Monday, May 1, 2017

Bank Holiday Hunt for the Dovedale Ninja

The grumpy old sat-nav refused to operate this morning, as we headed out of Milldale navigation skills had to be used. Rather than drop into Hall dale we headed across the fields skirting around the village of Stanshope and going towards  Ilam.

Ilam Rock
Dovedale has so many wonderful limestone features Ilam Rock, Tissington spires, the apostles, Reynards cave and more [1]. It's hard to think that this was part of a tropical ocean, until you study the fossils of shells embedded in the limestone.

We had car trouble today and had to drop Amanda at work at ridiculous oclock. Today an early start did not seem so beneficial as there was a lot of rain and the skies were dark. Undeterred we made our way from Nottingham to the picturesque Dovedale village of Milldale.

Our route started with a walk across the fields towards and Stanshope, we headed towards Ilam walking along Ilam moor Lane. We contoured around the side of Bunster hill before heading down to the Izaak Walton hotel and the start of Dovedale. Our walk took us along Dovedale and returning us to Milldale.

A GPX with our route is available below, a link to an interactive map from open street map is also provided (users might need to have an account on open street map).

gpx file

Interactive Map

I'm a strong supporter of the open philosophy and this now includes OpenMapping. The interactive map with OpenStreetMap has a great number of features including a variety of mapping standards (OS, Bartholomew, satellite imagery), editing tools and sharing of mapping. Maps showing the outline of our map our featured below.

Looking Towards Ilam from the Side of Bunster Hill

As we walked across the fields, the weather had eased off, in their state of excitement it's possible that Keisha and Louis figured out where they were on the map and were able to recognise some of the valley features from the contour shapes.On our rainy walk along Ilam moor lane we spotted the big flat stone tables used to stand milk churns ready for collection.

By the time we had arrived at Dovedale, it had brightened up quite nicely lots of people were also now turning up at the main car park. We had a quick lunch stop.

Dovedale Stepping Stones

The Twelve Apostles

We wandered along the dale coming across the stepping stones and the rock features known as the twelve apostles. A walk up the steps to lovers leap provided a good view.

Reynards Cave

Passing the Tissington spires we arrived at Reynards cave, we climbed to the cave on the eastern side of the gorge. After a scramble around on the rocks (the squigly bit on the GPX trace) we discovered the deadly Dovedale ninja.
Ilam Rock


Glitter-ball queen and neon Diamond on the Viators bridge at Milldale
We finally arrived at the Viators bridge in Milldale, originally this pack horse bridge would not have sides so that wide loaded pack horses could pass with ease.  This seven mile route is wonderful and highly recommended  the delights of Dovedale  are always a joy to view and explore. Clearly 7  miles is not far enough my two youngsters are full of beans!


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