellent selection of teas, coffees, chilled drinks, homemade cakes, various breakfasts, light bites, Sunday Roast Lunches, afternoon teas and even have beer on draught for those in need of a refreshing pint!

Dogs: Welcome on a lead.

Terrain: The walk is about 13 miles with about 600 metres of ascent. The ground is rough and stony in places and can be wet and boggy in other places.
It is essential that you wear proper hiking boots and outdoor clothing, and bring a waterproof jacket and trousers with you as the weather can turn quickly. This walk may not suitbale for young children or for the less mobile.

Monsal Headland and Monsal Dale

The Monsal Trail has many family friendly walks through the Monsal Dale and beyond. To explore this iconic Derbyshire landscape, why not start your journey in the pretty village of Little Longstone where you can park up your car. On the right just past the Packhorse Inn, are two public footpaths, take the right-hand one through the handgate and follow the path to the Monsal Trail. Its a short walk to the famous Headstone tunnel where you are straight out on to the famous viaduct high above the River Wye. Built by Midland Railway in 1863, take in the memorable views up and down the winding dale before you reach the far end of the structure. From here you can continue on the Monsal Trail taking in the pretty villages, local history and wildlife on this easy to walk path, or head off and explore the footpaths that take you past old lead mining works, along the banks of the River Wye and past the old weir. 

Whichever route you take make sure you head back to Monsal Head where you can grab an ice cream from the van, or a cold pint from the Monsal Head Stable Bar, sit down and take in the magnificent vista down the Monsal Dale. After you have recuperated from your climbs, a short stroll down the lane opposite the Monsal Head Hotel will take you back to Little Longstone. If you're in need of a good pub meal head straight for The Packhorse Inn in the village. It's hearty food, real local ales and friendly staff are all welcome after a day exploring the Monsal Trail.

Car Park: There is on street car parking available in Little Longstone and a car park at Monsal Head Hotel.

Toilets: There are toilets at The Monsal Head Hotel

Refreshments: The Monsal Head Hotel and Stables Bar, The Packhorse Inn in Little Longstone and the Ice Cream Van at the top of Monsal Head!

Dogs: Welcome on a lead.

Terrain: Mostly on public footpaths with stiles and gates, the Monsal Trail and quiet country lanes. There are a great many other routes you can take which are longer or shorter so its worth planning your route beforehand. The Monsal Trail is open for walkers, cyclists and horse riders and can be very busy during peak times so please be mindful of others when on the trail and keep dogs on a lead at all times.