For some reason, we decided it would be a good idea to do a 9-mile circular walk from the beautiful village of Ilam as our starting point.
Ilam is pronounced ‘Eye lamb’ by the way and not ‘Ill am’ as I first thought. Such stupidity will get you in trouble with locals, as will daring to suggest Ramshorn is pronounced anything other than Ramsa. Oh well, you live and learn 🙂

The northward journey out of Ilam took us up to the ridge above the Manifold Valley. This promised some fantastic views across farms, fields and woods.
The only thing about getting to somewhere with a great view, of course, means you generally have to climb at least one large hill.
True to form, we walked steadily uphill for 3 solid miles. Given that it was a  pretty warm day, I can safely say there was some perspiration going on.

           manifold valley

           manifold valley
However, we were suitably rewarded for our efforts, with the promised fabulous views. Plus the fact, the high-level cirrus clouds looked amazing too.

I love a good cloud 🙂

Luckily the majority of the rest of the walk was pretty much downhill. This included the descent into Wetton – a nice little village, surrounded by fields and fields of yellow buttercups.

           Manifold Valley

        Wetton
On our return south from Wetton we descended into Hall Dale. This ancient dry river valley joins the spectacular Dovedale about a third of the way down.

hall dale
As we joined Dovedale, one of the first things we came across was Ilam Rock on the right and Wickering Tor and the left.

These towering limestone rock formations rose impressively above the footpath as we rounded the corner.

                ilam rock      Pickering Tor
This just left us to wander downhill for another couple of miles, along the meandering Dove River, back to the car for a well-deserved sit-down 🙂