Strenuous Leader: Julie & Mark Gibbons Distance: 11 miles
We leave Bakewell and head for Edensor village, crossing the River Wye and the golf course, followed by a steep climb through Manners Wood and then a long but gentle trek across Carlton Pastures. A view of Chatsworth House and the expansive estate greets us as we approach Edensor, probably the prettiest Estate village. We meander through the Park following the course of the River Derwent and then climb up, crossing Beeley Moor to reach good paths that lead to the Swiss and Emperor Lakes and the Hunting Tower. Descending through Stand Wood, we pass close to the Farmyard and House, and then head back to Edensor and Bakewell.
This is strenuous in terms of mileage rather than ascent. There is one steep climb and descent, otherwise the route is gentle or moderate. Chatsworth, the home of Peregrine Cavendish, 12th Duke of Devonshire, is described as one of Britain’s finest estates and, if the sun shines, you will see why!
Moderate Leader: Ruth Melling & Hazel Anderton Distance: 8 miles
This is a linear walk so will the moderates please be ready to leave the coach promptly. We start at the pretty village of Ashford in the Water. We cross the main road and walk along the riverbank and then through woods, which is part of a nature reserve and had lots of wild flowers when we recce’ed. We re-cross the road and then walk along the bottom of Monsal Dale, a steep sided wooded valley. We go along the top of Monsal Viaduct and up to Monsal Head where, time permitting, we can rest a while and refresh ourselves with ice cream, tea or something stronger and take in the lovely view.
We then pick up the Monsal Trail and, after walking along the disused railway for a while, we make our way mainly along open country to Bakewell and some tart. We have a few uphill bits, mainly through the woods, but generally it is easy walking and not too many stiles.
Leisurely Leader: Derek Lee Distance : 7 miles
NB: this walk will start immediately from where the coach parks – toilets in the park after 5 minutes walk.
After a few minutes walk through parkland and allotments to the edge of the town, we have a long, mostly easy, climb to the village of Over Haddon, 350 feet higher than Bakewell. Then a steep descent on the road to Lathkill Dale followed by a walk through the last mile of the Dale to Conksbury Bridge. There is a short steep climb from the bridge before we cross the open fields and drop down to Haddon Hall. From here overgrown footpaths and then a bridleway track bring us to the Monsal Trail for an easy last mile back to Bakewell. Altogether about 500 feet climbing today.
Easy Leader: Adelaide Houghton Distance: 5.5 miles
Leaving Bakewell, we head northwards via an old pack horse track to join the Monsal Trail, then on to Ashford in the Water, a pleasant little village. The final stretch back to Bakewell is along the River Wye. Apart from one gradual uphill section, the walk is easy going (in dry weather that is!).