Walking in the Peak District

Did you know that the Peak District was the first national park in the UK? This beautiful park is full of the most amazing walks. Check out the list we provided below!

As you would expect, the Peak District National Park is full of the most amazing walks. If you’re a nature enthusiast like us, we definitely recommend getting a map to help you find the most beautiful paths and views.

Landranger Maps covering the Peak District include:

118 to cover the area around Toft Hall
119 to cover, Buxton, Matlock and Dovedale
110 to cover Sheffield and Huddersfield, Castleton

OS Touring Map 4 covers all of the Peak District.

OS Outdoor Leisure No 24 covers the areas in The White Peak.
OS Outdoor Leisure No 01 Covers the Northern Peak District (The Dark Peak).

For those who want a gentler stroll, or have a disability or young children, there are many trails that were once railway lines that are free of cars and reasonably flat, yet still offer great views. These include;

The High Peak Trail, running for 17 ½ miles from south of Dowlow near Buxton to the Cromford Canal.

The Manifold Track, from Waterhouses to Hulme End for 8 ¼ miles.

The Monsal Trail, from just south east of Bakewell to close to Buxton.

Sett Valley Trail, 2 ½ miles from Hayfield to New Mills.

Tissington Trail, 13 miles from near Ashbourne to Parsley Hay where it joins the High Peak Trail.

There are a number of other, more strenuous trials which cross the Peak District. The most famous of these is The 270 mile Pennine Way which begins at Edale in the northern Peak. The others include; the Limestone Trail from Rocester in Staffordshire Moorlands to Castleton; The Goyt Way is a 10 mile route following the Goyt Valley, and the Trans Pennine National Trail reaches coast to coast, passing through the Peak District at Broadbottom.

There are also a number of country parks locally for a short stroll;

Biddulph Grange (Tel: 01782 522447)

Buxton Country Park (Tel: 01298 26978)

Deep Hayes Country Park, Leek (01538 387655)

Ladderedge Country Park, Leek (01538 483578)

 

walking in the peak district

 

Walks with a Guide

If you would like some one to lead your walk – contact Steve Coakley at Peak Tours who arrange flexible, interesting and enjoyable walks.  Visiting some of the better known attractions and also some of the lesser known hidden gems, it is a great way to see the Peak District without any prior planning!  Visit www.peak-tours.com or call Steve on 01457 851461; or Sally at www.sallymosley.co.uk telephone 07989 622 692 (she specialises in picnic walks!).

 

Walks direct from the front door of your Party House!

We hope that you enjoy these walks – some of our favourites.  Please also let us know if you have your own favourites that you think we should pass on to future guests!

 

Hamps Hall and Barn

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.

 

Chels Barn, Toft Barn, Toft Hall

There are two walks we recommend. One takes you an hour and explores the local area. The other can take you down to Rushton Spencer and the Royal Oak pub where you can celebrate arriving with a scrummy meal. This walk is roughly 30 minutes, you can find a rough map below, but please use the OS map and follow the signs.

This small walk takes under an hour but can be extended with our suggestions to take up as much of your day as you like! It can be followed on the OS Outdoor Leisure Map 24 (there should be a copy in your Party House).

Firstly leave Toft by taking the footpath between Chels Barn and Toft Nook. Follow the path along our field and go over the style at the end of the field then immediately turn right and go into the next field. Walk diagonally to your left across this field to the style by the trees. Then turn right along the green lane until you pass Hawksley Farm. Pass the bungalow and turn right on the lane. Here you will join the little road. Turn left and follow the road for a short way (less than ¼ mile) until you reach Gun End. Take the track up the hill past the houses to your right.

Notice as you go some of the wonderful wild flowers. Watch out too for rabbits, hares and all manner of birds. In the summer you can hear the curlews distinctive call (quite a shriek really!) Curlews are distinctive as they have a long curling beak. If you are walking in the evening you may well see little owls, barn owls, and tawny owls (although you are more likely to hear their familiar call tiwit tiwoo – actually a male and female talking to each other).

Now you have a choice:-

For the shorter version of this walk. Go straight on and climb gently to follow the little ridge on the side of Gun Hill. Now you are up on the moor and you will see the plant life change dramatically. Here, above the trees, it is the domain of heather and bilberries (the fruit in the summer is very tasty – a bit like blueberries but smaller – although you need to pick an awful lot of them to make any sort of pie!). At the end of the track you will join up with a tarmaced lane. Turn right and right again and you have joined up with the lane at the top of Toft Hall driveway. This you will find about quarter of a mile along on the left hand side. Turn down our driveway and you are home!

If you fancy something a little longer. At Gun End take the path on the left and climb up to Cliff Hollins. Continue on the left hand path around the other side of Gun Hill and enjoying the lovely views across to the Roaches and Tittesworth Water. At Oldhay Top the path turns right back up the hill. After a short climb you join another path. Turn right and follow the path until it reaches the driveway where you turn left and follow the track down to the road. Turn right and right again and you have joined up with the lane at the top of Toft Hall driveway. This you will find about quarter of a mile along on the left hand side. Turn down our driveway and you are home!

If you want to really blow the cobwebs away. On reaching the other side of Gun Hill past Cliff Hollins turn down the hill towards Turners Pool. You’ll need the map for this (no space here for the full directions – sorry!) but follow the paths up onto The Roaches, along to Luds Church, past Hanging Stone along to Danebridge and then back to Toft Hall.

If you prefer to go ‘down dale’ rather than ‘up hill’. Leave Toft Hall via the same path as the instructions above and cross the same first few fields. When you reach Hawksley Farm turn left down the concrete track. This leads you on a lovely non-muddy path right down towards the River Dane. At Gig Hall take the footpath to the left of the house and cross the pretty little brook on the wooden bridge.

On the other side walk up the hill and across the field, passing a farmhouse and along a small lane until you reach Heaton village. Turn off this lane to your left and continue through the tiny village until you see the farm buildings in the photo above on your left hand side. Go between these buildings and the footpath from here takes you straight back across the fields to Toft Hall arriving at the gate at the bottom of our courtyard (this walk takes approximately one hour at a leisurely pace).

To the Royal Oak:

Roaches Hall

This small walk takes under an hour but can be extended with our suggestions to take up as much of your day as you like! It can be followed on the OS Outdoor Leisure Map 24 (there should be a copy in your Party House).

Firstly leave Roaches Hall by taking the footpath over the style opposite the front door. Follow the path diagonally up the hill. Once you are near the top of this path (literally a couple of minutes from your front door) you will find a sort of secret hollow in the stones – a magical place for a ‘hidden picnic’ (bit please make sure you do not light fires and leave nothing behind – take all your rubbish back to Roaches Hall). This is all classified as ‘Open Access’ land which means that you can go wherever you like and do not have to stick to footpaths only. Go around to the right side of the hollow and continue climbing. You will notice that the landscape changes here and you have great views across to Ramshaw Rocks. Follow the path along the tumbled down stone wall until you reach the very top of Hen Cloud. Be careful here as it feels that you are really on top of the world and there are some dramatic edges!

Notice as you go, the Roaches Hall bird box trail and also some of the wonderful wild flowers. Watch out too for rabbits, hares and all manner of birds. In the summer you can hear the curlews distinctive call (quite a shriek really!) Curlews are distinctive as they have a long curling beak. If you are walking in the summer you may be lucky enough to see the Peregrines that have nested on Hen Cloud recently. In the evening you may well see barn owls, and tawny owls (although you are more likely to hear their familiar call tiwit tiwoo – actually a male and female talking to each other)

Now you have a choice:-

For the really short version of this walk. Turn right on top of Hen Cloud and follow the path back down directly to Roaches Hall (but beware this is a bit steeper than the route up – not impossibly steep but certainly more of a scramble than a stroll in places).

For a short walk but without the steeper slope. Turn left on top of Hen Cloud and follow the path down the hill away from Roaches Hall. This drops you down the gentler hill. You then reach another path onto which you turn right and follow it around the front of Hen Cloud before you reach the driveway of Roaches Hall. Follow this along the base of the rocks and you are soon back at Roaches Hall.

If you want to really blow the cobwebs away. Turn left on top of Hen Cloud and follow the path down the hill away from Roaches Hall . You’ll need the map for this (no space here for the full directions – sorry!) but follow the paths up onto The Roaches, along to Luds Church, back through Gradbach Wood and then back to Roaches Hall.

 

Merrymeet

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!

Firstly go to the top of the slope and turn right up the little lane. Continue walking past our two fields (these are both your own private space – so do make use of them while you are here)! You then arrive at a signposted footpath (on the right) onto a neighbouring farmer’s land which shows the public footpath. Go down the hill and through the narrow posts, but instead of crossing the brook over the little bridge, turn left and continue to follow the brook (which is on your right).

In the summer it may have dried up completely (Waterfall gets its name from the river that just completely disappears underground through the limestone in the summer). Follow the brook down the valley for about half a mile.

Notice as you go some of the wonderful wild flowers. Watch out too for rabbits (you are very unlikely to meet other walkers at this point, so rabbits are usually about) and all manner of birds (regularly a Barn Owl flies over Merrymeet’s fields in the evening).

After only walking about ¾ mile), you arrive in the Manifold Valley (you’ll know you are here as the valley has a tarmac path). Go through the gate and, if you fancy it, there is a tea room just a 100m or so up on your right. They serve delicious local dairy ice cream and have some pretty gardens to sit in. Now you have a choice (and not just of ice cream!):-

For the shorter version of this walk. Return back through the gate off the Manifold Valley and take the path diagonally to your right up the hill. Keep climbing and this will give you some terrific views of the back into the Valley (photos just don’t do it justice). You pass through several fields, but the path is pretty obvious (basically keep going diagonally up the hill!). At the top you reach a little lane. Turn left onto the lane and follow it back down the gentle hill. After about half a mile you are back at Merrymeet!

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. 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 mile, to Brown End Cycle Hire in Waterhouses who will give Party House guests a discount).

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 we 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.

For a Short Walk. Leave Merrymeet and walk straight ahead along the little valley.  Follow the road up the hill for a short while and you will have arrived at The Red Lion!  What a perfect way to use five minutes of walking!

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RSPB Coombes Valley

Six Oaks Farm, Bradnop, Leek, Staffs, ST13 7EU
Peaceful walks in secluded oak wooded valley. Many types of woodland birds can be seen as well as butterflies, flowers and other wildlife. Open 9am-9pm or dusk if earlier, closed Xmas Eve & Xmas Day.
Deep Hayes Country Park
Sutherland Rd, Longsdon, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire, ST9 9QD
A 143 acres of woods, meadows and pools, with plenty of facilities, including a visitor centre and toilets.