This spectacular walk follows the course of the River Wye through the gorges of Cheedale and then returns by another route. Although the distance is not great, this is not a walk for anyone who is not fairly nimble - the going underfoot is often difficult, rocky and slippery, and there is always the possibility of getting your feet wet! However, since the tunnels on the Monsal Trail were re-opened there is always the option of walking along the railway line and omitting the tricky bits.
Plum Buttress Cheedale
It is best to start at the car park at Millers Dale station, where there is a car park, cafe and toilets but you could do the route in reverse by starting at Wyedale carpark opposite Topley Pike Quarry on the A6 - just do the route in reverse.
From the old station take narrow track which branches off the track after a few yards -it goes down steps and comes out on a corner of the road up to the station. Go through stile onto the river track.
This is a beautiful walk up the river bank, which takes eventually to the viaduct just before the entrance to Chee Tor Tunnel,
Go under the viaduct and continue along the river path for another half mile, where you come to a bridge over the Wye - do not go over the bridge but continue along the side of the river. There is a sign saying the next section is very rough and uneven -which is absolutely true.(You can always go back to then viaduct and go through the tunnel, where you will pick up the route at the end of the tunnel).
The path is fairly uneven, with occasional rock steps and heavily wooded. Continue along the bank, pausing to admire Chee Tor on the opposite side. Later there is a small crag popular with rock climbers.
The next part is the most interesting section of the walk, where the path hugs the bank of the river under an overhanging wall of rock and then, when the pathway runs out, continues on a series of stepping-stones beneath the rockface. If the river is in flood (fortunately rare) and the stepping stones could be submerged,
Shortly after the stepping stones you come to a bridge, and a steep track which takes to to the trail at the west entrance to Chee Tor tunnel and can then walk along the track to Blackwell Mill, However a better option is to ignore the bridge and follow the river up the upper gorge, which beautiful and much easier than the lower one.
Eventually you reach a set of steps which take up to the trail, near a bridge over the river and it is a short walk to the end of the trail at Blackwell Mill, where there is bike hire shop which offers drinks and snacks.
To get back you can walk along the trail with lots of cyclists and walkers but there is another option which is to walk up to the little hamlet of Blackwell and then down to the river over top of Chee Tor. It offers spectacular views.You then walk back to Millers Dale via the trail or the river. You could also do this in reverse if you wanted to avoid the gorges.
From the just below them trail go over the bridge across it. This is part of the Mid-Shires Way and it goes up a valley, which takes to almost to the A6 - just below a large layby and then turns left towards Blackwell. If you want a more senic route your may notice a little path on the left - it's steep and a little exposed near the bottom but it goes to a small nature reserve with lovely flowers and a really good view across the valley. It cuts off a corner - meeting the other path about 300m from the layby.
Continue along the track until you get to a campsite and carry on another 100m until you see a farmyard on your left - well hidden on your left is a small stile leading into a wood.Follow this to Blackwell Hall and then go straight down the hillside along the flank of Chee Tor until you meet the footbridge across the river. Follow it back to Millers Dale station.