The Dovedale Ramble begins at the Dovedale car park, which is just North of Ashbourne. The walk is suitable for intermediate walkers as it contains a few steep climbs, as well as the possibility of some compass work if the weather gets bad and the mist rolls in. This is especially true for the second half of the walk which takes walkers through land high above Dovedale.
Walkers should leave Dovedale car park by walking along the main road to the Stepping Stones. The path beginning at the stepping stones should then be followed to Milldale, which should pose no problems for walkers of any ability as it is well marked and well surfaced.
Upon reaching Milldale, walkers should double back on themselves over the Viators Bridge, which they would have used to walk into Milldale. Once over the bridge walkers will see a path which passes to the left and side of a hill, which should be then taken.
Walkers should then look out for a stone wall on their right hand side whilst walking along this path, and attempt to link up with the wall when possible. Once the wall has been found walkers should pass through the wall, and carry on walking ensuring that the wall is on their left at all times. After following the wall around the side of the hill a copse, which is an area of ancient woodland should become visible.
Walkers should then head off towards the wire fence that follows the copse, walking beside this fence in the same direction as before. The wire fence will lead to a stile which grants passage over the fence. Walkers should then proceed to climb over the fence and continue walking in the same direction as before until they reach a stone wall extending from the top of Baley Hill. This wall should then be followed right the way to the top of Baley Hill, which should provide walkers with excellent views of the surrounding area.
The return to Dovedale from the top of Baley Hill involves descending off of the top of the hill along the ridge and walking down through the area marked known as the Nabs. From the Nabs walkers should then descend further down Baley Hill heading towards Nabs Dale. Walkers will see a path that cuts across Nabs Dale which should then be taken to the right heading down towards Dove. The path should be followed to Dove Holes.
Once Dove Holes has been reached a path to the left should be looked for which ascends up through Taylors wood. The path should be followed up through the woods which will take walkers over Dovedale. This is best done by staying close to the wall which the path runs alongside for some time. The path should then follow around to Sharplow Dale were a wall will become apparent. This wall should be followed over a stile towards Moor Barn.
Walkers should reach Moor Barn and look out for a marked path pointing to Lover’s Leap just below the barn. This path should be followed down to Lover’s Leap, were walkers should take a sharp left which will bring them out onto the main path. The main path can then be followed back to the car park at Dovedale.