Short Walks in the Peak District

Walk 1 – Rowsley, Calton Lees and Chatsworth Park

Park at the small car parking area adjacent to Rowsley recreation ground.  Walk back into Rowsley, cross the main road (the A6 so please take care) and take the minor road that goes up alongside the Peacock inn.  This road soon steepens as it passes Saint Katherine’s church on the right.  Continue up the road which eventually becomes a stony track.  The track skirts the edge of a Woodland known as Bouns Corner.  After 100 yards or so take the track on that plunges into Bouns Corner.  When the track exits the Woodland and downhill until you reach the next junction of tracks.  At this junction a bridleway rises into the Woodlands on your right; follow this bridleway a until you reach another forest track.  Turn left and follow the track gently uphill to a sharp right bend.  As you go around this bend take the bridleway which leads steeply and usually muddily to Calton Pastures.  Follow the bridleway down across Calton Pastures and pass between the two Calton Plantations, dropping down past Calton Houses along the track to End up at Calton Lees.  Can turn right along the road by Calton Lees farm which then becomes a footpath across the fields with great views over towards the Peak District village of Beeley.  This eventually brings you back under the former railway line in to Rowsley and back to the car.

Points of interest

Caudwells Mill -this is a popular tourist attraction at Rowsley and is A working water powered flour mill and craft centre.  There is a popular tearoom plus several craft shops and naturally a shop selling flour that is produced and bagged at the mill itself.  There is usually a good selection of different types of flour such as plain white, rye and malted flake.  It is the malted flake flour that is our favourite as it produces a beautiful granary loaf.

Peak Village – a small popular shopping centre in Rowsley, there are a variety of shops including outdoor clothing, candles, souvenirs, suite, books and of course the ubiquitous Derbyshire Peak District tea shop!  There is ample car parking and a pub nearby where you can recover from your shopping spree!

Disused railway line – the line was built by the Midland railway and included a fine Italianate station designed by Joseph Paxton.  Paxton was the architect of many of the buildings associated with the Chatsworth and Haddon estates.  The railway was originally intended to follow the Derwent valley however the Duke of Devonshire objected to the railway passing close to Chatsworth house.  But the Duke of Rutland also objected to the railway passing close to Haddon Hall.  Eventually the Duke of Rutland agreed to the line passing behind Haddon Hall but only if it were disguised and hidden in a cutting.  Paxton’s station building had been built before these shenanigans and was therefore in the wrong valley!  So a new station was built close by and is now the Grouse and Claret pub whilst Paxton’s original station building can be found in the peak village shopping centre.

Calton Lees – a Paxton designed Chatsworth estate village with a decent little garden centre.  Calton Lees is the main parking area at the south end of Chatsworth Park.  There is a small parking for the garden centre but it can get a little tight in there so unless you have mobility issues it is probably better to park in the main Calton Lees car park and take a walk to the garden centre.  The Calton Lees car park is an excellent place from which to take a walk across the estate lands of Chatsworth house.  The area of woodland behind Chatsworth House is interesting with tracks, paths, water features and a hunting tower. Walk far enough and you can take in the extensive views from above Chatsworth Edge over the Eastern Moors of the Peak District.  Please respect the notices and avoid parking at the side of the road that passes through Chatsworth Park.

Walk 2 – A short walk in the White Peak from Hartington that takes in Biggin Dale, Wolfscote Dale and Beresford Dale.

The route in Isaac Walton country heads south from Hartington along Reynards Lane and a track which drops you steeply into Biggin Dale. The path follows this beautiful limestone valley southwards to meet the River Dove at Wolfscote Dale. A good path follows the Dove upstream, crosses a meadow at which point you find yourself in Beresford Dale. After a few hundred metres the river is left behind as you cross the fields back to Hartington.

From the centre of Hartington, start off by taking the road that leads to the Youth Hostel. But well before you reach the hostel, Reynards Land breaks of to the right. It is quite a steep start but soon flattens off to give excellent views over the surrounding countryside.

Follow the road along to a crossroads. I guess it is more of a cross tracks really! Keep going in the same direction as before along the track ahead and a stle brings you to open countryside at the lip of Biggin Dale. Say bye-bye to the extensive views as you are dropping steeply down to the slippery slope of this limestone valley.

Where the path meets the river Dove, turn right and follow the obvious path northwards and upstream. Welcome to the rugged Wolfscote Dale with its rocky outcrops. Where it abruptly widens out, the path crosses a meadow and into some open mixed woodland alongside the river again (Beresford Dale). The path then takes you through the woodland and away from the river, dropping you into some sheep-chomped fields. You follow the path diagonally across these to emerge onto the main road of Hartington by the public toilets! Nice!

Then take of your muddy boots and head to one of the local hostelries or tea rooms.

Please dont use this as a walk guide, it is not detailed enough, it is barely an outline and is just designed to give you an idea for a Hartington Walk Circuit.