Thorpe Cloud Walk

My solo journey began with the exhilarating Thorpe Cloud walk. For those unfamiliar, Thorpe Cloud is an isolated limestone hill, standing impressively at 287 meters (942 feet) high. The ascent, though slightly challenging, rewards with stunning views of the surrounding Peak District.

My journey through the Peak District was guided by the invaluable resource of AllTrails, who tailor routes to various fitness levels. Their Thorpe Cloud Circular walk is 4km but if you’d like to explore the area further, keep reading.

Thorpe Cloud: The View

Reaching the summit of Thorpe Cloud was a moment of triumph. The panoramic views were breathtaking – a vast expanse of rolling hills, which I enjoyed whilst experiencing uncontrollable hair from the strong winds. LOL.

From Thorpe Cloud to Lover’s Leap

Following my descent from the majestic Thorpe Cloud, I continued my adventure along the river’s edge. The path led me up a series of steps towards an intriguingly named spot: Lover’s Leap. The story behind this name is as dramatic as the landscape itself. It is said that Lover’s Leap was named after a heartbroken girl who jumped from this high point, only to be saved by the billowing of her skirts which caught the wind, ultimately breaking her fall.

The walk to Reynard’s Cave

The path wound down more steps, each one bringing me closer to my next destination: Reynard’s Cave. This part of the trail, in the pouring rain was physically and mentally demanding. Read more about my scramble to Reynards Cave.

This 8.5km AllTrails circular route covers Dovedale, Thorpe Cloud to Reynards Cave.

Dove River

The recent heavy rain had transformed the river and the usual path was today under water. Instead of taking the route back around Thorpe Cloud, I chose the more adventurous route – wading through the Dove River. Yes, you read that right! With water reaching up to my knees, I trudged along. The scene was almost comical, with dozens of us, some in wellies and others, like me, in hiking boots, making our way through the water without a care in the world.

Just minutes from the car, soaked but exhilarated, I felt my inner child burst free. Laughing, I wrung out my socks and emptied my boots of water. Thankfully, I had packed an extra pair of trainers and leggings in the boot of my car and enjoyed a much-needed coffee to warm up!

This hike to Thorpe Cloud and the Dovedale Caves, with its mix of sun and rain, challenges and laughter, was unforgettable. It was a day of embracing the unexpected, finding joy in the simple act of walking through a river, and rediscovering the playful spirit often lost in adulthood. The Peak District, with its stunning vistas and natural wonders, proved to be the perfect backdrop for such a memorable adventure.

Dovedale Stepping Stones Car Park

I parked at Dovedale’s National Trust site which is usually very conveniently located for the stepping stones walk. Parking was reasonably priced at £5 for 4 hours (or £7 all day).

It offered essential facilities like toilets and, thankfully, takeaway coffees – a small comfort on a wet day. This spot is perfect for a brief respite before venturing further into the beauty of the Peak District.

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