It’s officially #nationalwalkingmonth It’s also a bank holiday weekend, so I hope you’ve made the most of it. We knew the weather wasn’t supposed to be the best later in the day so we planned our route, and planned to meet at 09:30am in Alstonefield.
N.B. This walk has dog friendly stiles / gates. You must keep your dog on a leash though as there are plenty of livestock about.
We parked up near ‘The George’ public house and met up with out fellow adventurers. A little tip for you, there are ‘free’ public car parks and also a public toilet right at the start, which is always handy.
Near enough straight across from the toilets is the first public footpath sign and that’s where we started the hike.
The public footpath is very visible as are the stiles / gates (basically, follow the wall)
You will eventually arrive at a signpost. You will need to take a left here.
Follow the path and pass through a couple of stiles before you start ascending. Take a moment to look around and behind you to take i the views.
The landscape here deserves to be taken in, with its undulating and majestic hills. Take a breather as the first ‘test’ is due. The test is a steep descent, which was all the more tougher (very slippy) due to the inclement weather. The downhill is gravel and smooth / slippy rock. A couple of the team did venture down on their seat. Fortunately, there were no casualties, but it is something to bear in mind before you set off.
At the bottom of the hill you follow the path to the right through a broken gate.
Follow the path and keep to the right.
You will eventually reach the banks of the River Dove and a bridge which you need to cross. You are now in Wolfscote Dale
Immediately up on the hill in front of you is the ‘cave of dread’. I ‘affectionately’ named it this from my childhood days. It does go straight through and you can appear to the right (if you’re young and small enough, and don’t suffer from claustrophobia). I ventured through with a load of other children behind me, and i couldn’t get through and started to panic… that’s enough of that.. moving on. I digress…
The weather had now started to take a turn for the worse, and we were all absolutely sodden wet through. We took an executive decision to take a shortcut and give Milldale a swerve. We followed the River Dove until we arrived at the Gypsy Bank Bridge which we needed to cross and venture up a severe ascent (The Stairway to heaven). This is mapped out by rough steps hewn out of the landscape and fashioned with wooden steps. The hill is steep and will test you. It’s not a shortcut to be taken lightly. You are rewarded with a fantastic view of the of the valley and I recommend you take a good five minutes to take it all in
At the top of here, we did take a slight detour and had to double back. Make sure you keep to the way you’re facing and the stile / gate will be in front of you. We didn’t take anymore photos after this as the weather was just too bad. All I can say is we were really thankful to be back at the car with heaters full on.
A great day out and a fantastic walk that we will be definitely doing again and to our usual Milldale location with an ice cream stop by the river.
Here is the stats (minus the the wetness measurement)