To get started with walking in the Peak District of Derbyshire, simply buy yourself some maps (White Peak or Dark Peak) and make up your own walks/runs or buy one of the many good guides to walking in the Peak - see the 'booksales' section of this site or try Pub walks, tea shop walks or classic walks (in association with Amazon).

If you are looking for somewhere to stay, try our accommodation close to Ladybower Reservoir section for a selection of self catering and bed and breakfast holiday accommodation or see our accommodation close to Ladybower reservoir section.

Derwent edge and the reservoirs via Cutthroat Bridge and Whinstone Lee Tor.

Image: Ladybower reservoir view from Whinstone Lee Tor, Derwent Dam hidden in the trees.Park in the parking area on the A57 on the east side of the Ladybower reservoir viaduct. Cross the Snake Pass road (A57) at the end of the parking, just where the viaduct begins. Do not cross the viaduct, but take the minor road that doubles back, parallel to the main road, just before the gate that marks the end of the reservoir track and the end point of this walk. After passing some houses, pass through a gate and follow the bridleway back towards Sheffield. Here you get some great views over Ladybower reservoir and dam. Pass behind the pub (or pay it a visit if you fancy!) and cut up hill onto the moors on a stony track. After a stretch of woodlands (nature reserve), cross a small stream, pass through another gate and onto open moorland. Follow the bridleway and bear left just before you reach the path from Cutthroat Bridge. Follow this gently uphill across the moorland to reach the col to the south of Whinstone Lee Tor. This gives you the first of the expansive views (pictured above) of the other reservoirs, Derwent and Howden, with their famed dams (just in case you did not already know, these were used in the second world war for the 'Dambusters' squadron as they practiced their techniques with Barnes-Wallis's bouncing bomb). This view will be with you for much of the walk, plus views east over Sheffield.

At the col below Whinstone Lee Tor, turn right onto one of the walkin gems of Derbyshire’s Peak District - Derwent Edge. Follow the path along Derwent Edge, past the various weird rock formations (including White Tor, The Salt Cellar, Dovestone Tor and the Cakes of Bread) to reach Back Tor. From there, either follow the path down past Lost Lad back to the reservoir track and slog along that back to the car or for a longer day, navigate across the open country to pick up the path that leads along Abbey Brook and back to the reservoir track. Lost Lad is so called in memory of a shepherd boy who was lost in a snowstorm. These days, the weather is much milder, just 20 years ago, you could be guaranteed to have snow and ice on this walk, now it is a rarity. During the '80s, I often saw mountain hare, I cannot now recall the last time I saw one, but it is a good few years. Once you have reached the reservoir track, follow that southwards to reach the Vidauct. If you are walking the route in a dry summer, see if you can spot the remains of Derwent Village, drowned when the reservoirs were filled. The church steeple has now collapsed but when water levels are low, you can spot the remains of walls. Below is a view of Derwent Dam from the track that leads you back to the Ladybower viaduct.

Image: View from the track that runs alongside Howden, Derwent and Ladybower reservoirs.

Disclaimer - please make sure that your party has the necessary skills, equipment and fitness before setting off into the hills. It is often necessary to be able to navigate through peat bogs and over open moorland using a map and compass in the Dark Peak. The weather can change very quickly in the hills so be prepared.

accommodation close to Ladybower Reservoir


Peak District Walking Route

Derbyshire hiking

The Dark Peak of Derbyshire holds some great walks. The terrain is rough moorland criss-crossed with footpaths. The Peak Park Authority has upgraded many of these and the vegetation, destroyed by walking in the 1970s has recovered. The area can feel very remote but in reality you are seldom far from a road.

Manifold Trail | Chrome and Parkhouse Hills | Baslow, Gardom's Edge and Wellington's Monument | Tideswell Circular Walk | Froggatt Edge, Curbar Edge and Padley Gorge | Short Walks from the Fox House Pub | Kinder Scout from Edale side | Kinder Scout from north side | Monsal Head and Monsal Trail Circular| Rowsley and Calton Lees (Chatsworth) | Derwent Edge from Fairholmes car park | Peak District Kinder Challenge Walk - Scout and Guides | Dog Walking | Digital Maps | Four Inns Walk | Blackwell Halt, Wormhill and Miller's Dale | Walking Boot Buying Advice

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