Monks Dale from Millers Dale

Monks Dale

This is the one walk I choose to do when I want a quiet and beautiful place to get away from everything. Monks Dale is a lesser frequented National Nature Reserve known for its wildflowers, natural woodlands and stunning rugged limestone scenery. This over looked dale has far more popular neighbouring dales which makes it less frequented making it a more personal and wilder experience. The highlight of this walk is the incredible natural woodland. The lovely stream that runs through Monks Dale disappears under ground during summer months. There are toilets at the Millers Dale car park and most of the year an ice cream van providing refreshments.

Route Directions

  1. This walk starts at the Peak District National Park's car park at the former Millers Dale Station in Millers Dale. The car park is at grid reference SK 138 733.
  2. Exit the car park from its main road entrance. Turn left and ascend the minor road. The road can be busy and has no footpath so take care.
  3. Once you reach a farm house cottage at the sharp road bend to the left, you will see a stile on your right. Head over the stile skirting the farm barn buildings now on your left.
  4. After a while you will reach open land and an information board detailing the flora and fauna of Monks Dale. Turn left and follow the muddy path as it starts to descend in a north westerly direction down in to Monks Dale.
  5. The path will eventually reach the floor of the dale and depending on the season you will reach the lovely stream. Cross the wooden footbridge here and then turn left heading in the same north to north westerly direction up the dale.
  6. Carry on through the dale with the stream or dried up stream on your left. The dale opens up to a wide canyon now with limestone scree and crags up to your right. The dale turns to the right then to the left.
  7. As much as you can keep to the very bottom of the dale floor following the course of the stream or dried up stream. The path suddenly will disappear in to the incredible natural woodland which covers the second half of the walk through the dale.
  8. Carry on along the now often rocky and slippery path through the woodlands. Watch out for slippery rocks and tree trunks. A stone wall follows the same route as the path and is always on your left hand side. It often looks stunning covered in thick mosses. The dale floor is comparable to a rain forest at times and has its own cold and damp climate. This is a stunning kilometre through a unique place.
  9. Once you get to the far end of the woodland the path passes through a wooden gate in the stone wall then rounds an overhanging crag before opening out in to a grass meadow.
  10. Head across the meadow to the minor road which cuts over it. Head right or in an easterly direction then ascend the steep road until it flattens out again as it reaches Monksdale House.
  11. When you reach Monksdale House turn right down a rough track clearly marked as a footpath and the Limestone Way long distance footpath.
  12. Follow the track for in a southerly direction through wide open fields for a good mile. Keep an eye out for fossils in the stone walls. There is one old standing stone in a field to the left just over the wall which is rich in fossils. When you reach a T junction with another track head right still heading south.
  13. This track will now ascend and then bend left heading down to Monksdale Farm. when you reach the farm follow the track round the back of it then through it following the footpath signs. The right of way follows a road downhill towards the holiday cottages. Look out for a footpath heading off right just opposite the holiday cottages.
  14. Head down the steep descent path from the holiday cottages. You will eventually reach the floor of Monks Dale again. Switch back on your self just before you reach the very bottom and you will cross some stepping stones over the stream or dried up stream.
  15. Ascend the path up the other side of the dale now to reach the path you left earlier. Head back towards the farm barn buildings, over the stile and back down the road to the car park

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.