The Peak District Town of Baslow – Crossroads to Chesterfield, Sheffield and Hathersage
Baslow is a popular Peak District destination for tourists and locals from Sheffield, Chesterfield and Derby since it is well served by major roads and has plenty of pubs, places to eat and a great centre for outdoors activities.
Baslow lies at the junction of the A619 (links Bakewell to Chesterfield), the A 621 (Sheffield to Baslow) and A623 which takes you through the very heart of the Peak District. Chatsworth Park and Chatsworth House is accessed very easily from Baslow too. The popular Chatsworth farm shop is on the Chatsworth Estate, in the village of Pilsley, between Baslow and Bakewell on the B6048. If you are using a GPS system the shop’s post code is DE45 1UF.
Take the main road out to the north From Baslow and you soon come to Calver, from where you can access the Eastern Edges of Curbar, Forggatt and Baslow. The Chesterfield road from Baslow gives access to Chatsworth Edge, Birchin Edge and Gardom’s Edge from the car park next to the Robin Hood pub. Above Birchen Edge you can find 3 large rock formations know as the ‘Three Ships’. Each is inscribed with a name of the three main ships of Nelson’s fleet at the battle of trafalgar. There is good climbing and walking on both Birchen Edge (climbs are named with a nautical flavour in line with the ‘Three Ships’ on the top) and Gardom’s Edge. Chatsworth is a rather esoteric crag and is not usuallu crowded … in fact, you can usually have it to yourself. Maybe it is because of its fierce reputation or maybe it is because the best belays are probably from the sheep in the adjoining field!! Birchen Edge is regarded as a beginners crag as there are a lot of VS and below routes. Unfortunately, insensitive group leaders have damaged the monument on the top of the edge by repeatedly abseiling from it. Gardom’s gives a wide range of routes, which are more interesting at VS and above. The most popular area is Apple Buttress which can be quite crowded at times. Hearse Arete is a great one if you like roof climbing. The climbing on Baslow Edge is on a series of disconnected buttresses and isn’t consistently great and the routes are quite short.
Despite being a major meeting of the ways, Baslow still has very much of a village feel, with a fine Church and a triangular village green. It has become a commuter village for both Sheffield and Chesterfield because of the excellent road communications. It does become a little congested heareabouts on sunny summer Sunday evenings and Bank Holidays as day trippers and tourists head home.
The bulk of the housing lies on the slopes beneath Baslow Edge. The latter makes a splendid walk from the car park by the village green. A steep pull up from the car park leads to the Edge and its fabulous views, together with Wellington’s monument, erected by a local doctor to celebrate the battle of Waterloo. There is a herd of those hairy ginger coloured Scottish cows wandering about at the top too – photo opportunities galore!
The oldest part of Baslow is Bridge End – the area in the vicinity of the church. Here you will find the bridge that carried the original 18th century turnpike road from Sheffield over the River Derwent. The triple arched bridge is now almost traffic-free and was constructed in the 17th century. The accompanying toll-shelter is small, with a door only 3 1/2 feet high! Further along the west bank lies Bubnell Hall, a building that is contemporary with the bridge.
Thatched cottages are rare in the Peak District but a row can be found at Nether End in Baslow, next to Bar Brook.
An interesting building, sadly now gone, was the grand sounding Baslow Hydropathic Establishment which was a high-class Victorian ‘health farm’ where wealthy Victorians traveled to take the healing waters of Baslow.
Baslow and its environs have been occupied by humans for millennia. The wild, heather covered moorland, home to Merlin and Grouse, once was home to Bronze Age farmers, whose field systems can still be traced in places. A fine cup and ring marked rock was discovered in the woods above the nearby Gardom’s Edge. This has now been hidden and a replica placed in a more obvious position in order to protect the original, which is very similar in appearance to the cup and ring marked rocks in Northumberland. Below Baslow Bar, look carefully and you will see dry stone walls that are arranged in a reverse ‘S’ shape, indicative of the enclosure of medieval fields.
Eating out in Baslow.
Baslow is well endowed with pubs and places to eat, the aforementioned nearby Robin Hood pub (junction of the B6058 and A619 Chesterfield road) is a popular parking place (not in the pub car park please) for walkers and climbers heading to Birchen Edge or Chatsworth Edge. Baslow also provides an alternative entry point to Chatsworth Park for those wishing to stroll through the grounds.
A popular stroll from the centre of Baslow is up to Wellington’s monument which provides a superb viewpoint over the surrounding Derbyshire countryside.
If your GPS requires a postcode, here is the postcode of Goose Green Tea Rooms which is alongside the village green – DE45 1SR