A beautiful steep-sided gorge with limestone grassland and ash woodland.

The majestic slopes and imposing crags of carboniferous limestone that form Chee Dale create a spectacular setting for a walk. Allow plenty of time to explore this species-rich limestone dale. Among its many delights are the ash woodland, limestone grassland and an impressive 200ft deep gorge, all internationally important. The limestone grassland is bursting with colour all summer, from the cowslips and early purple orchids of May, through the delicately petalled rock rose and the spectacular bright blue spires of Jacob's Ladder, to grass of Parnassus and sheets of scabious in August. The dale's ash woodlands have developed on the steep slopes and you will even notice some trees growing out of the cliff faces. Look for dark green yews and rock whitebeams with white undersides to their leaves. As you walk beside the river you may be lucky enough to see a dipper 'bobbing' on the rocks as it searches for food. The woodland provides perfect perches for summer visitors like the spotted flycatcher to swoop for insects. Among other birds which nest here are blackcap, chiffchaff and willow warbler.


Play Wild rating:

 WIldlife may be senstivie at different times of the year.

To find out more about our Play Wild programme see here

Species and habitats

Grassland, Woodland

Nearby nature reserves

Deep Dale and Topley Pike
1 miles - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Miller's Dale Quarry
2 miles - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Priestcliffe Lees
3 miles - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Off the A6
Map reference
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
54.00 hectares
There is partial disabled access on this reserve, along the Monsal Trail from Miller's Dale Station to Blackwell Mill Cottages, which gives views over the reserve. There is no other wheeled access onto the reserve. The spectacular riverside path is not suitable for those with mobility or balance problems. There are a couple of very short climbs, stepping stones and areas of mud.
Walking information
Paths open at all times. The natural rock faces and quarries can be hazardous. To avoid danger please keep to the paths.
Park at Topley Pike layby on the A6 or park at the well-signed Wyedale car park on the A6. Alternatively park at Miller's Dale and walk along the Monsal Trail.
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01773 881188