Dovedale, Thorpe Cloud & Ilam

The Peak District National Park was created in 1951, the first national park in the UK. Walking in the Peak District can be quite varied, with the more gentle limestone dales of the White Peak and the higher, gritstone moors of the Dark Peak, meaning there’s something for everyone.

Dovedale, Thorpe Cloud & Ilam

Dovedale is another of the Peak District’s classic walks, and it would be remiss of us not to include our version. Thorpe Cloud is, in our opinion, a proper mountain in all but height, the dale itself is a marvel, and Ilam is a Swiss-style village set by the River Manifold.

After a brief warm up, the walk sets about tackling the lofty Thorpe Cloud with a steep ascent to the summit. It’s followed by a sharp descent to the popular Dovedale, where the paths are easy as you head up the dale past the various rock formations. At a bridge, the walk turns left and you have the second steep ascent of the dale as you head up the western side of Dovedale. It’s then a walk through woodlands and across fields before a truly magnificent descent down into the picturesque village of Ilam.

From Ilam, you then follow the River Manifold for a mile or so before crossing a bridge and walking up a track to Thorpe and back to the walk start. It’s a great walk, with loads of variety – have a great day.

Walk Details

Distance –11.5km or 7.1 miles

Ascent – 400 metres or 1475 feet.

Terrain – Good paths, some steep climbs up Thorpe Cloud & out of Dovedale. The limestone can be slippery in the wet.

Getting There

It’s pretty easy by car, head to Thorpe and park in the car park.

Unfortunately this walk is not accessible by public transport. Buses do go along the A515 approximately 1 mile to the east, with stops at Fenny Bentley. Click here for more information on bus routes and times.

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