National Trust Official Website
Follow this link to learn about this walk. It’s exactly what we did, and then when you arrive they have better-detailed leaflets that you can pick up and follow.
We parked in the National Trust Car Park a Ilam Park, which also means the toilets are free and we could pick up an official map of the walk.
This came in very handy when we decided to extend the hike up Thorpe Cloud Hill!
Once inside the Ilam estate it was a little disorientating on how to locate the path and follow signs out of Ilam, but we soon found a sign that led us out through the village (past an ice cream van) and the steps that took us through the cow/sheep fields.
Public (Non-NT) Car Park
Just over halfway, there is actually a point where we meet up with another carpark (a
Follow the Stream
The walk is easy from this public carpark, you simply follow the stream until you reach the steppingstones.
We visited on a busy May half term and so there were kids and dogs and picnic goers everywhere, and you may find yourself queuing momentarily to cross the stones.
There is a nice bank on the far side that allows you to look down upon the stones and the hustle and bustle that is going on.
The path then follows the curve of the stream and valley should you want to explore further on route to Dovedale. But we didn’t do this.
Cloud Thorpe Hill – Ascent
Instead, our little balls of energy (and friends’ puppy) wanted an adventure. So, they started to climb up the rock side of Thorpe Cloud Hill, and so we climbed and climbed until we reached its summit.
It’s well worth doing so, but it’s not a paved path. Just routes warn into the hillside by previous hikers. It’s not hard to get lost going up, the only way is up!
Cloud Thorpe Hill – Decent
The day we visited it seemed like all the tourists in the area were on its peak, so we asked about routes down.
We were happy to retrace our steps but could see on the map/leaflet you could walk around the base of the hill and catch the way back we had come at the little public carpark.
So, we took a different route down along its left-hand side and as we descended we walked around the side of the hill
We then crossed back over the fields with the cows/sheep and back to Ilam Estate and the National Trust Car Park.