England: Peak District – 6 nights (for Chatsworth)
From mills to hills – the story of Kinder ScoutBack to Routes
Ascending towards 'Ringing Roger'
Crossing Lathkill Dale
Well maintained footpaths
Walk to Chatsworth House
Historic bridge at Bakewell (photo: Pixabay)
The village of Edensor (photo: Andrew Hill - cc-by-sa/2.0)
An evening swim at Hathersage
Stanage Edge and Hathersage (photo: Andrew Hill - cc-by-sa/2.0)
Meadows at Edale
Crossing Highlow Brook near Hathersage
Noe Stool and Pym Chair on Kinder Scout (photo: Andy Stephens -cc-by-sa/2.0)
A curious implement near Hathersage (it's a cheese press)!
The grave of 'Little John' at Hathersage (photo: Michael Dibb - cc-by-sa/2.0)
Mam Tor from Lose Hill (photo: Andrew Tryon - cc-by-sa/2.0)
Sample a Bakewell Pudding! (photos: Jo Turner - cc-by-sa/2.0)
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At a glance
6-night option including walk to Chatsworth (excluding Stanage Edge).
Dogs permitted, with some alternative accommodations. Be aware that the many stiles on the route make bringing larger dogs impractical, and the boggy conditions on some days may make the going tough for smaller ones!
How much walking?
Full days: 10½-21km, 3¼-5½ hrs walking
Using shortening options: from no walking (using buses) to 4 hrs
From mills to hills - the story of Kinder Scout
An ascent of 2100ft Kinder Scout is an essential rite of passage for anyone who takes their walking seriously. It is here that, in 1932, ramblers from Manchester and Sheffield met in a “mass trespass” to claim their right to leave those smoky conurbations and walk unhindered on open moorland, an act that would lead eventually to the creation of the National Parks – indeed the Peak District was the first to be designated such (in 1951).
Our own route starts in that cradle of water-powered industry, Cromford, where Arkwright set up his first factory in 1771, the earliest proper centre of mass production in Britain, perhaps the world. The buildings are now a museum, and well worth a visit to set the scene for this pilgrimage. From there our walk strikes off into open country to picturesque Bakewell, home to the famous tarts and puddings, where you can settle down for a two-night stay. A shorter second walk across to the Derwent valley enables you to spend time to visit Chatsworth House, home to the Dukes of Devonshire and a veritable cornucopia of art. The charms of the extensive gardens are equal to those of the house with many water features fed from a lake on the high moor above.
Next day, set off via Eyam, a deceptively picturesque village with bleak history in that it voluntarily cut itself off from the rest of England during an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1665 as an act of self-sacrifice. The bucolic walk over moor and dale to Hathersage brings the walker close to the edge of the “Dark Peak”. You are now properly in the Peak District, and the next walk alongside the Derwent River and into its ‘Win’ and ‘Lose’ hills brings a sense of arrival to your goal.
We have chosen the pretty village of Edale as your home for the final two nights, “base camp” for your assault on Kinder Scout. However, if the weather is poor a lower level walk to Castleton and its Blue John caves is also offered.
Just as in 1932, you can arrive and depart by train (and indeed this is recommended).
Walked by On Foot staff: Simon and Debbie
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- Kinder Scout
- Chatsworth House (or perhaps Haddon Hall if you have ‘done’ Chatsworth
- The plague village of Eyam
- The Blue John caverns around Castleton
This route features the following characteristics and interests: Villages and farms, Woods, Archaeology, Dog friendly, Drive to route, History
An extra night in Edale to give you the choice of walking Kinder Scout and taking in Mam Tor and Castleton.
For full versions of the route, an extra night in Cromford or Bonsall to allow a visit to Cromford Mills.
How much Walking?
Using shortening options: from no walking (using buses) to 4 hrs
Some national and local trail marking. Highest point on route 630m. Often boggy underfoot.
Medium-hard: Average Cumulative Uphill Stretches (CUSs) 685m per day
Medium: CUSs 560m per day using shortening options.
GPS file available for handheld or smartphone App.
Important note: Times given for each day are walking times for an “average” walker and exclude stops. “CUSs” stands for “Cumulative Uphill Stretches” and measures the aggregated ascents in each day, expressed in metres of climb. See “Walk Grading” for more information.
When to go?
The best months to walk: late April, May, June, early July, September, October
Other possible months: late July, August
This route is bookable throughout the spring, summer and autumn, though avoid the summer holidays if possible (but we can always try for you) as the Peaks are a popular destination and the paths will be anything but quiet; summer weekends may necessitate a two night stay in some accommodations.
Day 1 - Arrive in Cromford or Bonsall
Arrive and settle in to your accommodation. If staying in Cromford, try to arrive in time to visit Cromford Mills to explore the area's industrial heritage!
Day 2 - Cromford or Bonsall to Bakewell
Enjoy a walk across typical limestone country – close cropped grass, lichen-ed stones, low trees and bushes, and all with intense colours in the autumn. From Cromford you ascend to the village of Bonsall (unless staying there) before striking out across the fields to the attractive villages of Winster and Youlgreave (with its fine church), into and out of half-hidden Lathkill Dale, before a gentle descent to bustling Bakewell. (Medium hard: 5½ hrs walking (allow 7¼ hrs), 21km, CUS 800m)
Alternative: Take a local taxi to Bonsall, Winster (saving 2¼ hrs) or Youlgreave (saving 3¾ hrs); or take the bus from Cromford all the way to Bakewell.
Day 3 - Bakewell to Chatsworth circuit
A pleasant circuit through the woods and fields to the estate village of Edensor and your goal of Chatsworth House, before a return initially alongside the River Derwent and back to Bakewell. (Easy medium: 3¼ hrs walking (allow 4¼ hrs plus time to visit the House and its fabulous art collection), 11km, CUS 265m)
Alternative: Stay in Bakewell and explore the town’s charms, or use the local bus services to travel to/from Chatsworth or to explore to Haddon Hall (if you’ve ‘done’ Chatsworth).
Day 4 - Bakewell to Hathersage
A fine walk taking in the villages of Stoney Middleton (famous for its well-dressing) and Eyam, both inextricably linked through the Plague, as well as moor, river and field. (Medium hard: 5 hrs walking (allow 6¾ hrs, but make time also for visiting Eyam museum), 19 km, CUS 750m)
Alternative: Take the bus to Stoney Middleton (saving 2¼hrs) or Eyam (saving 2¾hrs), or even all the way to Hathersage.
Day 5 - Hathersage to Edale
A day for wide views and peak bagging, should you so wish, with two possibilities – Win and Lose (yes!), or a shortening lower level river walk option, missing ‘Win’. (Hard: 5 hrs walking (allow 6¾ hrs), 18¾km, CUS 845m)
Alternative: Shortening option via Brough (saves 1 hour, nearly 5km and the Win Hill ascent!); or take a bus to Hope (saving 3 hrs) and walk on from there; or take the train from Hathersage all the way to Edale.
Day 6 - Kinder Scout circuit
Attempt this day only in good weather – check the forecast for Kinder Scout itself, and look at the top … if there is mist on the top, don’t assume that it will disappear as the sun comes out in the valley below. If the weather is fine, though, this is an exhilarating and thrilling day – and you’re unlikely to be alone on the top. (Hard: 4 hrs walking (allow 5½ hrs, more in poor weather), 13 km, CUS 670m)
Alternative: If the weather is poor, stay in Edale or do our circuit to Castleton and back via Mam Tor, taking refuge in the caverns en route! (Medium: 3½ hrs walking (allow 4¾ hrs), 10½ km, CUS 680m)
Depart for home
An easy walk to the train station at Edale for your onward journey. But why not add an extra night to explore further the district’s delights?
This route is easily accessible by train, the recommended method.
ARRIVING BY TRAIN
For 6-night versions or longer, train to Cromford is the obvious way to arrive at the route from other parts of the UK, followed by a short taxi ride. For shorter options starting at Hathersage, the station there is a short walk to our accommodation.
At the end the station at Edale (Manchester to Sheffield line) is within walking distance of your accommodation.
Nearest railway stations:
Start: Cromford (Hathersage for shorter options)
Sample journeys by rail:
To Cromford (start): London St Pancras ~ 2 hrs, Edinburgh 5 hrs, Manchester 2½ hrs
From Edale (end): London Euston or St Pancras 3¼ hrs, Edinburgh 4½ hrs, Manchester 45 minutes.
We suggest thetrainline.com for times, ticket booking and other information.
ARRIVING BY CAR
We recommend leaving your car at the start of the route (no formal parking arrangements, but Rugby Club car park suggested as near Cromford station, pay locally), then train back at the end (2½ hrs) or taxi (1 hr).
Pre-bookable taxi prices can be found in “Prices”.
ARRIVING BY AIR
The best airports for international flights are the London airports or Manchester, followed by a train to the start (see above).
Flight information can change rapidly and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner (see below) before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights until we have confirmed that we have provisionally reserved accommodation for you.
For up-to-date schedules and flights from all airports check Skyscanner.
Getting to the start of the walk
Full transfer advice, including timetables, is provided in your Walkers’ Pack. Contact us if you would like additional pre-booking information.
Where You'll Stay
Our standard accommodation on this route is a mix of friendly B&Bs and inns; the upgrades offer a little taste of luxury (and will add around £300 pp to a 7 night holiday price). All are very happy welcoming walkers, although please don’t be offended if asked to remove muddy boots on arrival!
Cromford – Oakhill (B&B)
Grade 2 listed country house built by the Arkwright family, in lovely setting, with excellent restaurant.Website
Bakewell – The Manners (B&B)
A popular pub, with B&B rooms in a separate Victorian building nearby.Website
Bakewell – H Boutique Hotel (B&B)
Modern, spotlessly clean hotel with good sized and well furnished rooms.Website
Hathersage – Little John Hotel (B&B)
Friendly, no nonsense pub, popular with locals. Refurbished 2021.Website
Hathersage – The George (B&B)
Refurbished (2021) 500-year-old building mixing contemporary styling and old features. Excellent food and drink.Website
Edale – The Rambler Inn (B&B)
Friendly accommodation with good beer and pub food. Very popular with walkers.Website
Edale – Stonecroft Guest House (B&B)
Beautiful family run B&B, gluten free and vegetarian (vegans also welcome).Website
Total 6 nights in double/twin room, all breakfasts, luggage transfers between all hotels on walking route; full Walkers’ Pack with route directions, maps, transfer and background information; local telephone support.
All prices are per person unless otherwise indicated, and are based on a standard booking in May. Prices may vary seasonally and a fixed price will be given to you before you commit.
Single Room Supplement (SRS): From £275
Lone Traveller Additional Supplement (LTAS): From £140
Maximum party size: 8
Upgrade accommodation possible on some nights: Contact On Foot Holidays
Extra nights in any hotel: Contact On Foot Holidays
Taxi from Matlock Town station to Cromford/Bonsall: Call us for details
Sending Walkers’ Packs to addresses outside the UK: £10-£40 (per pack, location dependent)
Our local team
Richard Tucker and his wife Laetitia are lifelong enthusiastic walkers, and in recent years they have enjoyed On Foot walks on the continent and in the UK. As importantly, though, they have explored the footpaths and trails, meadows, hills and moorland of the Peak District over many years, and have worked with our staff team to create a route comprising the best the region has to offer.