Deep Dale and Topley Pike
Know before you go
Parking informationThe Wye Dale car park (pay and display) is on the A6 - follow the path to the northern entrance to the reserve (SK 104721). Parking in King Sterndale village gives access to the centre and south of the reserve.
If parking in the Wye Dale car park: caution must be taken when crossing this busy road; the reserve is a long walk from the quarry entrance along a fenced public footpath. At five locations there are stiles into the reserve from neighbouring dales (Chelmorton, King Sterndale and Horseshoe dale) - these stiles are on top or at the bottom of steep slopes.
Unsuitable for wheelchairs or those with mobility issues due to uneven paths, steep slopes, stiles and steps.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitSpring and summer for wild flowers and insects - Look for the deep pink blooms of bloody crane’s-bill and take a peek in the cave.
About the reserve
Deep Dale is a superb example of a typical Peak District dry limestone dale.
From the depths of the valley bottom to the heights of the plateau, through deep and shaded sections to areas exposed to the full mid-day sun, the range of conditions here is reflected in the diversity of species you can expect to see.
Rock exposures and screes support yet more vegetation, while small areas of woodland cling on to the cliff edges and hazel is found on some of the slopes and scree edges. Among the many plants to look for are the deep pink blooms of bloody crane's bill and the violet-blue of clustered bellflower on the steep upper slopes.
The screes are a good place to look for the delicate limestone fern, while Nottingham catchfly grows on the shallow soils above the rocky outcrops. Among the many invertebrates found here is the cistus forester moth; the larvae of this nationally scarce species feed on rock rose, which grows on the thin soils of the daleside.
Nearby nature reserves
Download our nature reserve leaflets
Play Wild rating
Wildlife may be sensitive at certain times of year.