A Taste of the
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If you want to experience Derbyshire’s Peak District fully, what better way than to walk. You will need some maps (e.g. White Peak or Dark Peak) to make up your own walks or buy a guide book to walking in the Peak - see the 'booksales' section of this site or try some tea shop walks or classic walks (Walking guides in association with Amazon). Click here for views from walks (large files so will be slow - you have been warned!). 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.
This walk takes you from the car park at Fairholmes Refreshments and toilets) out onto the open moorland of Derwent Edge.
Fairholmes Car Park at the top of Ladybower reservoir can offer a starting point for a whole host of walks onto the moors directly or via Howden and Derwent reservoirs. One of my favourite Peak District winter walks, especially after a cold spell and snow, turns to the right out of the carpark, past Derwent dam (of Dambusters practice fame) and along the reservoir road on the eastern (Sheffield) side of the water. A short while after passing the site of Derwent village, which was drowned when the reservoir was constructed, follow a bridle path which rises diagonally across a field on the left as you reach a gate that bars your way on the reservoir road. The bridle path has been conveniently paved. After a couple of hundred metres, it turns left up a steep sided small valley, taking you up to a conglomeration of barns. The bridleway leaves the small yard through a gate on the right and you climb up through the last pastures, past a plantation and out onto the open moors. Cross the moorland on an obvious undulating bridleway to reach a gate. Turn right and follow the bridleway alongside the wall, ignore the paths leaving to the left (unless you wish to shorten the walk by missing out Whinstone Lee Tor. Where the wall turns sharp right, so does this bridleway, eventually it takes you left and uphill, leaving the wall and bringing you to the col below Whinstone Lee Tor. Turn left (uphill) and follow this path along Derwent Edge northwards, past the Wheelstones, the Salt Cellar and a variety of other weird and wonderful wind sculpted rock formations to Back Tor. A lot of this path has been paved, however, rather than detracting from the walk, I feel that it enhances it. Why? Because when I first walked it in the 1970s, the path was a wide scar where peopel had spread out to avoid boggy sections. The vegetation has regenerated and a lot of the damage caused by walkers has been repaired. From Back Tor, continue north west past Lost Lad (so called after a young shepherd went missing in a blizzard many years ago) and steeply down to the reservoir then follow the track southwards back to your starting point at Fairholmes. For a longer day out, instead of going to Lost Lad, navigate north west to join the path down Abbey Brook. This is a worthwhile extension as the path is high up the side of this beautiful valley.
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 (although I guess now many people
will rely on GPS systems!). The weather can change very quickly in the hills
so be prepared.