These delicate fingers of rock on opposite banks of the Dove are one of the scenic highlights of the dale. Amazingly, the 25m- high leaning finger of Ilam Rock has several rock climbing routes up its precipitous sides, while Pickering Tor has a gaping cave at its foot.
Both were left stranded as free-standing pillars of hard reef limestone when the softer rock was eaten away by the glacial meltwaters of the last Ice Age. Artist JMW Turner captured Ilam Rock in a popular painting, which undoubtedly contributed to our view of this as a sublime landscape and reinforced it as a place of interest to visiting tourists over the years.
The path now swings east opposite Hall Dale to pass the impressively-yawning water-worn cavities known as Dove Holes. Beyond here, the riverside path passes a number of weirs before running under the impressive vertical cliff of Raven’s Tor. A gentle meadowland path, rich in lime-loving flowers such as rockrose and thyme, now takes you into the hamlet of Milldale, which is reached by crossing the narrow Viator’s Bridge