A Walk in Bradford Dale

By Don and Sheila Rimmington, © Copyright 2000-2006

Circular Walk of approximately 8½ miles: Bradford Dale - Lathkill Dale

Walk can start/finish at either Youlgreave or Alport, with limited parking, or at Over Haddon, where there is a good Car Park.

Starting from Alport, take footpath on left of road just over the bridge on the road towards Youlgreave. This goes gently down to the river Bradford to cross a bridge. The path then continues up the left hand bank of the river. After 600 yards a lane comes in from the left. 200 yards further up the river a small bridge crosses the river, but our route continues past this to the next bridge over the river to the minor road from Elton to Youlgreave.

  Youlgreave, Packhorse Bridge at Alport
Packhorse Bridge at Alport
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Starting from Youlgreave, at the crossroads by the Church take the road towards Elton, which is immediately on the left after the Church, if approaching from Alport or the A6 road. This road drops down the hill to the river Bradford to join the path from Alport.

Click to ‘popup’ larger version

The path now goes up the river on the right hand bank for just over ¼ of a mile then crosses over to the left bank once more. There are the remains of small dams on this stretch and usually moorhens and mallard nest in this area.

After about ¾ mile up the left hand side of the river, a bridge is reached. Cross the bridge and follow the zig-zag path up the steep hill for about 350 yards to emerge on the road from Youlgreave to Middleton. Turn right along the road (passing Lomberdale Hall on the left) for ¼ a mile and take footpath on the left. This climbs for a short distance to emerge on another road.

The footpath opposite gives a shorter route to Lathkill Dale; however our route ignores this and turns left along the road for 100 yards to take a footpath on the right. This climbs steeply up through old lead mining workings (passing a picnic site on the left) to emerge on a minor road from Youlgreave. Turn left along this road for 100 yards to a road junction.

The path forward goes off on the right to cross over fields to Calling Low Farm. The path skirts the farm and reaches Cales Dale ½ mile beyond. Turn right after negotiating the steep stepped path into the dale bottom; 300 yards down Cales Dale the river Lathkill is reached.

You are now in Lathkill Dale. In summer the river is almost non existent here as it goes underground and bubbles up to the surface at various places down the dale. In winter the river emerges from a cave about ½ mile further up the dale. Cross the footbridge at the end of Cales Dale and turn right to follow the river Lathkill down its left bank.

After just less than ¾ mile a track leads off left to Haddon Grove, but our route carries on down the dale through woodland and by trout pools and the remains of long-gone lead mining sites. 2 miles after leaving Calesdale the lane leading up to Over Haddon is passed on the left.

  Youlgreave, Lathkill Dale
Lathkill Dale
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If starting at Over Haddon, leave the car park left through the village and down the steep lane into Lathkill Dale. Turn left to go down left hand bank of river.

Continue on by the riverside for ¾ mile, passing deep clear trout pools on the way, to join the road at Conksbury Bridge. Turn right on this road to cross the bridge and follow the road up the hill for 200 yards. Take the footpath on the left - this gradually drops down to the right hand bank of the river. 500 yards after leaving the road a lane is reached at Raper Lodge.

Those who started at Youlgreave can leave the dale here and go up the lane to the right to return to Youlgreave, or continue via Alport and the first part of the walk up Bradford Dale. To reach Alport cross the lane to follow the path for ½ mile to the road at Alport.

This page was formerly part of Don and Sheila's ‘Walk the Ages’ website -, and is reproduced by kind permission.

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