Lathkill Dale Peak District The Limestone Way

Distance 11.20 Miles : Elevation Gain 925ft : Time 4h 04m 07s

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This week we went back to the Peak district due to the nice weather. This hike consisted of a path called the Limestone way this is a 50 mile pathway that runs from Castleton to Rocester, our start was the village of Middleton-By-Youlgreave.

The walk went through an area called the Lathkill dale, which mainly followed the path of the River Lathkill. The Dale is a large valley that in parts has large steep LImestone sides . The start of the river is by a cave called Lathkill head cave however the area was very dry due to low rain levels, but as you walk down the huge valley there are many springs that flow into the river. Further down the river will get larger and it then meets the River Bradford which in turn meets the river Wye near Rowsley
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Inside the Lathkill Dake Valley

The trail through the vale is over Limestone, and there was a quarry called Ricklow quarry, that was worked for a stone called Derbyshire Marble,, however the extraction of the stone has long stopped. There is an abundance of wildlife and wild flowers within the valley, including a rare plant in the wild called Jacobs Ladder, although it is often grown in gardens. We also caught sight of a white throated dipper by the river bank.

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Batemans House

A little further up the valley you will find Batemans House witch is an old Lead mine, the mine shaft was directly within the house and was concealed. You can go down an entrance shaft where you will see the mine shaft that goes down 12m . This was used to drain the other mines that are all around the valley by means of a water powered pump. The company that owned the mine was called the Lathkill Mining company. Due to various elements Steam or water wheels could not be used so they turned to a compact engine called the Dakeyne Disc engine. Please have a look at this web page that will explain the method in a lot more detail. Why the boss of the mine a Mr Bateman wanted this hazard in his house is very strange, but it was very interesting to have a look at the ruins
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Conksbury Bridge

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We passed the very old Grade II listed Conksbury bridge on the way and it was well worth a look, it has some great views looking down the River Lathkill. It is also near the remains of a medieval village and the whole area around this point is full of Archaeology.

I would recommend this walk again i usually prefer a few hills and this route does not have much height to climb, but its the scenery that made it. On a hot day it was great walking along these Dales. Please have a look at the photos and also you can download the GPs data for your planning. Please see the links to the left