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Lathkill Dale

Lathkill Dale lies in the heart of the Peak District National Park’s ‘White Peak’ area,  approximately 3 miles / 5 kilometres southwest of Bakewell.

The Dale is a deep limestone valley, carved out by the Lathkill River which creates a series of cascades and pools along its meandering course.

Guided Walks in Lathkill Dale

At Peak Walking Adventures, we love introducing visitors to Lathkill Dale as part of a guided walk that explores the area’s diverse wildlife, rich geological history, and charming surrounding villages.     

Lathkill Dale highlights

Here are some Lathkill Dale highlights, often included on our walks:

Wildlife

The Dale is home to a diverse array of wildlife, especially in Spring and early Summer. Here we find rarer plant species such as Jacob’s Ladder, a delicate perennial with clusters of blue, bell-shaped flowers. 

The wooded slopes and river banks provide habitat for birds such as Dippers, Pied Wagtails, Spotted Flycatchers, Wood Warblers, Spotted Woodpeckers and Tawny Owls. The Lathkill’s clear waters support Ducks, Coots, Moorhen and Kingfishers, whilst Brown Trout and Grayling can be seen in the pools.  

Wildflowers in the valley and surrounding meadows attract butterflies and bees, and the limestone cliffs provide nesting sites for peregrine falcons.

History and Geology

Spanning roughly 2 miles / 3.5 kilometres in length, Lathkill Dale’s  limestone formations date back approximately 330 million years – cliffs and outcrops line the valley, providing a dramatic backdrop to the lush vegetation and river below. Erosion by the Lathkill River exposed layers of limestone, shale, and sandstone – caves were also formed through the dissolution of limestone by acidic groundwater.

Evidence of human activity dates back thousands of years, with archaeological finds including ancient settlements and burial mounds. From the Middle Ages, Lathkill Dale was a thriving centre of industry, and evidence of lead mining and quarrying is still clearly visible.

Local Villages

Set amongst the rolling limestone hills and dales of the ‘White Peak’, these villages are fascinating, timeless and beautiful. Over Haddon is perched over Lathkill Dale and traces its origins to Saxon times – it offers stunning views over the river below from the Lathkill Hotel >.  

Monyash boasts beautiful stone cottages and a quaint village green; a medieval village, its name is derived from Old English, meaning “the moor where the monks graze their animals.” Here you can have a cuppa at the The Old Smithy > , a cafe housed in the former village blacksmiths shop, with quirky artefacts and tools. 

Noted in the Doomsday Book, Youlgreave is predominantly a farming community with a 12th century church, traditional shops, cafes and pubs. Don’t miss a visit to Peakfeast > , a lovely vegetarian café and bakery. 

Our Lathkill Dale walks

We are passionate about sharing our local knowledge of this beautiful landscape.  Here are some of our guided walks which visit Lathkill Dale:  

Local Guided Walks
Private Guided Walks or Corporate Walks
  • We can design and deliver a bespoke guided walk around Lathkill Dale and its surrounding countryside: Hire a Guide >

About Peak Walking Adventures

Peak Walking Adventures is a small, dedicated guided walk company with friendly professional guides. We provide immersive guided walking adventures for all skill levels. We help our clients explore the Peak District and occasionally other mountainous areas such as The Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Scotland and Wales.  We provide navigation training and corporate walks too.