Walking in Staffordshire & The Peak District National Park

Staffordshire isn’t just about theme parks and The Potteries. Oh no. We’re also lucky to have the most fabulous countryside.
Unfortunately most people are completely unaware just how beautiful it is around here, so it’s our mission to show you!

The Laurels is perfectly positioned for walking and geocaching, right from our front door, or for accessing The Staffordshire Peak District National Park, which is only about 10 minutes away. The video on the right and those in our Gallery, should give you the right idea.

Here’s some of the walks we’ve enjoyed and would love to share with you.
We hope to continually add to these, so please check back regularly.

The links below are via the (usually free) mobile mapping app
called ViewRanger.
This also allows you to download and print a PDF or download a GPX file to your GPS device.
If you prefer to use paper maps, just click on the map below and print it out.

If you’re not techy, or into GPS and other witchcraft, you’ll be pleased to know that free pamphlets providing an overview, directions and maps will be available from The Laurels, for all of these walks.
All you have to do now is turn up and enjoy yourselves.

This video was shot during an 11 mile walk, on a beautiful early Spring day, up and down the Churnet Valley.
If you have friends or family who want to visit Alton Towers, why not drop them off and spend a wonderful day enjoying the great outdoors.
Importantly for us, there’s plenty of tea rooms and pubs to ward off any hunger or thirst during your stroll.

There are dozens of other walks within a 30 minute drive of us, detailed on the Walking Britain and Walking in Staffs websites

Dimmingsdale, including The Ramblers Retreat (2.65 miles)

This easy Circular walk  is only 2.65 miles long.

The walk starts from The Ramblers Retreat and includes part of Dimmingsdale, and the lakes and woods surrounding it.

It can be muddy in wet weather, so it’s best to wear good boots.
You could always walk to the start from The Laurels, as we’re only just only a mile from The Ramblers.

Stop at The Ramblers Retreat for tea, cakes or a full meal.

The Laurels and Cotton Dell (3 miles)

This medium difficulty circular walk  is just 3 miles long.

The walk starts from The Laurels and routes up the delightful Cotton Dell, alongside the stream towards Cotton itself.
The return route takes you through Cotton and down the other side of the valley with brilliant views across to Oakamoor.

Cotton Dell to Wiston and Back (4.5 miles)

This easy Circular walk  is around 4.5 miles long.

This splendid walk starts from The Laurels, taking in Cotton Dell, heading towards Whiston, providing fabulous views across the valley towards Cotton College and the old church, both now sadly ruined.

The return journey brings you down via Moneystone and through the woods on the Northern slopes of Oakamoor

Dovedale to Milldale (6 miles)

This relatively easy Circular(ish) walk  is 6 miles long.

Start from the Dovedale public carpark near to The Izaak Walton Hotel.
This walk is very popular at weekends, so it’s best to avoid peak times. However, the reason it’s popular is because is just beautiful. From the stepping stones, Lovers Leap, Ilam Rock, Pickering Tor and more, you’re sure to be impressed by the beauty of the place.
Follow the river until you reach Milldale and treat yourself to a pasty at the little shop there.

The return journey is quicker as it’s mostly downhill, but takes in a path the other side of the river for part of the way back.
Stop at The Izaak Walton or venture just down the road to Ilam for tea and cake.

The Roaches to Luds Church and back (nearly 8 miles)

This intermediate Circular walk is almost 8 miles long.

Start the walk along the bottom of The Roaches and head towards Roach End, then Hanging Stone.

On the return journey ensure you visit Lud’s Church, a fantastic chasm hidden in the woods.

The climb back and onto The Roaches is fairly long, but the views are worth every huff and puff!

Stop at The Roaches Tea Shop for tea, cakes or a full meal.

Ilam, Manifold Valley, Dovedale (9 miles)

This medium difficulty Circular walk  is just over 9 miles long.

Start at Ilam Park and head towards Wetton. The views leaving Ilam and arriving into Wetton are fabulous, especially in Spring, when the fields are full of buttercups.

Head back to Stanshope then down the impressive Hall Dale which takes you into Dovedale.
Enjoy the trip along the river then return to Ilam.

Stop at The National Trust tea room at Ilam for tea, cakes or a full meal.

The Laurels to Denstone and Back (nearly 11 miles)

This easy, but long Circular walk  is almost 11 miles long.

The beauty of this walk is that you can take all day to do it, without having to take any food with you.

Start at The Laurels and head to The Ramblers Retreat via the old Earl’s Drive, passing an amazing tree which literally grows out of the rock face.
Once you’ve enjoyed some sustenance at The Ramblers, continue along the disused Churnet Valley Railway line, via Alton Station, to Denstone. The Denstone Farm Shop being a perfect place for a bite of lunch.

The return journey takes you up above The Churnet Valley with fabulous views to enjoy. After passing through Alton itself you track back to The Ramblers on the other side of the valley for a spot of afternoon tea!
All you need to do then, is amble back to The Laurels for a well earned rest.

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The Laurels B&B, Star Bank, Oakamoor, Staffordshire, ST10 3DF