Wheel Friendly Walk in Dovedale, Peak District

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trainNearest Train (or tube) Station(s):
Longton

Nearest Mainline Train Station:
Stoke-on-Trent

Remember to prepare properly before heading out on any type of walk or outdoor activity. Tell people where you are going and what time you are expected back. As Wainwright says “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”.

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Walk Details
Our walk begins from the carpark at the Izzak Walton Hotel.

The Izzak Walton is a converted 17th Century Country House. It is situated on top of a hill, giving it spectacular views across the Derbyshire countryside. There is a gorgeous log fire and wooden beamed ceilings in the lounge, making the hotel homely and extremely likeable. There are no accessible rooms in the hotel but the bar and restaurant is made accessible by portable ramps at the main entrance.

We enjoyed morning coffee here at the Izzak Walton before setting off on our walk.
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From the hotel there are various paths heading towards the stepping stones, but stiles prevented us from taking these routes. Instead the accessible track comes down the main drive of the hotel and there is a track through the trees that runs alongside the road to a private carpark.

In this carpark there are accessible toilets (RADAR).

Dovedale’s famous stepping stones are less than half a mile from the main car park. It is a beautiful walk along the River Dove and is in my opinion the prettiest of the Derbyshire Dales. The land is owned by the National Trust, and annually attracts a million visitors. It is a great stop for a picnic and to spot wildlife, whatever time of the year. It is only a short walk but I highly recommend visiting this area and taking in the beauty of this dale.

Ilam Park is only 5 minutes away. There is a route that takes you to the park, but unfortunately again there are stiles on this track. The road is the only way to the park and it can be quite busy. I suggest getting back into the car and driving around through the pretty village of Ilam. Ilam Park is a great place to explore the woodland and riverside. There is plenty of open space for picnics and play. IIam Hall is now a youth hostel and is open all year round. The surrounding gardens and parkland are maintained by a team of National Trust volunteers and rangers. The tea-room is open daily throughout the year serving homemade cakes, hot and cold lunches, drinks and ice creams. However, there are steps into the café and it is not accessible, but drinks can be brought out into the garden or there is extra indoor sitting in the old stable block. There is outdoor seating in the garden terrace offering far reaching views. One thing to note – given that the garden terrace is up a slope, it’s a little tricky to get to if you have accessibility issues. Pushing a manual chair may prove challenging. Having said this, disabled parking is right near the cafe and is free, which makes things a little easier.

There is a good path down to the village church which is open daily  and inside you’ll find information on the village history and St. Bertram.
Dogs on leads are always welcome to visit Ilam Park and you’ll find water bowls and parking hooks by the stable yard and the tea-room. There are family trails available every school holiday and there is a permanent orienteering course available all year round.

The shop in the stable yard is accessible and sell a good selection of books, gifts and souvenirs.

Debs Verdict 
I had the most wonderful day in Dovedale. The Izzak Walton is a wonderful place to have morning coffee/afternoon tea. The staff were so helpful and kind. A visit to Dovedale is a must. 

Eating at Ilam Park

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