Much of this delightful walk is along the banks of the Lathkill and Bradford; both of these rivers flowing entirely through limestone country are famous for the purity of their water.
After leaving Youlgreave the walk crosses open countryside to Meadow Place Grange where the farmyard can be very muddy. The original grange farm belonged to Leicester Abbey from the 12th century until the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century.
Soon after leaving the farm, Lathkill Dale is reached. It is well known for its aquatic life as well as being a trout river and the bank sides teem with wildlife. Before the bridge was built at Alport, where the Lathkill and Bradford join, the old Portway forded the river on its journey from Castle Ring to the Iron Age hill fort on Mam Tor near Castleton.
The walk along Bradford Dale not only provides an opportunity to admire the scenery, but also to note the varying styles of bridges across the river. A steep climb up Hollywell Lane and back to the village ends the walk.
Length: 5.25 miles.
Start/finish: Youlgreave Car Park on the western side of the village,
Location: From the A6 Matlock to Buxton road take the B5056 for the village.
Terrain: Mostly easy walking with a short climb near end of walk. Muddy in places.
1. Walk to the left from the car park towards the village centre before turning left by The Old Hall which faces Holywell Lane, and then left again into Moor Lane.
2. Leaving the village behind, turn to the right along a rough unsurfaced lane running between limestone walls.
3. At the end of the lane go through a stile by a gate and keeping close to the wall on the left cross two fields to reach a tarmac road.
4. Turn right and in 30 yards go over a stile on the opposite side of the road.
5. With the wall close on the right, cross another two fields, heading towards the entrance to Meadow Place Grange farmyard.
6. Pass through the farmyard gateway and follow the signs across the yard between the buildings to leave by a gate into a field.
7. Bearing slightly to the right, cross the field to a gate to enter Lathkill Nature Reserve.
8. The path drops steadily through an area of mixed woodland and after bending back on itself reaches the riverbank.
9. Cross the river by the footbridge beside a ford and walk to the right down Lathkill Dale.
10. On reaching a road, go to the right over Conksbury Bridge and as the road starts to climb go through a gap in the wall on the left.
11. The walk continues close to the river on the left through several fields along a clear path to meet the B5056 at Alport.
12. Cross the road to a stile by the gateway opposite and walk into Bradford Dale.
13. Follow the path close to the river and when you come to a road intersection by a clapper bridge, continue straight on by the side of the river.
14. On reaching Holywell Lane turn right past the former tearooms up the steep lane going to the left at the top to return to the start of the walk.
www.derbyshire-peakdistrict.co.uk is an independent, not for profit website.
No recommendation of any establishment is implied by inclusion on this website.
PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Haddon Hall (Tel. 01629 812855) perhaps the most perfect example of a medieval manor house in the country. The gardens are a delight and believed by many to be the most romantic in Britain, being the setting for the elopement of Dorothy Vernon and John Manners. For more information website: www.haddonhall.co.uk
Caudwell’s Mill (Tel. 01629 734374) powered by the River Wye is the only complete Victorian working roller flour mill in the UK. There are a number of working craft shops as well as a fascinating gift shop and café. For more information website: www.caudwellsmill.museum.com
Derek Topp Gallery, Rowsley (Tel. 01629 735580) offers a wide range of contemporary applied art, everything being hand made in Britain and of the highest quality. Open daily.
The Farmyard Inn (Tel. 01629 636221) as its name implies used to be a farm and was converted to an inn in 1829. The beamed ceilings and open fireplace give it an old world atmosphere. Food is served daily at lunchtime and in the evenings from Tuesday to Sunday.
Caudwell Mill Tea Rooms (Tel. 01629 733185) situated at Rowsley, have an excellent reputation for food and serve both hot and cold meals. If it seems a little like sitting in church there is a reason. The seating and serving counter have both been salvaged from Crich Carr Chapel when it closed. Normally open daily please ring for details.
DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
1. To return to the main site click the link below.
2. To return to the contents page of the main website click the link below.
A special new sub-section has been added to this website, based on the Discover Derby Supplement, published by the Derby Evening Telegraph during March 2005. The most recent additions are:
Click below for details.
Surrounded by glorious countryside, the ancient village of Youlgreave winds its way carefully along a narrow limestone shelf, between two of the area’s loveliest valleys.
Bradford Dale to the south drops sharply down with pretty little cottages and their gardens clinging to the side of the valley; a little further away to the north on the other side of the hill is Lathkill Dale, considered by some to be Derbyshire’s finest dale.
In the centre of the market place is a huge circular water tank or conduit head, known locally as ‘The Fountain’, which since 1829 has supplied soft water to the villagers, initially at an annual charge of 6d.
It was built following a campaign by the ‘Friendly Society of Women’, who demanded a cleaner, healthier and more efficient supply of water.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.