Lathkill Dale and Youlgreave walk
...five mile stroll
5 miles. Takes around 2.5 hours - great walk though!
Begin the walk in the village of Youlgrave - approaching from the Bakewell direction pass the church then the Bull's Head pub on your left as you enter the narrow street through the village.
Shortly beyond this you'll see a blue Parking sign and a telephone box at the top of Holywell Lane. The lane is the start and end of the walk. Park carefully and prepare for a very pleasant stroll, half of which is riverside, of approx 2 to 3 hours. If you're around the 50 year mark and averagely fit - 2 hours 15 minutes should be easy enough allowing for a 15 minute stop!
Walk down the lane almost to the bottom and you'll find a stone stile in the wall on your left. Through the stile you drop down to the river Bradford and head left to follow the footpath along Bradford Dale until you reach a stone bridge crossing the clear water. Ignore the bridge and continue ahead along the obvious footpath still following the river. Wend your way around a few attractive bends until you reach the road that enters the village at Alport.
Cross directly over and follow the path ahead. The river (now the Lathkil) is still with you some yards away to your right. Eventually you will meet a stone/gravel track just past a handsome old house on your left. Continue ahead at this point and in a few minutes time you will reach a 'B' road. Turn right here and stroll down to the Conksbury bridge.
Immediately beyond the bridge turn left onto a path that follows the Lathkil revealing the river's true glories and crystal clear, limestone- filtered, aquamarine waters. This delightful stretch is incredibly popular at summer weekends so be warned!
In a few minutes you reach a large white house and garden and just ahead a stone bridge over which a path veers sharply left and uphill into the woods. Follow this path as it climbs deep into the wood, round a sharp bend and up again to reach the gate at the top and a good resting point if you remembered the flask! Across the valley is the village of Over Haddon with its excellent and quaint pub, the Lathkill Hotel.
At the gate, turn sharp left and follow the grassy path over to the very large farm in front of you. Cross straight over the farmyard and over a stone stile in the wall. Continue straight ahead and up the steep grass (mud usually!) hill keeping the dry stone wall close to your left hand side. In a minute or two you reach a wall at a minor road. Turn right here and immediately left at the footpath sign. Continue straight ahead, down first and then up across the field path with a large single tree on your right. Just ahead you will arrive at a walled lane and a few minutes further along you meet a minor road with Youlgrave and its church now clearly visible to your left.
Turn left at this juncture and meander easily down to the village via 'quiet lane', passing a few cottages.. and on to arrive at the road that runs through the village. You car should be over to your right somewhere!
ps Don't forget to spend some of your hard earned in one of the village pubs, by way of celebration!
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015