© Phil Sproson
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Terrain: Well-made tracks, undulating, short stretches of road, no stiles.
Time: 3-4 hours
This lovely walk starts and ends in the pretty Peak District village of Hathersage, and takes in some beautiful countryside along the way, designed by Phil Sproson.
It’s relatively flat and gentle with only a few small hills, and for the most part uses well-made paths and lanes.
There are three short stretches of road, one of which has no pavement, so you might want to bear this in mind if your dog isn’t great in traffic.
There will most probably be sheep on the route, so your dog should always be kept on a lead, although you’re unlikely to encounter cows.
There are no stiles or squeeze stiles. There are dog-friendly cafes and a pub for refreshments en route, and Hathersage has a wealth of shops and eateries to enjoy before and after the walk.
- Park at the public car park in Hathersage (Postcode: S32 1DD), which is well signposted within the village and located opposite the outdoor swimming pool. There is a small charge to pay.
- From the car park, cross over Oddfellows Road and turn right, to quickly join Station Road. At Station Road turn left, and follow this road for approx. 600m out of the village, passing under the railway bridge and past the Cutlery Factory and Design Museum on the way. If you have time to pause here, this small museum makes an interesting diversion, and there is a lovely shop and great café. Dogs are welcome outside.
- Just before reaching the stone bridge over the River Derwent at Leadmill, cross over the road and follow a public footpath off to the left, signposted to Grindleford and Harper Lees. This path follows the riverbank for approx. 3km into Grindleford. It’s especially pretty in the Springtime, when bluebells, cow parsley and wild garlic are in full flower. There are plenty of shady spots along the way and some shallow sections of the river where your dog can paddle, swim or drink.
- When you reach a farm signed Harper Lees, note that the footpath continues through a kissing gate to the right of a cattle grid, and enters a grassy field. Continue straight across the field, following a fairly well trodden path, while the river bends off to the right. There are often sheep in this field, so please keep your dog on a lead. The path meets up with the river again and continues through the next field.
- Ahead you will see another kissing gate and a sign to show that you’re entering Coppice Wood. This is part of the National Trust estate at Longshaw. The path continues straight ahead, all the time keeping the river Derwent to your right. This beautiful deciduous wood is home to a wide variety of wildlife and makes a great spot for a picnic or a rest stop for you and your dog. Watch out for dippers and wagtails on the river.
- Emerge from Coppice Wood into another field and walk straight on, still keeping the river to your right. Continue through a wide gap in a stone wall into the next field and follow the well-trodden path on a slight diagonal to the left, heading a little away from the river. At the entrance to the next field you will cross a small stream via an open bridge. At this point the River Derwent is a short distance away to your right. Continue straight on through the wide field on the path, which meets up with the river again shortly before emerging at a gate on to the B6521.
- Cross the road here and turn left, heading slightly uphill on the footpath. Directly opposite is the Grindleford Shop and Café, located in St Helen’s Church. This community-run establishment is well worth a visit. It is staffed by volunteers, all of whom came together to save their village shop when it was threatened with closure. Dogs are very welcome on the outside seating under the trees.
- Continue uphill with the Grindleford Shop on your right, crossing the road to stay on the pavement after approx. 300 metres. If you want a more substantial meal by this stage, look out for The Maynard pub on your right. It is a great halfway point and is dog friendly for dining or drinking in the bar area.
- A short distance after passing The Maynard, turn left on to a small side road signposted to Grindleford station. At the bottom of this road is the wonderful Grindleford Station Café, which is dog friendly outside. It sells huge portions of honest, good quality food; the chip butties and pints of tea are legendary.
- Suitably refuelled, continue along this small road, which crosses the railway line at Totley Tunnel and then continues over a pretty bridge to cross Burbage Brook at Padley Mill. Bear left and uphill as the road turns into a track and passes a row of houses on the left.
- After a short distance you will pass Padley Chapel on your right. This Grade I listed building, cared for by English Heritage, is all that remains of a 16th Century manor house, Padley Hall. The chapel itself is closed to the public but the grounds make an interesting diversion off the track.
- Continue on the path past Padley Chapel, passing through a wide gate onto open moorland and then through patches of shady silver birch woodland. After a short time the view opens up to your left and the Hope Valley is laid out before you. The magnificent bulk of Mam Tor, some 9 miles away in Castleton, is a clear landmark on the horizon.
- Follow this well-made path, eventually passing a farm on your left hand side. If you would like to take a short cut, turn left at this farm to follow a path signposted to Hathersage, which takes you back downhill to join the river path you started on. Otherwise, continue on the path slightly uphill for approx. 500 metres, until you reach a wide gate and meet up with the A6187.
- At the road, turn right on the footpath for a very short distance before crossing carefully and taking the road on the left, signposted to Ringinglow. Be aware that there is no pavement here. Make sure you walk on the right hand side of the road to face the oncoming traffic and keep your dog on a short lead.
- Walk beside an area of woodland, known as Whim Wood, which will be to your right hand side. As soon as the woodland ends after approx. 200 metres, cross the road and take the public footpath off to the left, with stone walls to both sides. The gate here can be opened with a button on the gate post; you don’t have to tackle the stile unless you want to. As you walk along this path there are wonderful views of the Hope Valley to your left, and behind you the mighty gritstone outcrops of Millstone Edge and Higger Tor.
- Just as the path bears right towards a distinctive, castellated house (Scraperlow Hall), take a grassy track off to the left beside a stone wall, keeping the wall to your left and an open field with gorse bushes to your right. As the wall ends, turn left and drop down through the gorse towards a small gate set within stone walls.
- Going through the gate, the narrow path drops quite steeply down through beautiful beech woodland, scattered with wildflowers in the spring and summer. Take care here as the path is quite uneven in places, particularly at the start. Follow the path for approx. 400 metres and then watch closely to take a side path heading down and off to the left through the trees, towards a small gate.
- Going through the gate, you will be on an enclosed path with houses to your left. Follow this path until it ends, where it meets up with the A6187. Cross the road carefully and turn right on the footpath to head back into the village of Hathersage.
- Continue straight down the hill into the village if you wish to browse the shops or need refreshments. Otherwise, take the first road on the left, Crossland Road, and follow this road, bearing left at the bottom of the hill where it becomes Oddfellows Road. The car park starting point can be found on the right hand side after approx. 250 metres.
This walk is part of the Dogs Die in Hot Cars Campaign. Please don’t take the risk by leaving your dog alone in a car on a summer’s day. ‘Not long’ is too long.
Written by Phil Sproson, and walked and sniffed for you by Suzanne and Loki respectively.
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