Guided Walks in the Peak District - Derbyshire

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Guided Walks in the Peak District

For walks in the Peak District with a personal guide to show you the way.

Guided walks in the Peak District and Derbyshire... experience for yourselves what fun it can be!

I can tailor-make a guided walk to your requirements and take into consideration the distance, location and speed at which you walk. I can offer a one-to-one service for females and will take couples, families, and groups of any size.

I also offer party walks incorporating picnics or buffets and often hire Village Halls for large groups.

Perhaps you would like to arrange a special occasion, hen party or birthday guided walk or perhaps a treasure hunt  Check out my FUN WALKS section for lots of exciting ideas. It you want a very special pampering treat and luxury then my PEAK INDULGENCE DAYS are the ultimate 'red letter day' experience!

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR A SELECTION OF MY STANDARD GUIDED WALKS..

ASHFORD & THE SHEEPWASH BRIDGE – 6 ½ miles

 

 This walks passes three of the oldest and most spectacular bridges that span the river Wye. We start in Bakewell where we see the 13th century 5-arched bridge which has carried traffic over the river for 700 years, followed by the quaint packhorse bridge at Lumford. There then follows a lovely path up and over Cracknowl from where there are lovely views of the valley, before heading up to Churchdale Hall - this walk also passes some of the most select and expensive private houses to grace the area! We eventually arrive at the quaint village of Ashford-in-the-water whose sheepwash bridge has featured on many a magazine cover and tourist photograph. After gently climbing up an old track, from where there are superb aerial views of the valley below, we head along a quiet lane and then fields and stiles to return to Bakewell.

 
WALKING PAST THE SLEEPING DRAGON - 5-10miles
 
Chrome Hill is one of the strange-shaped reef knolls which dominate the area around Longnor. It is affectionately known as The Sleeping Dragon, and from my picture it is easy to see why. There are some lovely walks in the area beside the infant River Dove, through the sleepy little hamlet of Hollinsclough or along ancient tracks and paths to Washgate Bridge - a cobbled packhorse bridge steeped in history.
Your walk could even start at the unusually named Quiet Woman Inn at Earl Sterndale which is located on a limestone ridge deep in the heart of the White Peak countryside. Walks in this area incorporate far reaching views of a dramatic landscape - be sure to bring your camera to capture them!
 

DISCOVER LATHKILL DALE – from 2 – 8 miles

  

Lathkill Dale is a Nature Reserve managed by English Nature and is packed with interesting flora and fauna. The River Lathkill is said to have the clearest water in the country and you can normally see dippers bobbing about and singing from one of a succession of weirs.  A woodland path gives access to the remains of lead mining, with the chance to climb down a short ladder to see a secret shaft (not dangerous).  There are many different routes to choose from depending on how far you would like to walk and how adventurous you would like to be. All the walks have breathtaking views and are packed with informative narrative.  You may choose to end your walk at the Lathkill Hotel which serves real ale and wholesome food, or to incorporate one of my sister’s luxury home-made picnics en route.

  

OVER THE HILLS TO CHATSWORTH – from 6 ½ miles – 10 miles  

Chatsworth is the jewel in the Peak District crown and is probably the finest stately home in the country. There are many paths around the wonderful estate, but none compare with the walk from Bakewell which climbs slowly up from the Wye valley, passes through woods then emerges onto Carlton Pasture with far reaching views toward fairytale Russian Cottage and the medieval Hunting Tower with a backdrop of ‘Edges’ for which the Peak District is famed. We then descend a track to see Chatsworth suddenly appear – a golden palace nestling beside the Derwent. After a walk around the glorious estate and an optional visit to The House or Edensor Tea Room, the walk back to Bakewell follows an ancient track and quiet country road over Ball Cross which is steeped in history and has panoramic views of the Derbyshire countrywide.

 
A DIP INTO MONSAL DALE – 3 ½ miles

 Monsal Head is a beauty spot of worldwide fame, with breathtaking views down over the Monsal Dale. When the many arched viaduct over the River Wye was constructed, it was considered to be an eyesore by the famous Victorian writer John Ruskin, but has become so accepted and loved since the closure of the railway line in 1968 that it now has a ‘listed’ status. This walk follows a steep path down from Monsal Head and across the viaduct before gradually climbing up an ancient track to Brushfield on the opposite hillside. We then walk down a path and return to the floor of the valley before following a fabulous riverside path and gentle walk back up the hill to Monsal Head where there are tea rooms and a restaurant. Alternatively, you may wish to include one of my sister Jackie’s luxury picnics en route.

   
MAGICAL MINNINGLOW & THE HIGH PEAK TRAIL – FROM 2 – 8 miles

 

Derbyshire is famed for its ‘lows’ which are ancient burial grounds that were positioned on hilltops as close to the heavens as possible by early man, the most famous being Arbor Low which is a miniature Stone Henge. However, Minninglow is far more attractive as it can be seen from far and wide due to its cluster of trees set inside a protective circular hedge.
Minninglow has a magnetism which draws you in and fascinates. The High Peak Trail was formed from the railway line which linked the canal systems at Cromford and Whaley Bridge . It runs across the uplands of the White Peak and provides easy walking and access to this fabulous countryside. There are numerous different walks and routes around Minninglow that I can offer to suit all walkers, from a relatively short walk of 2 miles with no stiles to a lengthy hike of 8 miles which would take in a visit to the nearby Tissington Trail. You may also like to incorporate one of my sister Jackie’s luxury picnics either en route or at the end/start of your walk.


 MAM TOR & CASTLETON – from 5 – 7 miles

 Castleton is probably the most visited village in the whole of the Peak District and is famed for its mines, minerals, caverns and caves. It sits at the top of the Hope Valley beneath the Shivering Mountain (Mam Tor) and is  protected by high hilltops at the approach to the Dark Peak . There are numerous walks available which can take in a brief tour of Castleton and also a walk either onto the crest of Mam Tor and Hollins Cross or a shorter and more sheltered route beneath its summit. Perhaps you would like to climb Winnats Pass with its notorious fame or pop up to see Peveril Castle , perched on the cliff edge overlooking Castleton. Your walk could also pass through the interesting remains of Odin Mine which dates back to Roman times and are now an area designated as being an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). A walk onto Mam Tor would be subject to suitable weather conditions. You may wish to include one of my sister Jackie’s luxury picnics either en route or at the start/end of your walk.   

OVER THE EDGES! – 6 miles

 

Running down the eastern flank of the Peak District are a series of ‘Edges’ which were created through glacial action some 20,000 years ago. Many take the name of the village which they tower over and protect such as Curbar Edge and Froggatt Edge.High on the moors is White Edge from where there are fantastic views over the rooftops of the Peak with the Kinder plateau and Bleaklow in the far distance. This walk takes you from Curbar Gap, which is located on an ancient track leading through the Edges, and follows paths onto Access Land taking you to White Edge. After dropping down to pass by the isolated Grouse Inn, the return to Curbar Gap is along the Froggatt and Curbar Edges. This walk would be subject to suitable weather conditions.

PADLEY & HATHERSAGE - 6 miles
 

 

 
This is a very easy going walk along tracks and paths beneath Millstone Edge and beside the river Derwent. The walk starts at Grindleford Station and progresses to Padley, passing Padley Chapel with its fascinating but tragic history, then follows a track along the flank of the hill through Dark Peak countryside dotted with abandoned millstones and decorated with numerous wild flowers. We follow a wonderful hollowed out path down to Hathersage where there are numerous shops, tea rooms and places to visit, including the final resting place of 'Little John', friend of Robin Hood.
After walking across fields and passing through stiles to Leadmill Bridge, we then go along a quiet lane beside the river, before following a fabulous woodland path carpeted with bluebells in the spring or boasting a golden display in autumn.
There are no steep climbs on this walk, just gentle gradients up and down the woods. There are also some fabulous views of the Hope Valley with Kinder in the distance to the north and the Derbyshire Dales to the south.
 

CHEE DALE - 7 miles

 

 
This is an ankle-twisting adventure into the nearest that Derbyshire comes to a rain forest jungle! Chee Dale is a deep dark ravine which becomes impassable when the river is high. The path actually follows a long line of stepping stones laid in the river bed beneath overhanging rocks where ice cold drips aim straight for your neck! Part of the walk is along a wonderful trail which was the former railway line from Bakewell to Buxton. In the dale there are fabulous wild flowers in the spring and summer and many interesting birds and features. On reaching the old station building at Millers Dale our walk leaves the Wye Valley and ascends up a lovely track which forms part of the Limestone Way, amid lush green fields and far reaching views. We then walk through the little hamlet of Blackwell before crossing fields and stiles and descending a steep path strewn with wild flowers to descend back into the dale before following the riverside path once again to the car park.
This walk is spectacular and exciting, but only suitable for the foot-sure and experience walker, and would be subject to satisfactory weather conditions.

   THE WHITE PEAK WONDERLAND – 6 ½ MILES

 

The White Peak is named after the area of Derbyshire which is meticulously divided up into rich pasture encompassed by dry stone walls, created from the limestone beneath. Rich in fossils, the limestone was formed millions of years ago when this area of England was hidden beneath the waves. The White Peak is stunningly beautiful with deep Dales and limestone bluffs.
Running through the upland area of the White Peak is the High Peak Trail which provides easy walking with widespread views.This walk follows a section of the High Peak Trail before crossing numerous fields and stiles to Flagg which is a typical linear village packed with attractive houses and cottages built of local stone. There is also a very nice tea-room (subject to restricted opening hours). We then follow a section of the Limestone Way before heading off up an old track where it is often possible to see massive flocks of migrating birds swooping across the fields. Before heading back to the car park the walk passes the old Bull i’ th’ Thorn Inn where there is a cuddly and cute rare breeds farm – especially popular with children, which you might like to visit. You may also wish to start/end your walk with one of my sister Jackie’s luxury picnics.

THE HIGHS & HALLS OF DOVE DALE – 7 ½ miles

   

Dove Dale is the most popular of the Peak District Dales and lies on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border. Known for its curious rock features and claim to fame through the writing of Charles Cotton and Izaak Walton, it attracts a multitude of visitors. This walk dips into one of the most fascinating stretches of Dove Dale, but also treks over the hilltops to pass a selection of the grand and stately Halls which were constructed here centuries ago, including Stanshope, Castern and Ilam and with views across the valley to the ruins of Throwley Old Hall. The walk progresses along paths and tracks, through fields and stiles and a section of riverside known as Paradise Walk, but the end of the walk is rather strenuous as you must ascend Bunster Hill to visit Air Cottage which has the best setting in the whole of Derbyshire! From here you can gaze upon Dove Dale and cast your eye way down the valley to see Thorpe Cloud (a bastion of limestone) standing guard like some ancient pyramid. We then drop down through the woods on a steep but well defined path into the heart of the Dale before returning to Milldale and crossing the famous Viators Bridge which has been deemed an ancient monument. This walk is quite strenuous and probably not suitable for young children. 

It may also be possible to include a short inside tour of Castern Hall (above) for a small additional charge

AROUND EYAM AND DOWN INTO BRETTON CLOUGH  APPROXIMATELY 7 MILES 

This walk most definitely has the WOW factor! We start in the village of Eyam which is steeped in history and oozes character and charm having pretty little cottages surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful countryside.

Eyam is world famous for its history surrounding the days of the great plague back in the 17th century when the village and its residents isolated themselves from their neighbours. Several of the buildings and cottages survived the centuries and now have little plaques outside to record the names of those that perished within. The church and museum are packed with interesting facts and artefacts and our walk could incorporate a visit to these if preferred.

From Eyam we walk up onto Sir William Hill and over heather-covered moors before descending into the deep and sheltered valley of Bretton Clough, itself steeped in history.

After following a grassy track which winds its way back up the side of the Clough, we pass the Barrel Inn at Bretton which must have the most idyllic setting of any public house in the country. The views from this oak beam and copper kettle inn are amazing (weather permitting of course) and you may wish to drink in the vista as you down a pint!

The route back to Eyam follows a quiet road along the ridge top with far reaching views in every direction, before dropping down an old track to the village.
 

LADYBOWER RESERVOIR AND WIN HILL - APPROXIMATELY 9 MILES

 
This walk is dependent on the weather as Win Hill is high moorland with fantastic views but can be draped in mist. The ascent to the summit is a strenuous climb so it is disappointing to reach the top and not be able to admire the wondrous views of the Hope Valley and spectacular Dark Peak landscape.
Starting by the side of Ladybower Reservoir this walk is scenically breathtaking and follows miles of paths, tracks and trails to take you far away from the hustle and bustle of the Peak District roads. There is no way to avoid a climb if you want to reach the summit of Win Hill, but there is a choice of a gradual winding track through the woods or a short, sharp (get it over quick) ascent up Parkin Clough. Personally I prefer the latter route which takes you swiftly to the base of a recently laid series of gritstone steps which lead like a stairway to heaven and the summit.
After resting for a while on the mound of huge gritstone boulders and trig point which mark the top of Win Hill, we begin the steep descent to the pretty little village of Hope lying down in the valley, before heading through fields and stiles to Brough and the old Roman fort of Navio (now just an indentation in the ground).
There then follows a fabulous path along an ancient holloway to Shatton which is an exclusive little residential hamlet down by the banks of the little River Noe.
To return to Ladybower, we follow part of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way along a trail which was the former railway line used to transport stone from nearby Grindleford to construct the walls of Ladybower and Howden dams. As we wander along the wooded hillside we can look across to see Bamford and Yorkshire Bridge on the other side of the river, lying beneath the craggy escarpment of Bamford Edge. 
There are several different walks which can incorporate Win Hill, but none are less than 6 miles in length, and all incorporate some rather strenuous uphill walking.

 

TREASURES OF THE GOYT VALLEY - 8 Miles

 
This walk is an ornithological overdose as you will see all kinds of birds including song birds, water fowl, game birds and possibly birds of prey. The long walk is along moorland paths and tracks into the heart of the Goyt Valley, crossing cloughs and tumbling streams by footbridges and a 16th century packhorse bridge. After a climb up through pine woods and a moorland path to Stake Side from where the views are wondrous and far reaching, we descend to the remains of Errwood Hall with its fascinating history, then climb once again on a pilgrimage to a little pepperpot shrine isolated in the trees on the edge of the moor. The walk ends by a downhill path beside the old Roman Road to Errwood Reservoir in the bottom of the beautiful Goyt Valley.



A WALK AROUND THE ROACHES  - 4-10 miles

 

The Roaches is a high gritstone escarpment on the western flank of the Peak District which provides far reaching views over the Cheshire plains towards North Wales - it is said that on a clear day you can see the summit of Snowdon on the horizon!
Built into the rocks is Rock Cottage which is worthy of a visit, whilst to the north is Lud Church which was at one time a secret place of worship in a rocky ravine.
Hen Cloud is another bastion of gritstone boulders with a path to the summit that you may wish to include in your walk. I would certainly recommend a visit to The Roaches Cafe tea rooms where there are superb views down towards Tittesworth Reservoir to enjoy with your afternoon tea.
I can offer a guided walk of between 4 and 10 miles which could include a path along The Roaches and some nearby places of interest, curiosities and features together with an informative narrative. 

 

MAGICAL MILLERS DALE & THE CATHEDRAL OF THE PEAK – 7 miles

 

  Upstream from Monsal Head, Millers Dale lies deep beside the waters of the river Wye. In spring this is a wild flower wonderland dotted with orchids and some ‘not so common’ plants. Running through the heart of the valley once ran the main Derby to Manchester railway line, but since its closure in 1968 it has been transformed into the wonderful Monsal Trail which provides easy access to an otherwise inaccessible area. This walk follows a section of the trail to Litton Mill, which may now be converted into luxury apartments, but centuries ago had a terrible reputation for the slave labour of children. We now walk up Tideswell Dale which runs up to the large Derbyshire village which contains the ‘Cathedral of the Peak’, being the church of St John the Baptist, which may be open for you to inspect. There is also a lovely Tea Room in Tideswell (subject to opening hours)  The walk back to Millers Dale is across fields and stiles, typical of the White Peak countryside, with a section of track forming part of the Limestone Way , and with views down to the deep dark gorge of Monks Dale.  You may wish to include one of my sister Jackie’s luxury picnics at the start/end of your walk.   

A WALK AROUND MATLOCK – 3 miles

Having spent my childhood years in Matlock I know many of its secrets and would love to show them to you. This then is a guided tour of the town starting in Hall Leys Park and heading for Old Matlock Town where the Parish Church contains rare ‘virgin crants’. Wheatsheaf House nearby is a fascinating old building and featured in several episodes of ‘Peak Practice’. We then walk through a mill complex towards Lumsdale, which has been newly transformed into luxury houses and apartments, but still retains its old mill ponds and fishing pools. A short sharp climb up a cobbled path takes us to the ‘wishing stone’ which you must go around three times to make your dream come true! A walk across the top of Matlock Bank takes you past what was the heart of the Hydros which a century ago dominated the town, providing employment for its residents and drawing visitors by the droves. A half-mile long tramline carried visitors in Victorian and Edwardian times up the 1 in 5 incline. Until its closure in 1927, Matlock was the San Francisco of Derbyshire! Our walk finishes with a stroll down the steep hill and back to Matlock Bridge which has been a crossing of the river Derwent for centuries.  

HIKING AROUND HARTINGTON – FROM 3 -10 miles  

Hartington is based at the top end of the most interesting stretches of Dove Dale. It is a chocolate box pretty little village, packed with tea rooms and still retains its working cheese factory which produces the unsurpassable Hartington Stilton. Famed as being the retirement home of Hilda Ogden, who fictitiously moved here to open a tea room, Hartington is popular with hikers, bikers and coach loads of tourists. Away from the hubbub of the village there are paths and tracks which criss-cross the countryside hereabouts. I have a selection of walks available dependent on your walking abilities.  

THE SECRETS OF MANIFOLD VALLEY & ECTON COPPER MINES – 8 miles  

 

Manifold Valley is a truly spectacular haven, lying hidden beside Ecton Hill on the western edge of the Peak District, and just over the border into Staffordshire. Exploited for its minerals, the area has a fascinating geological story to tell. In the early 1900’s a narrow gauge railway was laid to transport provisions and gain access into the heart of this scenic little valley for travellers who rode in primrose coloured carriages. However, it was not profitable and closed in the 1930’s. The route of the railway line has now been transformed into the Manifold Way and provides easy and accessible walking, in part passing through a long section of lighted tunnel. This walk follows the Manifold Way as far as the tunnel, but then continues to Wetton Mill along a gated riverside track, on the flank of Ecton Hill. At Wetton Mill there is a fabulous tea room (subject to opening hours) or you may wish to include one of my sister Jackie’s luxury picnics by the side of the river.

After passing a series of caves for which the dale is well known, we head up a dry valley to the Back of Ecton, passing an old manor house which was at one time known as Pepper Inn and served ale to thirsty miners from the nearby mines. The walk now follows a quiet little lane, before heading off up a track to the crest of Ecton Hill which is famed as having had the deepest and richest copper mines in the whole of Europe . Many of the shafts have been capped, but caution is advisable when following this walk to keep away from any holes, dips or hollows!We then carefully descend a very steep zig-zag path, passing close to the copper topped Castle Folly which looks like something more reminiscent of Transylvania , before returning to the car park along the Manifold Way . This walk is not suitable for young children due to the distance and the close proximity to mines, as well as the steep descent of Ecton Hill.

A ROLLERCOASTER WALK IN THE DARK PEAK – 12 miles 

 

The Dark Peak offers dramatic scenery and some of the most enjoyable walks to be found. However, this is an area of high moorland and wild exposed paths that should be treated with respect and caution.

My walk is virtually all on ancient tracks which makes it far more accessible and only a moderate risk, but it still involves lots of wonderful scenery, breathtaking views and requires lots of energy!

The walk starts at Barber Booth at the top end of Edale which is the base camp for climbing up to Kinder Scout. To do this we have Jacob’s Ladder to assist us – a long series of steps established some 200 years ago by Jacob Marshall who was a jagger or packhorseman. We continue along the path passing the ancient marker of Edale Cross before descending a long path down to the bottom of the valley.

The climb up to Mount Famine has fabulous views across towards Kinder, with a peep at the famous Kinder Downfall on a clear day. Now we have a wonderful walk along a further ancient pathway which has been adopted in recent years as the route for the Pennine Bridleway and takes us to the rear of the sugarloaf hill known as South Head before dropping down to Roych Clough – one of my favourite idyllic spots in the whole of the Peak District.

After yet more rambling on old paths we reach Rushup Edge with views down over the Vale of Edale which we descent to by following Chapel Gate – a very hollowed out and rough section of track but steeped in history.


 
Guided Walks in the Peak District - Derbyshire

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