Chee Dale Stepping Stone Walk is only a short walk but it packs in plenty of interest. I started the walk today from the Millers Dale Railway Station (SK17 8SN) which houses a cafe and toilets. The car parking runs from £1.50p for 1 hour up to £4.75p for all day.
Walk along the train platform to the end and turn right and immediately left onto the Monsal Trail. This is a wide cycle path that used to be the railway line. Along the way you will see a small wooden carving of a train for kids to sit on and a large carved wooden leaf in the grass.
At this point you've reached the huge disused lime kilns that have now become a wildlife hotel. You can go inside but will need a torch or mobile phone light.
Carrying on up the trail you will approach the bridge and there may be people abseiling as there was today. Just before the bridge you will be taking the path and steps to the right down to the River Wye.
At the bottom of the steps turn right and follow the path which is a mixture of leafy, muddy, rocky, boardwalk and wild sections. You are mostly alongside the river but a couple of sections take you a few metres higher and one section takes you away from the river for a short while.
Turn right keeping the river to your left. Take note of the warning sign and decide your route.
Wild section that starts to take you away from the river but you will come back round to it in a few minutes.
Continuing on you will cross this small bridge
Then go between the trees
And cross this next bridge and within a minute you're back alongside the river.
As I mentioned earlier some sections are wet, leafy, rocky and muddy and need to be negotiated with care
Following the path for a few minutes whilst walking under a spectacular overhanging cliff face which drips extremely large droplets of water that can go right down the back of your neck. you will approach the first stepping stones. I was just about to start stepping and a large Border Collie appeared from round the bend so I guessed that some people were approaching from the other side so I waited for a few minutes until they had passed.
Shortly after crossing the stepping stones you cross a bridge that takes you to the other side of the river and underneath the Monsal Trail for a few metres before crossing back over.
Keep follwing the path and shortly you will reach the second set of Chee Dale Stepping Stones. This second set of sones seemed a bit lower in the water than the first set and a couple were very slightly submerged. This could be problematic after very heavy rain or during a thaw so be aware of this and be prepared to retrace your steps back to the abseiling bridge.
After the second set of Chee Dale Stepping Stones, it's a couple of hundred metres along the footpath to steps on your right that lead back up to the Monsal Trail.
At the top of the steps turn left and follow the Monsal Trail through the tunnels back to Millers Dale Railway Station where you can reward yourself with a hot brew and a piece of cake.
Be aware of cyclists from behind you whilst on the trail and the advice is to stay to the left. You are also advised not to touch the sides of the tunnels. I'm not sure why but I assume there's a logical explanation. An altogether varied and excellent little 3.2 mile walk that is highly recommended for everyone including some of the little ones. Just be careful negotiating some of the rocky sections especially during and after rain. There wasn't a lot of sun getting down into the Dale by the river so it was definitely cooler than up on the Monsal Trail which was bathed in lovely November sunshine. Anyway this walk is one I will be doing again but I'm going to bring my better half next time.