From short strolls in the countryside to long distance walks and even hill climbs, you’ll find a multitude of walks for all abilities through the picturesque Peak District and the rolling hills in and around the county of Derbyshire including the stunning Pennine Way and Ladybower.
The Peak District is one of the UK’s most widely visited National Parks with many visiting the area for walking holidays, or for a family day out from towns a cities nearby, with so many muddy boots and dog friendly pubs the area is a haven for hikers. These walks are clearly signposted and widely regarded as the best anywhere in the UK, enable new and experienced walkers to get out and about to see the countless attractions and experience some of the best and most widely-trodden Peak District walking routes.
In the latest GO Outdoors guide we’ve compiled what we believe to be 10 of the very best Derbyshire and Peak District walks for you to research, plan and experience for yourself with something for all ages and abilities included.
The 10 best walks in Derbyshire and the Peak District
1. Kinder Scout – (for experienced walkers)
Feel the wind in your hair as you take the eight mile hike from Edale village across the famous Kinder Scout. With some complicated climbs and difficult descents along the way, make sure you pack your sturdiest walking boots. You may want to take a packed lunch or some light refreshments too as it’ll take you around five hours to complete.
The route can be downloaded from: http://walkingenglishman.com/peakdistrict07.htm
2. Dovedale – (for all abilities)
If you’re looking for a pleasant Sunday afternoon stroll, Dovedale is ideal. With a slight gradient in places, this 2.5 mile walk takes you from Ilam Wood to the impressive Dovedale gorge, and should take you around 50 minutes to complete – great for getting some fresh air with the kids.
The route can be downloaded from: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/article-1356405113085/
3. Tissington Trail – (disabled access)
Providing over 30 miles of countryside trails, head on over to Tissington for your choice of sightseeing, shops and refreshments. The majority of the Trail is suitable for those with disabilities although you may come across some steep inclines which require careful route planning to avoid. As well as picture perfect countryside views you’ll also be awarded glimpses of the old engine houses and workshops from the railway’s past.
Routes can be downloaded from: http://peakdistrict.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/90486/hptisstrails.pdf
4. Longdendale from Hadfield Station – (easy to moderate)
With a total climb of 1,000 feet, this nine mile walk is a real treat for the eyes, offering spectacular views over Derbyshire. Simply follow the Longdendale Trail from start to end, winding around reservoirs to finish at the Woodhead Dam. If you’re taking the kids, the terrain is ideal for cycling.
The route can be downloaded from: http://walkingbritain.co.uk/walks/walks/walk_b/1703/
5. Mam Tor – (easy)
For an easy five mile route, look no further than Mam Tor. This famous Peak District hill dates back as far as the Bronze Age and much of the area’s natural history can still be seen today. Ideal if you only have a short time in which to explore, this walk should take around two and a half hours to complete.
The route can be downloaded from: http://trekkingbritain.com/mamtorandthegreatridge.htm
6. Ladybower Wood Nature Reserve – (for all abilities)
This weekend, grab the kids and the dogs and set off for Ladybower Wood Nature Reserve, one of the last remaining upland oak woodland in the County. A gem of a reserve covering the steep valley side overlooking Ladybower reservoir, it is an incredibly important refuge for a number of resident and migrant woodland birds. In the spring and summer the wood is full of bird song from pied flycatchers, redstarts, wood warblers and tree pipits as well as blue tits, treecreepers and nuthatches. Higher up valley side the woodlands give way to bracken and heather moorland where you may spot grouse, meadow pipits, curlew and occasionally hares. The reserve is also great for botanists looking to seek out fungi, mosses, liverwort, and lichens. Over 75 lichen species have been recorded making it one of the best sites in the Peak District to find them. The public bridleway from the Ladybower Inn (on the A57) takes you up to and through the reserve. Because of the difficult terrain, visitors are advised to keep to the Bridleway to enjoy this fantastic wild space.
The route can be downloaded from: http://www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/reserves/ladybower-wood
7. Eyam (Plague Village) – (for advanced walkers)
If you’re up for more of a challenging walk then check out Eyam, an historic plague village dating back to the 17th century. Explore the strenuous terrain over nine miles of moorland paths and fields. It’s thought to take around four hours to complete but the views, and the rewarding pub lunch at the end, make it all worthwhile.
The route can be downloaded from: http://dalestrails.co.uk/Eyam.htm
8. Bamford Walk – (for all abilities)
At 5.25 miles long, this walk is an ideal sunny afternoon pursuit. The terrain is fairly easy but be prepared for a lengthy climb towards Bamford Moor – it’s well worth it though, as you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
The route can be downloaded from: http://derbyshire-peakdistrict.co.uk/bamfordwalk.htm
9. Stoney Middleton (moderately difficult)
With a pleasant mixture of fields and paths, this walk should take around four hours to complete. Don’t get disheartened though; there are plenty of pubs and cafes to choose from for a pick-me-up afterwards. Take care along the track leading to the quarry as heavy lorries are known to pass through during the week.
The route can be downloaded from: http://www.peakwalking.co.uk/wp25.htm
10. Pennine Way
The Peak District section of the Pennine Way starts from The Old Nags Head in Edale and stretches as far as Kinder Downfall. With over 268 miles of walking available, use it as a great opportunity to sample some of the finer parts of the Peak District’s countryside.
Routes can be downloaded from: http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/pennine-way