NEW EDITION FEBRUARY 2020

 

Walks North Peak District

Walks North Peak District

Author: Richard Hallewell

Rewalked by: Rob & Becky Coope

An initial attempt to rewalk our North Peak District book in March 2018 had ended up clashing with the ‘mini Beast from the East’.  We had booked a cottage (Loose Hill Lea in Shatton), which turned out to be a very comfortable base for what was a frustrating week’s walking – with only occasional forays into snow filled lanes in white-out conditions possible for the first couple of days.  When we did get out, deep drifts made any route checking impossible, so the book check was sadly abandoned.  We booked the same cottage for a second attempt and were rewarded on this trip with fine weather which enabled us to complete the routes.  Not having walked in the North Peaks before, we were greatly impressed by the area.  Few changes were needed to the write-ups – some previously muddy paths had been improved, some signage changed and some new gates installed in places.  
We arrived on a weekend, and soon found that car parks in popular areas such as Fairholmes and Ladybower Reservoir and those around Castleton quickly filled up, and the walks themselves were also very busy.  By Monday, most visitors had gone and the paths were much quieter.
In general the area is very compact, and less populated than the South Peaks.  It is not far to travel between walks, and you very quickly establish an understanding of the geography of the area, with many of the walks visible from others.
Particular highlights were the dramatic Hayfield to Kinder Scout, Cave Dale & Mam Torr, the circuit of Derwent Reservoir and Stanage Edge.  Many of the routes intertwine, so once you know your way around it would be possible to create any number of linking circuits in the area.  The routes covered in the book give an excellent selection of what is available at all levels.
With the area being so popular, there is a fine array of shops, cafés and pubs for the visitor to sample as well as the renowned caverns around Castleton to visit.  If you are not familiar with North Peak District as a waking destination then we can thoroughly recommend it.