Chee Dale Stepping Stones
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A Quick Guide to the Chee Dale Stepping Stones Walk

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Welcome to our quick guide on the Chee Dale Stepping Stones Walk, one of my favourite walks in the Peak District National Park.

Nestled in the heart of the Peak District National Park lies a hidden gem that captures the essence of adventure – the Chee Dale Stepping Stones Walk. This scenic route, a part of the iconic Peak District walks, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, wildlife, and a sense of tranquillity that’s hard to find elsewhere.

During this walk, you’ll encounter the famous stepping stones, a highlight for many visitors. They’re a test of balance and nerve, especially after heavy rain when the river level rises. But it’s not all about the stones; the walk takes you through a mix of terrain, from tree-lined paths to old railway tunnels, giving you a real sense of the varied landscapes in the area.

This guide aims to give you all the essential information for the Chee Dale Stepping Stones Walk – from how to get there, where to park, and what to expect on the walk. Whether you’re planning a short walk or considering the full circular route, this guide has got you covered.

Where is Chee Dale?

Chee Dale is a stunning part of the Peak District National Park, located in Derbyshire, England. For those unfamiliar with the area, the Peak District is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Chee Dale itself is situated close to the villages of Millers Dale and Blackwell, making it easily accessible yet wonderfully secluded.

Chee Dale is known for its dramatic limestone gorges and rich wildlife. It’s a place where you can truly immerse yourself in nature. The River Wye, which runs through Chee Dale, adds to the area’s natural beauty, creating a serene yet lively landscape that changes with the seasons.

For those coming from further afield, Chee Dale is within reasonable driving distance from major cities like Manchester and Sheffield, making it a perfect spot for a day trip or a weekend getaway. The exact location can be easily found on Google Maps or by using an Ordnance Survey map for a more detailed view of the trails and terrain.

How to Get to Chee Dale Stepping Stones

Getting to the Chee Dale Stepping Stones is straightforward, whether you’re driving or using public transport.

By Car: If you’re driving, the most convenient way to start your walk is from Millers Dale car park or Wyedale car park. These car parks are well-signposted and can be easily located on Google Maps. Use the map above, or simply input “Millers Dale car park” or “Wyedale car park” as your destination. Both offer ample parking space and are a short distance from the starting point of the walk.

By Public Transport: For those preferring public transport, there are bus services that run close to Chee Dale. The closest bus stop is in Millers Dale, which connects to larger towns and cities in the area. From there, it’s a short walk to the stepping stones. Be sure to check the latest bus schedules for the most up-to-date information.

Once at Millers Dale or Wyedale, follow the signposts directing you towards the River Wye and the stepping stones. The paths are well-trodden and marked, making navigation simple. Remember, the stepping stones can be slippery, especially after rain, so wear suitable footwear and take care.

Where to Park for Chee Dale Stepping Stones

Parking is an important aspect of planning your visit to the Chee Dale Stepping Stones. Here are your best options:

  • Millers Dale Car Park: Located conveniently close to the start of the walk, Millers Dale car park is a popular choice for visitors. It offers a good amount of space, but it’s worth arriving early, especially on sunny weekends or during peak times, to ensure you get a spot. There may be a parking fee, so bring some change.
  • Wyedale Car Park: Another great option is Wyedale car park, which is a bit further away but tends to be less crowded. It’s perfect if you’re planning to extend your walk and explore more of the surrounding area. Like Millers Dale, parking fees might apply here as well.
  • Alternative Options: If these car parks are full, there are other nearby areas where you can park. Topley Pike layby offers limited spaces but can be a good alternative. Always check local signage for parking rules.
  • Free Parking: For those looking for free parking, there are a few spots along the road, but these are limited and can fill up quickly. Be mindful of local regulations and avoid blocking any gateways or paths.

After parking, head towards the signs for the Chee Dale walk. The path is well-marked and will lead you towards the River Wye and the stepping stones.

Chee Dale Circular Walk

DISTANCE

12 km return

ESTIMATED TIME

3-4 hrs

ELEVATION GAIN

431 m

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

Chee Dale is a hidden gem in the Peak District, offering a walk that’s a bit off the beaten path. Nestled in the White Peak area, this walk is perfect for those looking to explore limestone caves, cliffs, and the beautiful River Wye.

The Walk

Chee Dale is a relatively short walk, but don’t let that fool you—it packs a punch in terms of natural beauty. The trail takes you along the River Wye, through narrow limestone dales and across a series of stepping stones. It’s a beautiful walk that offers a mix of open country and more enclosed, intimate spaces.

Chee Dale is accessible year-round, but if you’re looking for the best experience, late summer to early autumn is ideal. The water levels are generally lower, making it easier to cross the stepping stones.

Why It’s One of My Favourites

Chee Dale offers a unique walking experience that’s unlike any other in the Peak District. The limestone caves and cliffs provide a dramatic backdrop, and the stepping stones add an element of fun and adventure to the walk. It’s a perfect place for a lovely walk, especially if you’re looking to escape the more crowded routes.

Chee Dale

Chee Dale Stepping Stones

The stepping stones across the River Wye are the highlight of the Chee Dale walk. Here’s what you need to know to navigate them safely and enjoy the experience:

The stepping stones are located midway through the Chee Dale Circular Walk. As you follow the riverside path, you’ll come across the first set of stones. They are a key part of the route, linking the two sides of the river.

The stones can be slippery, especially after heavy rain when the water levels are high. It’s important to take your time, watch your footing, and use a walking stick if needed. There’s no rush, so proceed at your own pace.

Always check the river level before your visit. If the river is high, the stones may be submerged and unsafe to cross. In such cases, there are alternative routes you can take to continue your walk safely.

The best time to cross the stepping stones is during dry weather when the river is low. This makes for a safer and more enjoyable experience. Early morning can be a peaceful time to visit, while late afternoon often offers beautiful lighting for photographs.

While crossing the stepping stones, take a moment to enjoy the stunning scenery of Chee Dale. The valley, with its steep-sided gorge and lush vegetation, provides a perfect backdrop for this unique part of the walk.

Facilities and Nearby Attractions

While the Chee Dale walk is a remarkable experience in itself, it’s also worth noting the facilities and attractions in the vicinity that can enhance your visit.

  • Cafes and Public Toilets: Conveniently, there are a few cafes near the starting points of the walk where you can find public toilets, a much-needed facility for hikers and families. These cafes offer a pleasant spot to relax either before or after your walk, serving refreshments, light meals, and, importantly for many, ice creams – perfect for a sunny day.
  • Monsal Trail: The Monsal Trail is a nearby attraction that you shouldn’t miss. It’s a repurposed railway line now used as a recreational trail for walking, cycling, and horse riding. The trail is known for its stunning scenery and is a great addition to your day if you have extra time.
  • Old Railway Tunnels: Along the Monsal Trail, you’ll find several old railway tunnels. These have been restored and opened for public use, adding an element of history and adventure to your journey. Walking or cycling through these cool, echoing tunnels is a unique experience that contrasts beautifully with the open countryside and river views you get on the Chee Dale walk.

Remember, while facilities like cafes and toilets are available, it’s always a good idea to check their opening times, especially if you’re visiting outside of peak season.

Accommodation: Glamping in the Peak District

After a day of exploring the Chee Dale Stepping Stones, why not extend your adventure with a night under the stars? Glamping in the Peak District offers the perfect blend of outdoor experience and comfort. Here are some top glamping options that promise a memorable stay:

For more detailed information on these and other glamping options in the Peak District, check out my dedicated blog post on Peak District Glamping.

Booking.com

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