5 Dales Walk – In The White Peak Area Of The Peak District
Once we were over Tideswell Moor conditions cleared and even patches of blue sky appeared. We parked in the attractive village of Litton and set off heading down into Tansley Dale, the first in this 5 dales walk.
With the recent rain, the limestone rocks underfoot were extremely slippy, so caution was needed. This short Dale reaches Cressbrook Dale at a stile in a limestone wall. Having walked this route two or three times previously, without any problem, it was surprising to see the stile surrounded by a foot of water, although perhaps it was inevitable after all the rain we have had recently. Thanks to rocks appropriately placed we managed to reach the stile without getting too wet.
On the other side of the stile there are stepping stones to cross the usually dry or very shallow stream, which eventually runs into the River Wye. It was a good thing too, otherwise we would have been knee deep in water, with the stream looking more like a small river.
We carried on down the dale, dodging the swollen stream at times, to the footbridge and path that leads up to the road from Creswell. We carried on down into the small village and were planning to take the path on the north side of the River Wye. Remembering my last visit, a few summers ago, when the path was almost under water, the prospect didn’t seem likely.
My fears were soon confirmed with the path not even visible, in fact the water was lapping the limestone walls of the dale edge. So it was plan B, the path on the southern side of the river.
We crossed the footbridge at the weir in Water-cum-Jolly Dale and the raging flow over the weir showed the extent of the recent rainfalls. We then proceeded above the river to Litton Mill, then dropped down to cross the footbridge into Millers Dale, the fourth dale in this 5 Dales walk.
A short distance out of Millers Dale and we took the path into Tideswell Dale eventually heading north alongside the road to Tidewell. After just over a mile, a right turn on the road lead back to Litton and we were soon enjoying a well earned jar or two and a nice meal at the Red Lion.
Although the weather could have been better, it was good to re-visit some trails not walked for a while and even though the footpaths were very boggy, the White Peak is always good walking in any conditions.