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HAMPS HALL & HAMPS BARN – DO TRY THIS WALK – NO NEED FOR A CAR!
This small walk takes about an hour but can be extended with our suggestions to take up as much of your day as you like!
The Sunday Times article on best winter walks from 7 November 2010 describes the Manifold valley as 'The White Peak's winter star'! It is also great in the summer too!
Firstly leave Hamps by taking our track that goes out of Hamps Hall to the right (if you are facing Hamps Hall) in the opposite direction of the entrance. At the top turn right along the little lane for about 400 metres when you will see a footpath sign that points up the hill.
Take this path and follow it over the hill and turn right down into the Manifold Valley (you’ll know you are here as the valley has a tarmac path).
Notice as you go some of the wonderful wild flowers. Watch out too for rabbits and all manner of birds.
On reaching the Manifold Valley turn left. After a short walk, there is a tea rooms (just a 1/2mile or so up on your right). They do serve delicious local dairy ice cream and have some pretty gardens to sit in. Beware - a number of people do hire bikes along this stretch so there are bicycles to navigate sometimes! Should you wish to hire bikes yourself – on reaching the Manifold turn right and continue to the end, about 1/2 mile, to Brown End Cycle Hire in Waterhouses who will give Party House guests a discount). Now you have a choice:-
For the shorter version of this walk. Go through the gate off the Manifold Valley just before the tea rooms (on the opposite side of the path to the tea rooms) and take the path straight ahead of you. This follows a lovely little valley with a brook for about half a mile. Then take the small bridge over the brook and follow this path up the hill. Near the top the path joins another, turn right and this brings you into Waterfall village. Turn left and this brings you back to the lane on which Hamps Hall resides!
If you fancy something a little longer. Continue down the Manifold Valley. This is approximately 8 ¼ miles long. For much of its length it has a tarmac base and no cars, so is good walking for little ones or on muddy days.
Assuming you turned left along the Manifold track, Thors Cave can be seen c 2 miles or so along. You can cross the river and climb up the path to enter the cave. Returning to the track, continue your walk northwards and you will come across the next tea room at the National Trust site at Wetton Mill. If you want to continue to the top of the Valley I would recommend that you cross the river to the tea room side and continue your walk following the path on that side (this avoids the lane with the old railway tunnel as cars are allowed in this section of the Manifold Valley). In the afternoon it is also the sunniest side! When you reach Hulme End there are public toilets in the visitor centre (the old station). You may also be pleased to know that there is a pub in Hulme End!
If you want to really blow the cobwebs away. On reaching the Manifold Valley cross the track and take the path behind Lee House and up the other side of the hill. You’ll need the map for this (no space here for the full directions – sorry!) but follow the path over the top past Slade House and down into Ilam then into the famous Dovedale. PLEASE FOLLOW THE COUNTRYSIDE CODE AND HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME!
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