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River Bradford pushchair ramble


This walk follows an old coach road through the small but picturesque limestone dale carved by the River Bradford, with a variant return loop if you feel like it. You can follow the beautifully clear river as far as you like towards Middleton, where it has been dammed to form a series of pretty pools. In autumn, the colours and reflections are lovely. In dry summers, the river sometimes disappears in places, while in wet ones it gushes out of Gratton Dale a few miles upstream. The water is beautifully clear, babbling through vivid green pastures. You can read more about this special river here.

  • AREA: Youlgreave
  • DISTANCE: variable
  • FACILITIES: A couple of pubs in Youlgreave, dogs are welcome on leads
  • PARKING: Alport village, in the lay-by near the phone box
  • GRADIENT: Flat, with a small hill if you return via the loop
  • TERRAIN: Gravel paths, suitable for all-terrain pushchairs, although the return loop requires dry conditions
  • OS MAP: White Peak



The old coach road between Alport and Youlgreave

The old coach road between Alport and Youlgreave

Small but crystal clear

Small but crystal clear

Who needs a petting zoo?

Who needs a petting zoo?

Turn right here if you want to do the optional return loop

Turn right here if you want to do the optional return loop

The river below Youlgreave

The river below Youlgreave

Rough terrain on the optional return loop

Rough terrain on the optional return loop

The tiny village of Alport is beautifully kept

The tiny village of Alport is beautifully kept

  1. From the layby, walk a short way back towards the phone box, then cross the road and turn down the footpath, with the River Lathkill flowing downhill on your left and the smaller River Bradford crossing your path straight ahead. Cross the Bradford at the bridge, then go through the white gate.
  2. Follow this path until it crosses a minor road below the village of Youlgreave (look out for a lovely climbing crag, a dirty little cave and an old stone footbridge along the way). You can continue straight on here, picking up the footpath on the far side of the road, for as long as you like – the path gets somewhat bumpier but just upstream the river forms a series of pretty man-made pools that are worth seeing.
  3. Return by the same path. For a slightly hillier variant, turn right at the farm track that turns uphill just where the main path goes through a gate to return to Alport (see picture). Go through at gate at the top of the hill, then after about 200m, at a four-way junction, turn left onto the boggy and bumpy farm track that heads into the woods. Follow this track to the farm, continuing on until it reaches a busy lane. Turn left down the lane to return to Alport, turning left again immediately after the bridge to return to your car.

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