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Best Walks in the Peak District

Best Walks in the Peak District: Discover Derbyshire's Scenic Treasures

, by FLOW Admin, 6 min reading time

The Peak District, nestled in the heart of Derbyshire, England, offers a diverse array of walking routes that showcase its stunning landscapes, historic sites, and natural beauty. Whether you're an experienced hiker or looking for a gentle stroll, the Peak District has something for everyone. Here are some of the best walks in the Peak District to help you explore this picturesque national park.

1. Mam Tor and The Great Ridge

Mam Tor, Hope Valley, Peak District

Route: Mam Tor to Lose Hill
Distance: 6 miles (9.7 km)
Duration: Approximately 3-4 hours
Highlights: This iconic walk takes you along the Great Ridge, offering panoramic views of the Hope Valley and Edale Valley. Starting at Mam Tor, also known as the "Shivering Mountain," the route passes through Hollins Cross and Back Tor, ending at Lose Hill. The trail is moderately challenging and provides breathtaking scenery, making it a favourite among walkers.

2. Dovedale and the Stepping Stones

River Dove, Dovedale, Peak District

Route: Thorpe Cloud to Milldale
Distance: 3 miles (4.8 km)
Duration: 2-3 hours
Highlights: Dovedale is famous for its picturesque limestone ravines and iconic stepping stones across the River Dove. The walk starts at the foot of Thorpe Cloud and follows the river, offering stunning views of the surrounding hills and lush valleys. It's a relatively easy walk, perfect for families and those seeking a leisurely stroll in beautiful surroundings.

3. Kinder Scout via Jacob's Ladder

Kinder Scout, Peak District National Park

Route: Edale to Kinder Scout Summit
Distance: 8 miles (12.9 km)
Duration: 5-6 hours
Highlights: Kinder Scout, the highest point in the Peak District, is a must-visit for serious hikers. Starting in Edale, the route takes you up Jacob's Ladder, a steep but rewarding ascent leading to the expansive Kinder Plateau. The views from the top are spectacular, spanning across the moorlands and valleys. This walk is challenging and requires good fitness levels and navigation skills.

4. Monsal Trail

Monsal Trail, Peak District

Route: Bakewell to Blackwell Mill
Distance: 8.5 miles (13.7 km)
Duration: 3-4 hours
Highlights: The Monsal Trail follows a disused railway line, making it a flat and accessible route for walkers and cyclists. Starting in Bakewell, the trail passes through several historic railway tunnels and offers stunning views of the River Wye, limestone dales, and the impressive Monsal Head viaduct. It's a great route for all ages and abilities, with plenty of spots to stop and enjoy the scenery.

5. Stanage Edge

Stanage Edge, Hope Valley, Peak District

Route: Hathersage to Stanage Edge
Distance: 6 miles (9.7 km)
Duration: 3-4 hours
Highlights: Stanage Edge is a famous gritstone escarpment offering dramatic views and a sense of adventure. The walk starts in Hathersage and ascends to the edge, where you can enjoy sweeping vistas of the surrounding countryside. The route is moderately challenging and popular with both walkers and rock climbers.

6. Chatsworth House and Estate

Chatsworth House, Bakewell, Peak District

Route: Chatsworth House Circular
Distance: 4.5 miles (7.2 km)
Duration: 2-3 hours
Highlights: This scenic walk takes you through the grounds of the magnificent Chatsworth House, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The route offers beautiful views of the estate, gardens, and surrounding parkland. Highlights include the Emperor Fountain, the Cascade, and the Hunting Tower. It's a gentle walk suitable for all ages, with plenty of opportunities to explore the estate's history and beauty.

7. Ladybower Reservoir

Ladybower reservoir, Upper Derwent valley, Peak District

Route: Ladybower Reservoir Circular
Distance: 5.5 miles (8.9 km)
Duration: 2-3 hours
Highlights: This circular walk around Ladybower Reservoir offers stunning water views, forest trails, and the chance to see the famous Derwent Dam. The route is relatively flat and accessible, making it ideal for families and those looking for a peaceful walk. The area is also rich in history, with connections to the Dambusters' training missions during WWII.

Enhance Your Training Routine

Using a walking pad as part of your routine can help you prepare as much as possible for the paths in the Peak District. With a walking pad, you may continue your exercise in all weather and stay prepared for your outdoor experiences. It's also a great way to multitask while being active, whether you're working from home or listening to a podcast.  

FAQs

What are some recommended places to stay near these walking routes in the Peak District, ranging from budget-friendly to luxury accommodations?

For accommodation options near the walking routes in the Peak District, there is a wide range of choices to suit various budgets and preferences. For a luxurious stay, consider The Peacock at Rowsley, which offers elegant rooms and fine dining. For mid-range options, The Old Hall Hotel in Buxton provides comfort and history, being one of the oldest hotels in England. For those on a budget, YHA hostels such as YHA Castleton Losehill Hall offer affordable accommodation. Additionally, there are numerous bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, and campsites throughout the Peak District, catering to different needs and preferences.

Which times of the year are best in terms of weather conditions and scenery?

Regarding the best times of the year for these walks, spring and early summer (April to June) are ideal for enjoying mild weather and blooming landscapes. Autumn (September to October) offers stunning foliage and fewer crowds. Summer (July to August) can be pleasant but may see more visitors.

Are there any accessible options for individuals with mobility issues or other disabilities?

For individuals with mobility issues or other disabilities, some of the Peak District walks have accessible options. The Monsal Trail, for instance, is a former railway line that is flat and suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters, with accessible facilities along the route. Ladybower Reservoir also offers relatively flat and well-maintained paths, making it a good option for those seeking an accessible walk. Additionally, Chatsworth House and Estate provides routes that are gentle and suitable for all ages, with accessible pathways and facilities. However, more challenging routes like Kinder Scout via Jacob's Ladder and Stanage Edge may not be suitable for those with limited mobility due to steep and rugged terrain. It is advisable to research specific accessibility information for each route and consider contacting local visitor centres for detailed guidance and support.


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