If you, like us, have taken on walking as your newfound love thanks to lockdown, you’ll want to get out and about exploring. After all, there is no better relief from Boris Johnson than no phone signal and unspoiled countryside views. Boasting some of the most beautiful sights in the UK, we’ve rounded up our favourite, most scenic walks to try in the Peak District. While the difficulty for each walk varies, the stunning sights remain just as exquisite as the next. Read on for our pick of Peak District routes.
1. Hathersage and Stanage Edge
Kicking off our list with a pretty long, but incredibly pretty walk, Stanage Edge is a real highlight for many Peak District visitors – thanks to its dramatic edge which peers over the surrounding moorlands. Beginning in the lovely village of Hathersage, the 9-mile walk leads walkers along the cliff tops of Stanage Edge – providing wonderful sights of nearby landmarks such as Mam Tor, Kinder Scout and Hope Valley.
2. The Longshaw Estate
Covered in stunning heather with stunning views over the Derwent Valley, the Longshaw Estate is perfect for walkers of all abilities, with both moorland and woodland to explore. Discover mystical woodlands, abandoned millstone quarries and panoramic views of the surrounding beauty.
3. Curbar Edge
A fairly easy walk with a highly rewarding pay-off, Curbar Edge boasts some of the best views in the Peak District – and you don’t have to climb anything too steep to reach it. One of the attractions easiest routes will clock up 6 miles on your FitBit, leading you to Froggatt Edge and White Edge before bringing you back round to the National Trust carpark. Pack a snack or two to enjoy while you take in the views.
4. Kinder Scout
Kinder Scout is the highest point of the Peak District – so it’s no surprise that it also features some of the most fantastic sights. The gorgeous walk can be started in pretty Edale, leading you to some other iconic sights such as Jacob’s Ladder and Kinder Downfall. Mermaid’s Pool, Pym’s Chair and the Boxing Gloves can also be spotted during the route, and while extremely rewarding, it’s worth noting that Kinder Scout provides some of the most difficult walks due to its height of a whopping 2,087ft above sea level.
5. Cromford Mill
An easier walk for those who prefer a little scenic potter, exploring the village of Cromford is always an enjoyable experience – with a ton of history to uncover during your visit. The home of the Industrial Revolution, Cromford still houses Arkwright’s Mill – the world’s first ever water-powered cotton spinning mill. Not only that, but the canal that flows alongside it makes for an idyllic walk, and you can even stop for some local produce at one of their quaint neighbourhood shops while you’re there.
6. The Roaches
A ten-mile walk that’s sure to burn off last night’s pizza, the route to The Roache’s has plenty to offer – including sights of Hen’s Cloud and Lud’s Church. The historic religious site can be found between two walls of a rock – known as a ‘chasm’ – and was once used by Christians as a secret place of worship, way back in the 15th century when they were persecuted for their beliefs. While The Roaches will provide unbeatable sights of the Staffordshire and Derbyshire Peak District, Lud’s Church is one of the most unique spots you can find across the national park.
7. Mam Tor
Probably the most popular route in the Peak District, Mam Tor is well-loved for a reason: it’s truly beautiful views that involve just a short walk. Starting in picturesque Castleton, the five-mile route will take you right to the summit of Mam Tor – with epic views far and beyond. To elongate the walk, visitors can start in Edale, too, but the small village of Castleton is a real highlight and well worth the visit if you’ve never been before.
8. Dovestone Reservoir
Sometimes, nothing beats a gorgeous, circular reservoir walk on a Sunday afternoon. Routes at Dovestone Reservoir can start at just 4 miles long, with avid walkers able to extend further if they wish. The route – which is best suited to those who like a fairly tough trek – follows the large reservoir’s edge, before leading around Yeoman Hey Reservoir, Greenfield Reservoir, over the surrounding peaks (where you’ll be able to enjoy some of the best reservoir viewpoints) and down by Chew plantation. The walk is brilliant for budding photographers, and has proven incredibly popular this year during lockdown.
9. Lose Hill
Another short walk option from Castleton, Lose Hill can either be paired with Mam Tor or enjoyed on its own, with the beautiful village to explore once you’ve finished. For those who’d prefer to make the most of the sights, however, there’s an additional route to Lose Hill which starts in Edale, also leading you to Win Hill while you’re out and about. The walk is moderately easy, so if you’ve been holed up inside all year, it’s an ideal place to start.
10. Thor’s Cave
An absolute Peak District must – Thor’s Cave is a wonderful photo opportunity and it only takes a short walk to reach it. The longest walk with the most scenery clocks up just 5 miles, with a shorter 3.5-mile route if you just fancy seeing the cave. For the longer walk, ramblers are treated to sights of Manifold Valley and Wetton Hill – with access to the huge cave to finish which overlooks the valley.
11. Three Shires Head
We love Three Shires Head here at The Yorkshireman – and while it’s not in Yorkshire, it has an interesting history that grasps our attention. The spot is a rare point where three counties collide: Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire – and features a number of small waterfalls where horses in the ‘olden days’ would stop to hydrate during long journeys. The short walk is perfect for families due to its simple countryside route, and can even be used as a wild swimming spot in the summer on a nice, hot day.
12. Winnats Pass
You’ll have probably seen awe-inspiring shots of Winnats Pass on Instagram before, with photographers favouring the spot thanks to its clear views of the surrounding countryside and short walk up to it. The walk itself takes you above the road, giving fantastic sights of the valley-like space and views far and beyond. The walk starts in Castleton, and is pretty challenging at parts – so don’t take it on unless you’re confident with your hiking abilities (and have the appropriate footwear, it can get rocky!).
[Featured image: Adobe Stock/_Danoz]