The hills and dales of the Peak District and Derbyshire are a walker's paradise at any time of year, but nothing beats wrapping up warm and heading outdoors for an invigorating winter walk. From wild winter walks in the Dark Peak to gentle family walks on traffic-free trails, here is our pick of some of the best winter walks in the Peak District and Derbyshire.
1. Discover the winter charms of Chatsworth and Bakewell
The magnificent home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire looks especially beautiful with a frosty backdrop. In 2021, Chatsworth is opening the house, garden and farmyard over the winter season for the first time, providing the perfect pre- or post-walk experience. Choose from one of these suggested Chatsworth walks or take this scenic 6 mile walk from Chatsworth to Bakewell. Keep your camera ready incase you spot the famous Chatsworth deer!
2. Enjoy a steady stroll on the Monsal Trail
Hire a bike, or take a steady stroll, on this picturesque former railway line and enjoy beautiful views of frosty landscapes from the amazing Headstone Viaduct. The trail is easily accessible and suitable for wheelchairs. It runs along the former Midland Railway line for 8.5 miles between Blackwell Mill, in Chee Dale and Coombs Road, at Bakewell. Cycle hire and takeaway refreshments can be found directly on the trail at Hassop Station, (at the Bakewell end of the trail) and at Blackwell Mill, (at the northern end of the trail).
3. Climb the highest point in the Peak District
Where better to get some fresh air than the highest point in the Peak District National Park? At 2,087ft above sea level, Kinder Scout can be accessed via various routes but the path from Snake Pass is perhaps the quietest. Admire incredible rock formations with quirky names such as The Woolpacks and Boxing Gloves, and once you reach the plateaued summit, soak up the far-reaching views.
4. Walk from Hathersage to Stanage Edge
Trails Hathersage to Stanage Edge Walk
A 9 mile walk from the village of Hathersage up onto Stanage Edge and back, with superb views of the Derwent and Hope Valleys, Mam Tor and Kinder Scout.
Starting in the village of Hathersage, this 9 mile walk takes you along the dramatic cliffs of Stanage Edge with superb views of the Derwent & Hope Valleys, Mam Tor and Kinder Scout. On the way to Stanage Edge, you'll pass North Lees Hall which is steeped in history and literary connections. This 16th century manor is thought to have been the inspiration behind Mr Rochester’s home in Jane Eyre! Click here for details.
5. Explore the National Trust's Longshaw Estate
Wrap up warm and enjoy a gentle winter wander in the National Trust's Longshaw Estate. Stroll alongside beautiful Burbage Brook, through atmospheric meadows and ancient winter woodland to the magical Padley Gorge. Click here for details. Please note: The pay & display car parks remain open; booking not required. Toilets & Croft Cabin serving light refreshments remain open 10am-3:30pm.
6. Step back in time on the Cromford Canal
Once an important part of our industrial infrastructure, much of the Cromford Canal is now a beautiful nature reserve, rich in wildlife including dragonflies, birds and water voles. Admire the frozen trees as you walk along the easy-going canal towpath on the five mile stretch through the Derwent Valley between Ambergate and Cromford. This route is suitable for all abilities and is easily accesible. At the Cromford end, refuel with takeaway treats at the world-famous Cromford Mills, at the heart of the UNESCO Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
7. Explore the dales of the River Dove near Hartington
Trails Hartington - The Dales of the River Dove Walk
This beautiful walk starts and ends in the pretty Peak District village of Hartington and takes you beside the sparkling River Dove through some of the finest lime stone dales in the area.
Blow the cobwebs away on this 7 ½ mile walk which takes you through the quaint and picturesque village of Hartington, across rolling Derbyshire countryside to the archaeological site of Pilsbury castle. Hartington boasts charming 18th century houses and an idyllic pond but most importantly, it is home to one of the best cheese shops in the country!
8. Take in history and ruins between Bolsover and Sutton Scarsdale
Trails Bolsover Castle to Sutton Scarsdale Hall
This countryside walk starts and ends in the market town of Bolsover and links together two historically significant buildings, Bolsover Castle and Sutton Scarsdale Hall.
This walk links together two historically significant buildings, Bolsover Castle and Sutton Scarsdale Hall. The route takes you from Bolsover Castle, out past the model village of New Bolsover and onto the Stockley Trail, part of the former Midland Railway line. From there it goes through Carr Vale Nature Reserve and across fields that offer magnificent open views, before reaching the ruins of Sutton Scarsdale Hall. The walk returns on the other side of Carr Vale Nature Reserve and rejoins the Stockley Trail briefly before heading back up to Bolsover Castle, with incredible views as you approach.
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