Lathkill Dale from Monyash

Lathkill Dale

Lathkill Dale is one of the quietest dales in the White Peak. This is an excellent short walk for when you fancy something easy or only have a few hours to walk. This walk starts and finishes in the beautiful village of Monyash where you can experience the fabulous Bulls Head pub. Lathkill Dale is a typical limestone dale, flanked by huge limestones cliffs and teeming in unique flora and fauna. The River Lathkill that runs along the floor of the dale disappears during the summer. The walk takes you past rolling lush green farm fields then descends into the magical environment of the dale. It may look small on a map but when you are down on the dale floor the limestone walls looks huge. A great short walk with plenty of variation.

Route Directions

  1. This walk starts from the village of Monyash. Monyash is a mile east along the B5055 minor road which leaves the A515 Buxton to Ashbourne main road seven miles south of Buxton.
  2. There is a car park in the centre of Monyash village at grid reference SK 150 666. To reach the car park, from the village head north on the road to Flagg for thirty metres and you will find it on the left. On quieter days you may be able to park outside the Bulls Head pub next to the village green.
  3. From the village green head south down Rakes Road. You will pass the Fere Mere on the left. Monyash once had several meres. The village is built on top of an area of clay sitting on top of the limestones so holds water well.
  4. Follow Rakes Road round to the left. After a while the road bends sharp right. Here turn left down Derby Lane. After just thirty metres Derby Lane also bends sharp right. Here carry straight on and down a wide rough track in a south easterly direction. This track is known as Milkings Lane and is the route of the Limestone Way long distance footpath.
  5. Follow the route of the Limestone Way track as it weaves through a patchwork of farmers fields and stone walls. The track will eventually get less defined and then at Fern Dale turns into a footpath which continues to cross the fields.
  6. You will eventually reach One Ash Grange Farm. This is a historic farm with fascinating buildings including its grade two listed pig styes. Follow the footpath through the farm to its eastern side. Here you will find a slight opening in a stone wall. Head through the opening into the field then east across the field to reach a stile at its far end.
  7. The stile leads to a small rocky descent into Cales Dale. Follow the path until it reaches a junction with the Cales Dale path. Turn left following the path that heads north east towards Lathkill Dale.
  8. The views up to the limestones cliffs are awesome as you get closer to Lathkill Dale. When you reach the floor of the dale cross over the wooden bridge over the River Lathkill.
  9. The River Lathkill is lovely. Dippers can be seen bobbing up and down on the rocks. In summer however as with many limestone dale floors, the river disappears underground.
  10. If you have the time and energy there is a steep path ascends the cliffs on the northern side of the valley. Head up this path to get an awesome view up and down Lathkill Dale and Cales Dale.
  11. After crossing the wooden footbridge turn left and head in a north westerly direction. After around five hundred metres the path turns left. Here you will see the Lathkill Head cave where the River Lathkill appears from the limestone cliff.
  12. Continue along the path in a westerly direction. The dale closes in and gets narrow as it passes many old mine shafts and caves by the old Ricklow Quarry and lead mines.
  13. Just after a narrow section with small trees the path rises to fields then crosses a few before reaching the B5055 minor road. Cross the road and head into Bagshaw Dale. Follow the dale round the back of Monyash for four hundred metres.
  14. You will reach the end of Horse Lane where it meets Chapel Street. Turn left and head south down Chapel Street to reach the car park. I highly recommend you continue on to the village green and visit the fantastic Bulls Head for tasty food, local real ales and a warm welcome, including log fires in winter.

Maps for this walk

Paper maps for this walk

Click to buy OS Explorer OL24 Map Click to buy OS Landranger 119 Map Click to buy Collins Ramblers Guide Peak District Click to buy Pathfinder Guides Peak District

GPS files for this walk

Route map of this walk

Photos & Trip Reports

Planning for a walk

Check the weather

The weather is a very important part of hill walking. Weather conditions and daylight hours will dictate where you walk, what gear you will need to carry, how far you walk, and may even decide if you go at all. The following links will help you gather information on weather conditions for areas of Britain...

Plan your journey

Planning your journey before you set off for your walk can save you vital hours on the day. You need to make sure you know the area surrounding your starting point as many factors can influence or change the place you park. Don't forget change for parking meters and fees.

Maintenance of your vehicle and being ready for breakdown situations when driving to remote areas is also vital. Pack a full spare petrol can in your boot, and take de-icing tools in winter, including a shovel. The Transport Direct website below is a great resource for anyone wanting to get to the start of their walk using public transport...

Pack the right gear

Carrying and wearing the right gear is essential for walkers to remain comfortable and safe while hill walking in Britain. However, the best gear in the world is of no use to anyone who doesn't know how to use and care for it. Knowing how to use your gear will give you a much more enjoyable experience. The following items are, in my opinion, the essential items to wear and carry for a hill walk in Britain. It would be foolish to head into the hills and mountains of Britain without these essential items and the knowledge of how to use them. Check out the gear section of this site for techniques and gear lists...

  • Footwear
  • Clothing
  • Rucksack
  • Warm Clothes
  • Waterproofs
  • Map & Compass
  • Emergency Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Food & Drink
  • Seasonal Gear

Know what to do in emergencies

It is good practise to tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to return. If you don't get in contact when you said you would on your return, and those you told can't get hold of you, at least they will be able to provide the search party with your general location.

Emergency equipment in the check list above means items such as a survival bag, whistle, and emergency food rations. This isn't anything special; any whistle will do, the orange emergency bags only costs a few pounds, and basic food rations can consist of a couple of chocolate bars. Carrying a head lamp is also an important component and a vital piece of kit used for signalling when you require rescuing.

You should always try and get out of a difficult or emergency situation using your own gear, knowledge and energy. If you cannot do this, then you should dial 999 and ask for the police. Use all the gear you have to keep any unwell or injured members of your party or yourself safe and warm, and use your signalling devices to let the rescuers know your whereabouts. To do this blow six good long blasts on your whistle, or flash six flashes of your torch. Stop for one minute. Repeat. Carry on with the whistle blasts until someone reaches you, and don't stop because you've heard a reply.

Never contact mountain rescue unless absolutely necessary, but on the other hand don't ever feel guilty for having to do so, especially if you are a prepared walker. The Mountain Rescue teams are full of fantastic like-minded souls who love nothing more than people who are prepared for being safe in the mountains.