Favourite walks in the Peak District
Here’s my ten best walks in the Peak District all within a short drive of my B&B in Matlock.
I walk with my dog, Red, so they are all safe and dog friendly. There are some stiles but not many and he is a big lad so cannot fit through most squeezer stiles. There is some livestock on some of the walks but we try to avoid them.
We have lived in the Peak District for nearly five years and these are, so far, the walks we have done on several occasions because they are all stunning, in all seasons and all weathers. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
1. New Mills and the Millennium Bridge
Start: Hyde Road, Leisure Centre Car Park
Postcode: SK22 4BP
From the leisure centre turn right to start walking out towards Hyde Road, just before the road step onto a track where you turn right again under the road bridge.
In about 30 yards turn left into Torrs Riverside Park, signed ‘Goyt Way Via Millennium Walk’. With the river on your left continue to the point where the rivers Goyt and Sett meet, here you cross a wooden bridge and pass under a two tier bridge.
Stay beside the river at first before continuing straight ahead along the track to the left of Goytside Farm. Turn right immediately you have passed the farm.
Continue along the path behind the farm to cross the Goyt by a footbridge, a green bridge, and walk uphill bearing to the right to the top of the field to join the Peak Forest Canal.
Turn right along the canal towpath and follow it for about one and a quarter miles. A few yards after passing the Marina, you go under the A6015. You will pass the Swizzles Factory. At the next bridge – DO NOT GO UNDERNEATH – bear right up the side of the bridge and turn right down a rough track.
At the bottom of the track continue along a minor road heading slightly to the right, crossing the Goyt by a road bridge, before in 75 yards turning right into Torrs Riverside Park.
Stay on the main path following ‘GW’ and Midshires Way indicators keeping close to the river on the right.
After going over a stone stile by a gate, turn half left to follow the direction of the finger post signed ‘Goyt Way’ through an area of woodland.
Bear right by a derelict stone building and in 20 yards, before reaching a pair of redbrick houses, turn left through another area of woodland to enter and cross a small park and reach a factory unit at the end of a road.
Here you cross the road and soon follow a path on the right leading down to the Goyt Valley and Millennium Walkway.
Go over the Millennium Walkway and continue alongside the river.
On reaching some picnic benches take the path that bends left and from this point you can retrace your steps along the path you used at the start of the walk. Turning right out of the Torrs Riverside Park, then left after going under a bridge, and then left again along Hyde Bank Road.
2. Mam Tor
Start: Postcode: SS3 8WN
Approximate time: 3½ to 4 hours
From the car park in Castleton return to and cross the main road. Follow the Riverside Walk, a surfaced path, to the minor road and turn right. Cross the river bridge and walk up Goose Hill, first on a tarmac surface then a wooded stony track.
Go through a gate to follow a path round the hillside, keeping a wall close on the right. You will cross one stile and one gate. In about half a mile you reach the road.
Turn left, passing the entrance to Speedwell Cavern. Walk up Winnats Pass by following the grass path on the right of the road. After about three-quarters of a mile, as you near the top of the Pass, bear off right to and through a small gate.
Continue ahead up the small right-hand gully. As you near the top bear round to the left aiming for the wood below Mam Nick. You will see Winnats Farm over to the left and a small gate by a farm gate ahead. Go through the gate and keep straight on. Go through two more small gates to cross the road.
Follow the path across the National Trust Windy Knoll area. As you near the road you will join a track. Turn right to the road. Cross the road via two gates.
Keep straight on up the hill to go through a gate and up steps to near the road. Turn right through a gate.
Follow the stepped path to the top of Mam Tor then continue ahead down the ridge to Hollins Cross just over three-quarters of a mile. Keep straight on, first up the ridge, for another half a mile. At the start of Back Tor, by a stile on the left, turn RIGHT down a short bank to join another path. Turn left
Walk towards a conifer wood. Go through the right-hand gate into the wood. Walk through the small wood to leave it via a stile.
Keep straight on across the hillside below Lose Hill crossing stiles. When you see the path coming down from Lose Hill on your left turn right by the fourth stile (do not cross it).
Keep a fence close on the left as you descend the hillside. In nearly half a mile at a footpath post near Crimea Farm turn right signed ‘Hope Castleton’ (H). Follow the path which gradually descends to a gate on the left; go through this gate and down steps. Keep a fence on the right. At the footpath post turn right signed ‘Castleton’. Cross a footbridge via a stile and a gate.
Keep straight on across and down the field to go through a small gate. Now follow a fenced and old walled track. Where the track bends left keep straight on to cross a stile by the farm gate. Follow the fence on the right. Cross a footbridge via a stile and a gate.
Turn left, keeping a wall close on the left. In about 150 metres leave the track to cross the stile up to the left. Riding House Farm and the stream are on your right. At a way-marked post bear off down right to follow a path down the valley then down steps to cross a footbridge then go through a gate. Turn left following a path, with the stream now on the left, to go through two gates.
Turn right along the track behind Losehill Hall. Where the track bends sharp left you have a choice: either to follow the track down to the main road then turn right to walk into Castleton, or to keep straight on to cross a gated squeeze stile by the entrance to Riding House Farm.
After crossing the stile follow the field boundary on the right then go through a gate and across stepping stones. Keep straight on to a surfaced track by the footpath post. Cross the track to go through a small gate by the cattle grid.
Follow the track down to the Hollowford Road. Turn left. Just before reaching the main road turn right by Brook House to walk back to the car park.
3. Millers Dale, Chee Dale and Monsal Trial
Start: SK17 8SN – car park
Out of the car park back to the road – turn right.
After about 50yrs you come to a left bend, go straight forward through a squeezer stile – ignore the step and sign for Chee Dale.
Turn right and walk along the beautiful River Wye in Millers Dale. You will pass under the Monsal Trail but keep going on the path. Some areas are a little slippy.
You will get to the end of Millers Dale and see a rickety little bridge, cross over this and go left
around the corner into Chee Dale.
There are two set of stepping stones and cliffs, keep going.
Eventually you will get to a pretty little hamlet, Blackwell.
Go over the bridge to the little café (great scones!)
You can either return the same way or go up the hill to the Monsal Trail and back on the Monsal Trail to Millers Dale car park – this route to flat as it was a railway.
4. Tideswell Dale Car Park, Litton, Upperdale, Cressbrook, Water-cum-Jolly
Post code: SK17 8QH (not very accurate but look for the Car Park)
Easy 6 miles circular: 2-3 hours
From the car park go pass the toilet block, take the tarmacked path to the first gate, the brook is on your right. This is Tideswell Dale, there may be cattle in this bit so take care, carry on on the path and the Dale opens up, the brook is in the middle of the Dale.
Carry on through Tideswell Dale to the next gate and then to the quiet road. Turn left, toward the hamlet of Litton. You will come to a set of houses, opposite number 10 is a little footpath, quite well hidden so you may miss it. Take this path and over the footbridge over the mill press.
Take the zigzag path up to the Monsal Trail and turn left. Soon you will come to Litton Tunnel, go straight on through the tunnel. Just after the tunnel there are railings on the left and the most amazing view. This is called Monsal Hidden View. Between 1968 and 1988 the tunnels were closed so this area was inaccessible.
Carry on on the Monsal Trail to Cressbrook Tunnel and through there too. On the other side of the tunnel stay on the Monsal Trail, ignore a path on your left but see the pretty Cressbrook Mill which is now apartments.
Carry on to what was a station where the platform can still be seen and a little brick hut. Take a right here off the Trail (not signposted until you turn right again on a gravel lane). Make your descent to Upperdale.
Cross over the bridge at Upperdale to the road and turn left to Cressbrook. Walk on the quiet road until you get to Cressbrook Mill, take a left turn on to a railed footpath into the tiny village of Cressbrook, over the mill press, there is a little bridge against the left wall, take
You are now in Water-Cum-Jolly. Follow the path around back to Litton Mill along the River Wye with its pretty weirs.
Bear right at the mill, back into the village and along the road, you will see the gravel path back into Tideswell Dale and follow this back to the car park.
5. Deep Dale and Magpie Mine
Distance: 4.5 miles
Time: 2.5 hours
Post code: DE45 1QS Parking in Pay & Display White Lodge Car Park
From the pay machine follow the path around the picnic area, away from the road. Cross over the stream through a stile and into a stoney area before it opens up. On the right you will see a fingerpost to Deep Dale. Follow this around to the right and turn left into Deep Dale.
Walk along the stream until you come to an open area and follow the well worn path into open fields. Eventually you will come to a broad track. Go left on the track until you reach the road. Go left on the road for almost half a mile. You will be able to see the mine ahead of you.
Carry on down the hill slightly, still on the road, pass the Sheldon sign, turn left at the bottom of the dip for a path which crosses fields to the mine.
Have a look around the mine, there is a lot to see there and well worth a look. You will see the Managers Cottage on your right, go left past the circular powder house. Bear left to a stile in the corner and carry on over two fields. Following signs for Sheldon.
Go right along a broad, walled track. Keep walking along the right wall and beyond its end and in the next field bear left to a stile by the corrugated barn. Cross over this to the next stile just in front of you and then a little way to the road. Turn right.
Pass the Cock and Pullet pub there is a small sign to the church, take this and carry on past the church, on the lane. Ignore the junction, go straight for nearly .25 mile. On your left you will come to a stile signed to White Lodge and Deep Dale. Head across the field to the next stile and stay by the wall, in the same direction. There are a few stiles here but carry on until you get to some hummocks and evidence of mining activity. Turn right here into a field and keep on the edge of the field until you see a fingerpoint . Go right and over the brough of the hill into the far corner where there is a
This path drops very steeply, there is a wire fence on the right. You are now in Great Shacklow Wood. When you meet the path at the bottom turn left. Follow this path until to reach the junction you turned right at before and retrace your steps to the car park.
6. Mill Stone Walk
Postcode for car park: S32 1DA (car park for The Mill Stone Pub) you can either pay or go in to have a snack/drink.
From the car park, turn right up the hill to the corner where there is a road and sign post to
Greenwood Farm (NT). Just after you turn down the road there is a gate. Walk down on the road between stone walls, continue to descend on the tarmac path. A stream passes under the path.
There is a stock fence on your right. When you reach the farm, turn right. Descend besdie a stone wall on your left. Beautiful views ahead.
Follow the road down to the next building, with bracken and silver birch. Turn right on a footpath, on a waymarker. Continue straight ahead and after about 30yds turn left and descend to a gate. Go through the gate and under a tunnel, turn left. The River Derwent is now on your right.
Just before you get to a cattle grid and private houses, just to the right is a kissing gate and enter a large open field. Continue straight ahead, on the well worn path, in the middle of the field.
Cross over fallen stones and into the next field, continue straight ahead, the river still on your right. Through another kissing gate and straight ahead. Go into a woodland area, Coppice Wood and continue beside the river. You will go over a stream and just after continue straight ahead. At the end of the wood, pass through a gate and continue straight on the edge of a field and beside the river.
Continue to the end of the field into another field. Just before you reach the end of the next field veer to your left and ascend – do not cross over the concrete bridge. There is a narrow section here with a stone wall on your left through rough pasture and ascend the field edge.
Continue through a large gap in the stone wall and continue to another field, passing an old stone ruin. Pass between gate posts and enter into another field and turn right on a well worn elevated pathway. There is a bridge ahead. Cross over the railway bridge and through a gate.
Turn left and pass some houses on your left with a rough access road. Continue straight ahead into rough pasture land. You will reach and continue by a stone wall on your left pass a farm and buildings on an obvious road and between stone walls. You will pass some unfinished mill stones on your right.
Eventually you will get back to Greenwood Farm, continue up the hill to the main road, left and back to the car park.
7. Cubar Gap, Curbar Edge, Froggatt Edge and White Edge
Postcode for car park: S32 3YR
From the car park, with your back to the road go towards the step in the top left hand corner and turn left. You will go past a small picnic area and see a gate on your right. Through the gate onto a stone pathway. Follow this for about three miles, the edges are worth going to have a look over! You will go through a couple of gates and past a stream and several resting areas.
When you get to a wooded area you will see a bridle path take the right fork and you will see and hear the road, drop down to the road and walk about a quarter of a mile to The Grouse.
After a lunch/drink and sandwich of the day ! go back to the road and turn left and cross over to the public footpath about 100 yards up the road. Go diagonally across this field to a stile and through some woods bearing right. Following the path against a stonewall until you see a post with White Edge, go right and follow the path for about three miles until you see a dip to the right and stone steps carry on down there to the gate and back to the car park
Enjoy and look out for the deer !
8. Padley Gorge
Postcode for car park: S11 7TS (car park for Longshaw Estate NT)
Through the car park towards the café and house, follow the path around the front of the house, over a bridge between stone walls.
Carry on the path to a gate and turn right by a rhododendron track, follow this down to the pond and to the road by the Discovery Barn. You will have passed through two gates.
Carefully cross over the road to a small gate. Descend the steps to the bridge on you right.
Cross over the bridge and turn left following the obvious path. Through a gate into woodland. This is Padley Gorge a beautiful ancient woodland with wishing trees and mossy mill stones. Continue descending the gorge to the gate at the bottom. Pass through the gate and continue on a rough road to a tarmacked road and turn left passed the mill house. Follow the road round over the railway bridge to the café at Grindleford Station.
You can either return the same route or stay on the other side of the brook and ascend back to
9. Ilam and Dovedale Walk
Postcode for car park: DE6 2AZ (National Trust Pay and Display)
From the car park, walk away from the Hall back to the entrance to the car park. Use the footpath next to the church to get off the driveway. On reaching the road continue straight ahead, passing houses and a bus depot on your left, heading towards Ilam Cross.
Go over the bridge (careful as there is no pavement). Immediately after the bridge you will see a couple of steps on the left with a stile, continue on the footpath marked by a fingerpost. You are now walking with the River Manifold on your left and through fields.
At the end of the field pass through a gate and over a footbridge. Continue on through another field.
Lovely views to your right. You will pass a weir, go through the gate next to the weir and continue to the footbridge.
Continue through another field. Near the end of the field go through a small gate. Continue straight ahead on the worn path between trees and scrub, bearing right away from the river. You will see yellow way markers to guide you through this bit and up hill a little way until you get out onto a meadow. Ahead you will see a bridge, head for this.
Over the bridge and straight on, into quite open land, again with lovely views. Follow this obvious path until you get to a little village. Continue on the quiet road and then turn right at a waymarker onto a road which eventually becomes a track. There is a little level bridge at the bottom if this is a little boggy. Descend between trees with stock fence on your right, ascend a quiet road.
Turn right and ascend a quiet road, pass houses and a farm. Ignore any paths off this road until you get to a main road. Turn left for a short distance and use the grass verge. After about 100 yards you will reach the Old Dog Pub on your left.
Pass the pub and take the road to the left, continue on this road, passing the car park for the pub and descending into Thorpe and passing Thorpe Cottage, pass a road on your left. On reaching a second road on your left signed for St Leonard Thorpe Church ascend for a short distance and turn right at the junction. Continue on Digmire Lane and through the quiet village.
At the end of the road you will reach a busy road, cross straight over and into a small car park. There is a toilet block on your left. Through the gate and continue into open pasture on a worn track with many hills ahead. The hill with the flat top on your left is Thorpe Cloud.You will reach danger signs and a quarry face, turn left and follow the route around Thorpe Cloud, descend on the well worn path between the hills into the valley, through a gate and descend to the River Dove ahead. Cross over the stepping stones and turn left.
Continue on a tarmac path to the car park and look for the ‘alternative route’ on your right through a gate and ascend the slope. Follow the slope round and stay close to the stock fence. There is a small gate ahead, keep beside the stone wall on your left and follow it around the slope, eventually veering left, there is a footpath over a stile ignore a path which ascends steeply. Continue beside the stone wall to Bunster Hill and a small gate at the end of the path on your left.
Cross over the road and walk alongside the River Manifold and back to Ilam Cross where you started.
Turn right before the bridge on the road and back towards the church and car park where you started out.
The Ilam Hall has a lovely tea room and gardens worth a walk around too.
10. Biggin Dale and Wolfscote Dale
Postcode for car park: SK17 0AY park beside the little pond on the verge
From the pond with your back to the village of Heathcote, following signs for Biggin, turn left and walk along the road slightly downhill to a marked turning on the right, up a farmers track between stone walls.
At a junction turn left and then right, still on a farmers track and better walls. Left there are views towards Biggin Dale. You will pass a barn on your left, passing the remains of an old stone building start descending to another junction, take the left track between stone walls.
There is a big barn in front of you, carry on pass on the track to a gate, pass through a couple of
gates and stiles and start descending into Biggin Dale veering right. Follow a well worn path to the end where you have to pass through a gate with a finger post to Wolfscote Dale to the right, along a fence. Follow the fence for a while until you get to a gate and a more sheltered area. Continue along this path with exposed boulders, woodland and some scree areas.
Pass a small cave on your left but carry on to the next junction where you will meet the River Dove.
Turn right towards Hartington. Continue for a while along this pretty strip of the river, more scree on your right and open pasture land. You will pass a couple more caves.
At the end of Wolfscote Dale you will get to a gate, turn immediately right up the hill. Cross over a road and straight on up the hill between stone walls with farmland of either side of you. The path veers right to a road. At the gate turn left onto the quiet road. Walk along here until you get to the junction and continue straight where you were walking at the start of the trip. Turn left at the end of the path and then right onto the farm track and down to the road and left back to the pond.