A Taste of the
Peak District Walking and Walks, Best Derbyshire walking routes, footpaths, B&B, self catering holiday cottage accommodation, hotels, tourist attractions and much more …
We hope that you will enjoy finding out about Peak District Walks and Walking from this page.
There are a huge number of great walks, walking and trail running in the Peak District National Park. Simply buy yourself some maps (White Peak or Dark Peak via Aqua3 maps, 10% discount for visitors from this site, waterproof and standard paper OS maps) and make up your own Peak District walks/runs.
In terms of outdoors activities, walking is possibly the main reason that people visit the Peak District. There are almost 2000 miles (or for our metric visitors - 3000km) of public footpaths, bridleways and green lanes. With the CRoW Act, walking in the Peak District became even better, with several areas being opened up to walkers, for example Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill. Access hasn't always been that easy though. When walking became more accessible to the masses, much of the countryside was in the hand of the landed gentry who did their utmost to keep people off their land. In April 1932, the Mass Trespass of Kinder took place. This is well documented in books and elsewhere on the Internet so I won't bother expanding on it here as I have nothing original to add. It did, however, have far reaching consequences and contributed significantly to the access that we enjoy today. One of our favourite areas for bog-trotting and walking for a day and seing hardly anyone else is the area of moorland north of Howden reservoir and south of the Woodhead pass, the A628. Bleaklow isn't so bad if you are off the Pennine Way section.
Walking in the peace and quiet of the Peak District National Park
Some of the footpaths can be very crowded as they are easy to get to or they are classic routes, for example, the footpath along the top of Curbar Edge and Froggatt Edge. There is good parking at both ends so if it is peace and quiet you want, go somewhere else! But for great views in the southern half of the Peak District, it is hard to beat! Now that there is a concessionary path along White Edge, you can make it into an excellent circuit. Other really crowded paths are Dovedale, the Monsal trail now that the tunnels have reopened (2011) but I guess that as the novelty wears off, it will reduce to its former level of foot traffic. The trails are shared with cyclists too. Around Edale it gets quite busy, the top of Kinder isn't too bad but the only ridge walk in the National Park eastwards from Mam Tor, on summer weekends in high season is like a walkers version of the M25 at rush hour! Cavedale from Castleton can also be busy in season. The reservoirs (Ladybower, Derwent and Howden) are a big pull but if you get away from the road and track that skirts these, you can find a bit of peace and quiet.
Peak District Green Lanes and BOATs
Beware when walking the green lanes as the 4x4 and trail bikers have damaged these, so in the winter the deep ruts can make things very difficult. A large number of these people, particularly the latter group, seem to show little respect for others or for the environment and indeed some of them believe that walkers do more damage to rights of way than their high powered and irresponsibly driven machines. Bizarre but caught on camera by the BBC as a trail destroyer rode the newly repaired descent from Rushup Edge to Edale! The majority seem to forget the 'gentle touch' ethos practised by sensitive off roaders, yes ... there are a few but not many. They also do not seem to realise that people come to walk in the Peak District to escape the traffic fumes and have a bit of fresh air, peace and quiet. Unless there is a breeze, after the passage of a group of riders or cars, the air is extremely unpleasant and unhealthy to breather. Still, they do have a perfect legal right to mar the day out for other people, a bit like smokers really before the smoking ban. On the other hand, there are a small minority who drive/ride appropriately but most of them do not appear to understand that the reason that roads are tarmac - they forget that these green lanes were only ever meant for foot powered traffic, whether than be the feet of people, horses, donkeys, cattle, sheep etc. The green lanes and BOATs are probably best avoided.
Some areas to head for (all could be walking or
fell running circuits) click to view the walk description
if it is not included below:
- Short walks near Bakewell - a selection of shorter routes that explore the area around Bakewell
- Short walks near the Fox House Pub - Some short routes in the Dark Peak, exploring Padley Gorge and the Burbage Valley
- Froggatt and Curbar Edges, Padley Gorge and Longshaw Estate - A longer route taking in some popular and scenic areas.
- Derwent edge, Derwent Reservoir and dam, Ladybower reservoir - Peak District National Park at its best, explore the Dark Peak
- Derwent Edge from Fairholmes car park at the top of Ladybower reservoir
- The edges above Baslow (Birchen, Gardoms, Baslow)
- Monsal Head Circular
- Tideswell Circular from Upperdale (near Monsal Head)
- Gardom's and Baslow Edge
- Manifold Trail - the Manifold Trail is NOT the Manifold Way; the Manifold Way is also known as the Manifold Track but many web sites refer to it incorrectly as the Manifold Trail.
- Chrome and Parkhouse Hills - from Crowdecote in the Dove Valley
- Kinder Scout is a favourite target for walkers heading to the Peak District
- Kinder Scout from the Snake Pass, A57. Via Fairbrook and Kinder gates from the Snake Inn
- Blackwell Halt, Wormhill and Miller's Dale
- Burbage Brook, Burbage Valley, Sheffield
- Rowsley, Calton Lees and Chatsworth - views over Beeley
- Stanage Edge - Park at Higgar Tor and instead of going onto the Tor, head in the opposite direction across the moors to Stanage. Simply walk along the easy path along the top of the edge and enjoy the views or even stop and watch the hang gliders and climbers for a few minutes. There are options to make a circuit of this route either in the direction of Sheffield or Hathersage.
- Edale Head Horseshoe - Park at the Mam Tor car park, walk along Rushup Edge, north to Edale Cross, up Swine's Back, follow the path along the Edge of Kinder Scout past Noe Stool, Pym's Chair, Wool Packs and Crowden Tower to drop into Edale via Grindsbrook Clough. From Edale, return to Mam Nick and the car via Harden Clough or to reduce the road section, take the Bridleway past Greenlands and up Cold Side.
- Dovedale and the surrounding Dales - There is plenty of parking at the lower end of Dovedale that can be used as a Launching point to explore the dale itself and beyond. A circuit incorporating Alstonefield is always enjoyable. You may even be lucky enough to spot a white clawed crayfish, of of the many endangered and protected species in this country. At the top end of Dovedale lies the popular tourist village of Hartington with its duck pond and stilton cheese factory, plus tea shops, local produce outlets, pottery and pubs. There is a really nice, if fairly short walk from Hartington, over the hill past Crossland Sides and Brighton and down into Biggin Dale. Follow Biggin Dale SW to where it joins Wolfscote Dale. Follow Wolfscote northwards into Beresford Dale, where the path cuts back through the woods and across the fields to drop you back into Hartingon at the public toilets.
- Alsop Station - Park at Alsop Station and take the Tissington Trail northwards, leaving it to descend into Wolfscote Dale via Iron Tors and the slopes of Nettly Know on National Trust land. Follow Wolfscote Dale southwards, through Milldale and on to Hall Dale, where you turn eastwards, climbing through the woodland to return via either Hanson Grange or Bostern Grange Farm. Whichever of the two latter return routes you choose, please take care as they involve crossing the often very busy A515 Ashbourne to Buxton road.
- Lathkill Dale - if you are short of time a stroll up Lathkill Dale from Over Haddon or Alport is worthwhile or try a longer circuit from Monyash. Follow the Limestone Way past One Ash Grange and Calling Low past Youlgrave (Youlgreave as the OS call it) via Bradford Dale to Alport. Follow Lathkill Dale back to Monyash.
- Alstonefield - Another popular destination for Peak District tourists and walkers and quite rightly so! It is serviced by public transport and there is some car parking too (please respect the locals if you are parking on the street). From Alstonefield, a popular walk takes the footpath across the fields (shortly after the church) and down into Milldale, where you can cross the old pack horse bridge (viator's bridge in Izaac Walton's Compleat Angler) and explore Dovedale. You can either return the way you came or find one of the many footpaths on the flees to the west of Dovedale to return to Alstonefield.
- Monsal Dale - There is a pay and display car park behind the Monsal Head Hotel. From there you can descend into Monsal Dale itself, a deeply incised Limestone valley. There are many options - head towards Great Shacklow Wood from there you can get to Taddington or Sheldon, or perhaps follow the Monsal Trail up the valley towards Cressbrook and Litton Mill, where the former mill buildings have now been converted into luxury apartments. Litton Mill itself is well known for the abuse of orphans during the 19th century. There is a small parking place on the left, down in the bottom of the valley as you head along towards Cressbrook, that is more convenient if you are aiming to visit the nature reserve of Cressbrook Dale.
- Chatsworth Estate and surrounding areas - Park at Calton Lees, visit the Garden centre and meander through the fine parkland of the Chatsworth Estate. Alternatively park by the church in Edensor, walk the length of the Park to Calton Lees and continue to Rowsley. Take the track round Bouns Corner Wood and down to the River Wye. Pick up the Monsal Trail for a short way then cross the golf course, through the woodland and onto Calton Pastures. From here, pass through a short woodland section and drop back down to Edensor.
- From the Fox's Piece arm of Howden Reservoir (check access first, may need to use the shuttle bus depending on when you go) head uphill to Birchin Hat through Ditch Clough Plantation where you can look over the impressive Alport Castles landslip. Follow the path NW along the edge of Alport Dale to the trig point, navigate yourself across the moorland to The Ridge, then to the stakes just south of Bleaklow stones then over to Grinah stones. From there, contour round to Round Hill and descend the broad ridge from there to reach the track that takes you back to Ditch Clough plantation. This route requires good navigational skills over at times fairly featureless terrain with limited visibility owing to the peat hags. Not advised in poor weather unless you are extremely good with a map and compass.
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
If you prefer to print off your own walks there are several digital mapping software solutions around. Alternatively, buy one of the many good guides to walking in the Peak - see the 'booksales' section or try tea shop walks or classic walks (in association with Amazon). Or to help your navigation ... Garmin GPS hand held unit.
Click here for views from our Peak District walks (large files so will be slow - you have been warned!). If you are looking for somewhere to stay, try our accommodation section for a selection of self catering and bed and breakfast holiday accommodation. Here is some advice to newcomers to walking to help when you are buying a pair of walking boots and an article about warm up exercises for walkers. See below for other walking related articles.
Or for GPS security we suggest the - Etrex Vista HCx Colour handheld GPS from Garmin. The Vista HCx is lightweight and compact - the perfect size for all your travels. This handheld GPS navigator also has a bright colour screen, barometric altimeter, electronic compass, microSD™ card slot and automatic routing for wherever adventure takes you. With its high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, eTrex Vista HCx locates your position quickly and precisely and maintains its GPS location even in heavy cover and deep valleys,
Walking and Hiking articles:
Buying a pair of walking boots
Warm up exercises for walkers
Hiking shoes vs hiking boots
Pros and cons of walker's gadgets
Buying a good quality waterproof
Reuse and recycle - ideas for the old foam sleeping mat that you do not use any more!