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Please note the majority of publications are produced by the Ramblers Retreat, with additional materials from our partners at Forestry England, SMDC, SCC, NSGGA and other organisations. All publications are used with permission and property of the original organisation.
Dimmingsdale offers a variety of activities for lovers of the great outdoors:
Walking & Rambling:
Dimmingsdale is a walker’s paradise. There are a myriad of walks throughout the valley from short easy strolls to challenging all day walks. The majority of walks are maintained by Forestry Commission. In addition, there are a couple of paths in Dimmingsdale which are maintained by our local Council – The Staffordshire Way, which is a 92 mile walk through some of the finest countryside in the Midlands passes through Dimmingsdale. The Churnet Valley Greenway, an old Railway Track is another Council maintained path which is a flat, easy track which follows the meandering river Churnet.
Cycling is also a popular pastime in and around Dimmingsdale. The Churnet Valley Greenway runs from Oakamoor to Denstone passing through Dimmingsdale and Alton and offers a scenic, relaxing bike ride.
Mountain biking is also permitted on limited tracks in the valley for those seeking more of a challenge, however it is wise to check with Forestry England to ascertain permissive routes. Rangers will remove anyone using illegally constructed mountain biking trails.
Cycle racks are conveniently positioned outside the Ramblers Retreat for those looking for a midway break!
Guide to good cycling
- Look after yourself. Ensure your bike is safe to ride, wear a helmet, use lights after dark and take warm and waterproof clothing.
- Look after others. Only cycle where you have a right of way, footpaths are not for bikes, give way to walkers and horse riders, use a bell or greeting to let them know you are there, and go slowly near farm animals and dogs.
- Look after the Churnet Valley. Don’t erode paths by riding on very wet ground, avoid sharp braking and always follow the Countryside Code
Horse riding is permitted on the bridleways throughout Dimmingsdale. Again, a handy hitching rail is positioned outside the Ramblers Retreat for those seeking mid-ride refreshment.
Good guide to riding
- Keep to the path
- Do not jump hedgerows or fallen timber
- Shut gates behind you and ride slowly past sheep or cattle
- Only ride on bridleways and where you have permission, footpaths are not meant for horses
- Ride with consideration towards other riders, walkers and cyclists. Slow down where visibility is restricted and ride cautiously on country roads
Although not an authorised Forestry England activity, many choose to ascend the erratic boulders of Dimmingsdale. If you choose to visit Dimmingsdale for bouldering, please follow the guide to good bouldering.
Guide to good climbing
- Check any climbing restrictions before you go
- Always check your equipment
- Leave the crag in a better state than you found it, don’t leave any rubbish
- Respect the unique geology of the Churnet Valley
- Report any injured wildlife, or suspicious behaviour around nest sites
Organising events in Dimmingsdale?
As Dimmingsdale is part of the English Forest Estate, events require authorisation and specialist insurance provided by Forestry England, part of the Forestry Commission. If you are organising a commercial, charity or personal event in Dimmingsdale, please email the local team with details of your request.
Car Park Hours:
Dimmingsdale car parks are open daily 8am-6pm, vehicles left in the car parks after this time will need to be released by rangers where a call out fee will be charged. Please note- car park hours change seasonally, please contact us for current hours.
Contact the Forestry England Ranger Team