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|Wetton, Manifold Valley and Thor's Cave|
|Author: Marie Prime, Published: 02 Feb 2015||Walk rating : Rating:|
|Staffordshire, White Peak|
|The walk starts from the small village of Wetton which lies in the Staffordshire Peak District. The village has an inn, a church, and consists of a collection of farmhouses, cottages and a few larger houses. The walk takes you over sections of farmland, down dry dales then along the Manifold Valley Trail where the route passes Thor's Cave, from where you have magnificent views back down the valley. Thor's Cave, high above the River Manifold, has a 60ft entrance and looks quite spectacular. It is one of many caves in the area from which ancient bones and artefacts have been found. |
The walk is quite challenging with many climbs and descents throughout, some of which are steep and can be slippery. You will need to negotiate several types of stiles (including squeeze, wall and fence) and several gates. Some farmland is crossed so please take care with dogs as these fields may contain livestock. The footpath up to Thor's Cave has many flights of steep wooden steps, and this path could be slippery after wet weather. Public toilets are located at the start of the walk and also at Wetton Mill where you can also obtain refreshments if required (check opening times). The correct map is Explorer OL24 The Peak District White Peak Area.
Take the A515 out of Ashbourne. After about 8 miles take a left turn, signposted Alstonefield. Continue on this road,through Alstonefield, and then follow the single track road signed for Wetton. The small village car park (signed with a blue P) is on Carr Lane. The approximate post code for Wetton village is DE6 2AF.
|Start to Right Turn|
Start point: 53.094 lat, -1.8382 long
With your back to the car park, turn left along Carr Lane. On reaching the T-junction turn left again. Walk past the pub on your left and continue gently uphill (take care as there is no pavement). On reaching the telephone box on the left (and just before the road bends left), cross the road and turn right.
|Right Turn to Squeeze Stile|
Start point: 53.0962 lat, -1.8389 long
Follow this lane as it bends left. At a sign for Back of Ecton, ignore a wall stile on the right, instead just continue on up the lane. Pass through a gate opening, walking forward through a disused quarry area, to cross a wall squeeze stile on the right.
|Squeeze Stile to Fence Stile|
Start point: 53.0983 lat, -1.841 long
Veer slightly right up over a grassy bank. At the top you will have a broken wall on the left and great views down the valley. Continue forward to cross a further gated squeeze stile, follow the path over the next field to cross a fence stile.
|Fence Stile to Wooden Boardwalk|
Start point: 53.1014 lat, -1.8417 long
Continue over the next field, crossing a further fence stile. With a wall on the left, continue down the field. On reaching the end of the wall follow the grassy path down the centre of the next field, heading diagonally right. Pass the end of a line of trees and a stream on the left, bearing slightly right to cross the stream via a wooden boardwalk (this area is boggy after wet weather).
|Wooden Boardwalk to Road|
Start point: 53.1101 lat, -1.8436 long
Bear right again to cross a fence stile and continue uphill to go through a small wooden gate into a copse of trees. Turn right along the waymarked path until you reach the minor road. (This area is muddy after wet weather).
|Road to Left Turn|
Start point: 53.1123 lat, -1.8461 long
Turn left (uphill) along the road, taking care as there is no pavement. Follow the road as it bends sharp right. Continue uphill and then on down until the road starts to bend right towards a farm. On this bend go through a small wooden gate on the left.
|Left Turn to National Trust Sign|
Start point: 53.1131 lat, -1.8507 long
Keeping a wall on the right, follow the path going through a further wooden gate, and continue down the dale. Soon the path narrows and a wire fence will be on the left. On reaching the end of this, turn left, cross a wall stile on the right. Pass a National Trust Sign for Dale Farm to then cross a fence stile on the left.
|National Trust Sign to Dale Farm|
Start point: 53.1086 lat, -1.8549 long
Follow the path as it winds down the tree-lined dale, taking care as it is fairly steep and has rocky sections underfoot. On reaching the bottom, continue forward in the direction indicated on a waymarker post (ignoring a track off on the right) until you reach a gate into the yard of Dale Farm.
|Dale Farm to Manifold Trail|
Start point: 53.1038 lat, -1.8595 long
Cross the farmyard, passing barns on the right, to continue along the farm track until you reach the river.
|Manifold Trail to Information Plaque|
Start point: 53.0982 lat, -1.8545 long
Follow this valley trail for just under half a mile. Thor's cave soon comes into view. On reaching an information plaque about the cave, turn left.
|Information Plaque to Thor's Cave|
Start point: 53.093 lat, -1.8544 long
Cross over the narrow footbridge (in dry weather the river here disappears underground and doesn't reappear for some miles further down the valley). Follow the stepped path steeply uphill and, on reaching a waymarker, turn right signed for Thor's Cave and continue up the steep stepped path. On reaching the top, if you wish you can turn right to explore the cave and take in the far reaching views, but to continue the walk turn left.
|Thor's Cave to Wall Stile|
Start point: 53.0917 lat, -1.8541 long
Follow the path as it bends right and go up a few steps to go through a gate. Cross the next field, you will soon have a wall on the right. Follow this as you go over a broken wall, through a gap, continue over the next field and then cross a wall stile onto a grassy lane.
|Wall Stile to End|
Start point: 53.0913 lat, -1.8493 long
Turn left to follow this walled lane (crossing a further wall stile) and, on reaching the end of the lane, you will meet with the road.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author mumnpets and may not be reproduced without permission.
This is the walk we chose as our first walk to get us back in the fresh air, maybe not the best idea but we enjoyed it immensely, the views are breathtaking !! However, it does deserve the 5 boot status, very steep and slippy climbs.
|By Suecave on 29 Sep 2016|
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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|Image by: Sweet |
Uploaded: 28 Oct 2015
Without doubt the best app that I have ever downloaded! - NT
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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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