Lover’s Leap Circular 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.
7.4 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.
288 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Lover’s Leap Circular is a great adventure along the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border that takes you through the Dovedale National Nature Reserve to experience some of the best highlights in the Peak District. While out on this trail, you will pass by the unique limestone hill known as Thorpe Cloud, cross a series of stepping stones that span the River Dove, and of course visit the lookout known as Lover’s Leap. There is a lot to unpack on this route, so what are you waiting for?

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Route Description for Lover’s Leap Circular Walk

With the majority of the Lover’s Leap Circular passing through the ultra-scenic landscape of Dovedale National Nature Reserve, it is little wonder that it is such a popular walking destination for walkers of every skill level. Setting out from the car park, the trail follows alongside the flowing River Dove under the shadow of Thorpe Cloud and crosses over to the opposite bank via a series of stepping stones that were installed during the Victorian Era when travel here really began to boom. From there, continue along the edge of the water and take in the breathtaking views of the dale before you arrive at the steps leading up to the lookout called Lover’s Leap.

After taking in the views of lower Dovedale, continue north to pass by a series of limestone caves and the imposing Ilam Rock, before crossing over to the other side of the river. After climbing uphill, make your way south through the forest to skirt around the edge of Bunster Hill and eventually arrive back at the car park where you began.

Other amazing walks in Peak District National Park

Check out our guides to Kinder Scout, Mam Tor, Stanage Edge, Dovedale, and Padley Gorge. Or see all of our Peak District walks on 10Adventures.

Getting to the Lover’s Leap Circular Walk Trailhead

To reach the car park for the Lover’s Leap Circular from Thorpe, drive north on Thorpe Road for 1.3 km and turn right to continue towards Dovedale for 0.5 km. Make a right turn to arrive at the car park.

Route Information

  • When to do


  • Backcountry Campsites


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


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Lover’s Leap Circular Walk Elevation Graph

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