Derbyshire Dales

Walk 19: Limestone Way

The Limestone Way is a long-distance hiking trail that starts in Castleton, Derbyshire and runs south through the heart of the White Peak area of the Peak District National Park. The final stretch has you crossing county boundaries into Staffordshire, with the final destination being Rocester. The Limestone Way takes in many of the highlights of the Derbyshire countryside and is well worth doing at least once.

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Essentials

  • Distance: 46 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum Duration: 48 hrs
  • Refreshments: PubCafe
  • Route: Download .gpx file
  • Start Grid Ref: SK 15056 82944

Parking Location

Parking is available at Castleton, S33 8WG.

Weather Forecast

Derbyshire, UK

Map

Guidance

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Safety First

Please do not rely on this walking guide to solely navigate a hike. Always take a map and compass with you and make sure know how to use them. Hiking is generally safe, but there are always potential risks. Use common sense, plan your route beforehand and make a reasonable judgment at all times.

Directions

I used this page to share my real-time location with family and friends during the Limestone Way. I’ve now converted the page into a mini-guide to hopefully make it more useful to others thinking of completing this worthy long-distance hike.

In this mini-guide, you will find an overview of how I planned and navigated the route. It worked out well for me, but please check out official guides and do your own wider research before committing to this mini-adventure.

Did I enjoy the Limestone Way? Hell yeah!

About the Limestone Way

The Limestone Way is a long-distance hiking trail that starts in Castleton, Derbyshire and runs south through the heart of the White Peak area of the Peak District National Park. The final stretch has you crossing county boundaries into Staffordshire, with the final destination being Rocester.

The Limestone Way takes in many of the highlights of the Derbyshire countryside and is well worth doing at least once.

Personally, I 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 through 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 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 stopping at the beautiful village of Parwich.

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 in parts, but there is still plenty to see.

It can be difficult to navigate this section in parts due to the lack of obvious paths and overgrown foliage hiding stiles in hedges. I particularly enjoyed the last four-mile stretch to Rocester, passing along the River Dove.

Images are embedded within the article above.

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