I was going to write about the scourge of wind farms this month but one of my friends pointed out a newspaper feature entitled “20 best autumn walks” and I thought that sounded rather more positive. Still, I will return to that subject another day…
There are very few weekends where I do not manage to walk in the Peak District but the last few months have been astounding. Even last week, with my partner, we were able to walk in shirt sleeves and shorts. I had been guiding several days a month earlier mid-September and couldn’t believe my luck, even then, to be walking in fantastic summery conditions.
So, shamelessly plagiarising the “Times”, here are a couple of my thoughts. In fact, the walks below are wonderful at any time of year.
Of its 20 walks nationally, the paper does one in the Peak District (well it is a paper produced in the South!) That said, I approve of their choice!
The walk starts at Ilam Hall with a short circuit around through the wooded grounds and back along the riverside path before travelling across to Dovedale, passing the stepping stones and the well-known rock formations before ascending “Jacob’s ladder” and taking the edge path before returning to the start. I might have pulled Bunster Hill into the route (which I think produces some of the best views in the Peak District) but as shown, it’s still a nice walk. There are some glorious woodland scenes and although the scenery is always fantastic in that part of Derbyshire, with the trees in their autumnal glory, if the weather is good, there is no better time to go.
Building on that, similar scenery is to be found a little further north in Lathkill Dale. This is another limestone valley with similarly spectacular scenery in the valley bottom itself and where even a cursory look at an OS map lays out a host of wonderful walking opportunities in the surrounding countryside allowing one to create a circular route suit the mood.
Close by is Chatsworth Park. This is a place I never tire of. My favourite walks starts at Calton Lees, follows the track behind up to the woods above and then descends towards Edensor, all the time enjoying classic view of the house itself with its backdrop of dense woodland. Crossing to the house, the route goes up through those woods and ultimately onto the moorland above Beeley before descending alongside a rushing stream to Beeley village itself, across the fields and back to the car park.
My final offering starts in Hathersage, goes along the Derwent Valley for a couple of miles before heading east to enter the bottom of the Padley Gorge. With the River cascading down to one’s right in the heavily wooded gorge, the climb takes one ultimately up to the moorland above with the Bronze Age hill fort of Carl’s Wark and then Higger Tor from where the descent is continuous back into Hathersage. A walk of fantastically varied scenery.
These are just a few ideas of mine. If you would like more precise detail, drop me an email and I will gladly reply. Better still, look at our website and join one of the walks!