Peak District Walk along Cressbrook Dale and Ravensdale, Derbyshire
This walk starts at Cressbrook Mill and loops around through the Ravensdale valley, Tansley Dale, Litton Village, Tideswell Dale and then returns to Cressbrook via the spectacular Wye valley of Water-cum-Jolly.
This walk is a delightful, fairly short circuit which starts at Cressbrook Mill and loops around through the Ravensdale valley, Tansley Dale, Litton Village, Tideswell Dale and then returns to Cressbrook via the spectacular Wye valley of Water-cum-Jolly. There are many possible variations upon the route. The scenery is magnificent, and in spring and early summer the local flora are beautiful, with cowslips, orchids, wild garlic and numerous other flowers.
Continue up the valley - the track soon branches. The better route is up the right fork which heads uphill and from the top gives splendid views across the valley to Litton and beyond. You then meet a track which comes from Wardlow village and descends back down to the valley floor to rejoin the lower route, but before you do this you could make a short diversion to Wardlow and the pub. Whichever route you take, you will see abundant evidence of lead-mining, which continued in this area until the late 19th century.
Cross a stile and head north-west across a field towards the village of Litton. Another stile takes you into a muddy farm lane. Turn left. Now you have a choice of route - either take the next stile on the right, which takes you across a field and into the village proper (with a shop and a pub), or follow the muddy track to the small road at the end, continue in the same direction along the road to the next bend and then continue, still in the same direction, through a series of stiles and across fields round the back of the village.
Turn left along the road which leads you shortly to Litton Mill. Like Cressbrook Mill, this was a busy cotton mill until the early 1970s, but has now been converted into dwellings. The main path goes through the mill yard and follows the river through some of the most spectacular limestone gorge scenery in the Peak. This is Water-cum-Jolly, a favourite place for fishermen, birdwatchers, walkers and rock-climbers alike. The best scenery of all is by the former millpond just at the end of the walk, where ducks, coots and grebes live, climbers dangle on Rubicon wall, and fishermen are often to be seen.
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