Walk 19: Limestone Way

A bucket list essential, the Limestone Way is a long-distance hiking trail that runs through the White Peak of the Peak District National Park. Starting at Castleton in Derbyshire, the route runs south to Rocester in Staffordshire and takes in some of the highlights of the Derbyshire countryside.

Essentials

  • Distance: 46 Miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum Duration: 48 Hours
  • Refreshments: PubCafe
  • Route file (GPX): Download
  • Start: Castleton, S33 8WG
  • Start Grid Ref: SK 15056 82944

Weather Forecast

Derbyshire, UK

Parking Location/Start

Map and Gradient

Total distance: 45.84 mi
Max elevation: 456 m
Min elevation: 92 m
Total climbing: 1737 m

Guidance

Print page

Safety first, folks

Please do not rely on the guidance below to navigate the hike. We highly recommend downloading the accompanying GPX file and loading it into a navigation device/app. Always take a physical map and compass with you as backup. Take care out there.

Directions

I used this page to share my real-time location with family and friends during the hike. I’ve now converted the page into a mini guide to make it more useful to others thinking of doing the Limestone Way. What’s written below is how I planned and navigated the route – it worked for me, but please check out official guides and do your own wider research before committing to the walk.

Did I enjoy the Limestone Way? Hell yeah!

About the Limestone Way

The Limestone Way is a long-distance hiking trail that runs through the White Peak of the Peak District National Park. Starting at Castleton in Derbyshire, the route runs south to Rocester in Staffordshire.

I honestly really enjoyed the Limestone Way. It’s probably not the most picturesque route in the UK, and actually misses off some of the more beautiful parts of the Peak District. However, there is still lots to see and plenty of fun to be had along the way. Each day has its own feel and charms.

Itinerary

Day One

From Castleton, the route runs up Cave Dale, past Peak Forest, down Hay Dale and Peter Dale, parallel to Monks Dale then through the village of Millers Dale. From Millers Dale, the route continues past Blackwell, through Flagg, then Monyash, across Cales Dale and finishes at Youlgreave.

Day one is the longest day and arguably the most strenuous. There is a fair amount of road and track, intertwined with some beautiful dales, villages and scenery. I got blisters (I’ve never had blisters!) so be prepared for all eventualities. Highlights for me include Cave Dale, Millers Dale (head up to the Monsal Trail) and Bradford Dale.

Day Two

From Youlgreave, the route passes Robin Hood’s Stride to the villages of Elton, Winster and Bonsall, with the final stretch running through to Parwich.

A slightly shorter day than the previous, but no less beautiful. There are plenty of expansive views and some less worn paths to explore. Highlights for me include Robin Hood Stride, the copious amount of cows and Parwich (only visited it once before).

Day Three

From Parwich, the route runs to Tissington, then Thorpe, then down to Ellastone, with the final stretch running through to Rocester.

The shortest day of the three that has a very different feel from the previous two, especially after passing the southern section of Dovedale.  Some label this last section tedious – perhaps it is so in parts, but there is still plenty to see. Note that it can be difficult to navigate this section in parts due to the lack of obvious paths. I particularly enjoyed the last four mile stretch to Rocester, passing along the River Dove.

Images are embedded within the article above.

Questions or comment about this route? Leave them in the comments section below.

Walk In Derbyshire

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Hi I'm Leigh, the creator Walk In Derbyshire. I've been walking in the Peak District National Park for over 30 years and have a huge passion for connecting with nature and hiking in the outdoors. I write up the all the walks for Walk In Derbyshire and am also the lead on our group hikes.

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