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    Lover’s Leap and Dove Hole Walk

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    9.8 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    289 m
    User Ratings
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Lover’s Leap and Dove Hole Walk is a fantastic trek through Dovedale National Nature Reserve that will take you from the foot of Thorpe Cloud to the village of Milldale and back. While out on the trail, you will pass several highlights in the area, including the Stepping Stones across the River Dove, Lover’s Leap, the massive Ilam Rock, and of course the Dove Holes. If you find yourself exploring the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border, this walk should definitely be on your list.

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    Route Description for Lover’s Leap and Dove Hole Walk

    If you are looking for an ultra-scenic walking route that is packed with enough highlights to keep you busy for the day, then the Lover’s Leap and Dove Hole Walk is the perfect adventure to end your searching. The trail follows closely along the winding River Dove and crosses over the Stepping Stones under the shadow of Thorpe Cloud. From here, you will continue north along the banks of the river and visit the lookout known as Lover’s Leap. Further north, you will pass by a series of caves and the giant rock formation known as Ilam Rock before visiting the twin caves of the Dove Holes and arriving in the village of Milldale. After stopping for a quick rest, retrace your footsteps back through the Dovedale National Nature Reserve to experience the sights all over again on the return journey to the car park.

    Getting to the Lover’s Leap and Dove Hole Walk Trailhead

    To get to the car park for the Lover’s Leap and Dove Hole Walk from Thorpe, make your way north for 1.3 km along Thorpe Road and turn right to continue towards Dovedale for 0.5 km. After making a right turn you will arrive at the car park.

    Route Information

    • When to do


    • Backcountry Campsites


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Lover’s Leap and Dove Hole Walk Elevation Graph

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    Lover’s Leap and Dove Hole Walk Reviews

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