One of our favourite Ellastone Walks near Ashbourne

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The small village of Ellastone is a lovely place for a walk in the Staffordshire Countryside. Located in East Staffordshire, just five miles from Ashbourne it still feels relatively undiscovered in contrast to its busier Peak District neighbours. We tried one of the easiest Ellastone walks last weekend, just as Spring arrived here in the UK. It’s around three miles and relatively flat and well marked.

If you’re looking for a longer walk, this loop from Ashbourne to Dovedale starts just five miles from Ellastone and includes the fabulous stepping stones. It’s ten miles long.

I’ve included a map you can zoom in on at the bottom of the route details. This should give you a good idea of the loop you’ll take but there are also plenty of photos in this post as some of the footpath signs are a bit tricky to spot.

views of the Staffordshire countryside near Ellastone

Where to start the Ellastone walks

We began our walk at the Duncolme Arms carpark (DE6 2GZ). We had booked in for lunch after our walk so they were happy to let us leave our car there. I recommend you do the same. It’s a truly great pub! You can also park at the village hall, use the postcode DE6 2HB. If you’re starting from the village hall just walk down the road to the Duncombe Arms and follow the route detailed below.

The Ellastone Walk route

Leave the carpark and turn left and walk down the road for around a quarter of a mile. You’ll pass some lovely buildings and a newer estate, when you spot this planter on the left you’re nearly there.

You’re looking for Dove Street on your left. Turn down the road, passing some more beautiful buildings. Once you reach the old post office you want to turn left through some old gate posts into Calwich Park. This is a little hard to spot as it’s no longer a post office. So I’ve included a few photos below. Basically if you reach the bridge you’ve gone too far!

That said, the bridge is a really lovely spot to take in the countryside so feel free to wander off route for a look. We did!

Anyway, back to the main route. Walk through the old gate posts and onto a wide path. you’ll be following this all the way up to the ruins of Calwich Hall. You’ll pass over a brook, some woods and eventually into beautiful open fields. Look to your right at the top of the gradual incline for lovely views of the river Dove and the old ruins.

At the top of the hill you’ll come to the old Hall on your right. It looks like it’s in pretty bad repair and is fenced off so you can’t get close for your own safety. It is a beautiful old building though.

ruins of Calwich Hall behind a fence

Keep following the path up the hill until you reach a footpath sign on your left. Follow this up a short path which almost looks like you’re going into someones house. You’re not, you’ll some come out as the path leads back to your left.

countryside track
Look for the barrel on the ground, this is the correct path
beautiful building in Staffordshire countryside
This is the house you are looking for

Again this feels like you’re actually going into someones house but I promise it is a public footpath. Just make sure you stick close to the yellow footpath markers. You’ll go into the driveway then left into a small group of trees. Follow the path to the right then leave through a small kissing gate into the field.

It’s a bit confusing where the path goes from this point but essentially you’re aiming for the opposite side. Once you’ve crossed the field you’ll see another footpath sign taking you into the next field. In this one follow the hedge up to your right then turn left at the top corner. You’ll see a stile taking you out of the field and onto the road.

Cross over the road and head through the gap in the hedge into another field. Just keep an eye on the footpath sign, it’s fairly self explanatory. Keep going through this field. You’ll pass through a couple of gates and stiles and will eventually follow the track around to the right as you head down hill.

Once you hit the bottom you’ll see some trees in front of you, use the two gates to get into the woods and continue along the path downhill. This trail isn’t entirely obvious but basically just keep going down hill and you’ll soon emerge into a grassed area in front of a small brook.

row of red brick cottages with slate roofs next to a small river with a bridge leading across

Cross over the bridge in front of these beautiful little cottages and turn left.

Keep on this stretch of quiet road until you hit a T junction. This will take you back into the village of Ellaston. Follow it round to the left. Passing this stunning old building and you’ll get to the Duncolme Arms on your left.

Ellastone Walks with dogs

We managed this walk with Holly, our Hungarian Viszla easily. She managed to squeeze over or around most of the stiles. Much larger dogs or little ones may need help getting over some of them. You’ll need to keep dogs on a lead for most of the walk, some of it is on roads and some through fields with livestock.

As always please make sure to pick up after your dog, there are some bins in the village.

Ellastone Walk Map

Route Details

Walk duration

This is a pretty quick and easy walk. It took us under two hours to complete with plenty of stops to take in the views.

Walk Length

This is one of the shorter Ellastone walks, its under three miles in total.

Walk difficulty

I would firmly put this walk in the easy category. There are relatively few inclines and most of it is along roads, trails, fields and through woods. If it’s been very wet then parts will be quite muddy with lots of puddles. The only struggle really will be with the many stiles.

piper quinn splashing in puddles


There are no facilities for this walk in Ellastone. You’ll find toilets and plenty of food and drink options at the Duncolme Arms pub where you can start the walk.

outdoor area of the duncolm arms pub in ellastone

Make sure you join the Marvellous Midlands Walks Facebook Group where you can share your favourite routes, photos and recommendations for walks in the Midlands. It’s also a great place to ask for recommendations and find inspiration for your next hike.

Another fabulous hike near Ashbourne is the Ilam to Dovedale walk. This four mile loop starts at the gorgeous National Trust Ilam Estate and takes in the popular stepping Stones at Dovedale. Or you could try the slightly longer Three Shires Head walk which includes a good wild swimming pond and some fabulous views of the Peak District Countryside.

If you like walks with a fabulous place for dinner or a drink at the end have a look at these great Staffordshire Country Pubs and get planning your next adventure.

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