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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Saturday Walk - Gritstone Edges, the Derwent Valley and Chatsworth House: Grindleford Circular [Peak District Trip] [New Walk]

Length: 24.7 km (15.4 mi) [shorter or longer versions possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  504m; Net Walking Time: ca. 6 ½ hours
Toughness:  8 out of 10

From London: take the 09.02 Sheffield train from St. Pancras (change Sheffield 11.00/11.14) [or the 08.33 from King’s Cross via Doncaster and Sheffield], arriving Grindleford at 11.29.
From the West: take the 08.49 Sheffield train from Manchester Piccadilly (…var. stations…, Edale  09.32, Hope 09.38, Bamford 09.42, Hathersage 09.45), arriving Grindleford at 09.49.
From the East: take the 09.14 Manchester Piccadilly train from Sheffield (Dore & Totley 09.21), arriving Grindleford at 09.29. [Grindleford Station Café is just up the ramp while you wait for the other train.]

Return trains to London: 16.49, 17.51, 18.50, 19.50 (change at Sheffield, from 2 hours 41 mins). You may get better prices if searching for split tickets to Sheffield and then Sheffield – London! 
Return trains if staying in the area: towards Manchester xx.29 until 19.29, 19.50 (via Sheffield, connects to Hathersage and Edale) then 21.27 and 22.38; towards Sheffield 16.49, 17.51, 18.50, 19.50, 20.49, 21.47 and 23.19.

“From Grindleford Station, you ascend through ancient oak woodlands to the eastern rim of the wooded Upper Derwent Valley flanked by a continuous series of some of the most famous of the gritstone escarpments - or edges - of the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park, named after the colour of the grit stone. You follow the edges south, with views along this stretch back along the Derwent River encompassing much of the Central Peak District: Higger Tor and Stanage Edge, Win Hill, Lose Hill and the Great Ridge, Kinder Scout as well as Eyam Moor across the valley.
After lunch you follow permissive paths through the Chatsworth Estate and drop down through the steep wooded edge and past the magnificent Chatsworth House (the UK's most liked Country House). You then join the Derwent River and return along it through the scenic Chatsworth Park, landscaped by 'Capability' Brown and Sir Joseph Paxton, situated in a glorious setting surrounded by wooded hillsides, looking up to the classic gritstone edge scenery walked along earlier. You pass through Baslow and a few other, more quiet villages, some woods, marshland, a wooded wetland and finally along ancient packhorse routes through quiet lush pastures back to Grindleford Station.
An alternative - more challenging - return route re-ascends the edges from Baslow village along the grassy slopes of the valley and through the Curbar Gap to cross the upland Big Moor along the lonely White Edge.”

Walk Options:
Various bus lines enable shorter versions by either taking buses from Sheffield or Chesterfield stations to stops along the route or by finishing the walk earlier with buses back to train stations. The stops are: Bar Brook Bridge, Robin Hood Inn, Chatsworth House, Baslow Nether End, Baslow Church Street, Calver Bridge, Grindleford Playing Field (see the route map for symbols for their exact locations).
·        Line 65/65a (Buxton - Sheffield, Mon-Sat to late afternoon): serves Calver, Froggatt and Grindleford (village);
·        Line 66 (Tideswell - Chesterfield, Mon-Sat, useful services are late afternoon and early evening): serves Calver, Baslow and the Robin Hood Inn;
·        Line 170 (Bakewell - Chesterfield, hourly Mon-Sat, every 2 hours Sun): serves Baslow and the Robin Hood Inn;
·        Line 215 (Bakewell - Sheffield, Mon-Fri, only one bus late afternoon): serves Baslow, Calver and Grindleford (village);
·        Line 218 (Matlock/Bakewell - Sheffield, 7 days): serves the A 621 by Bar Brook Bridge (half-hourly, cutting 8 km from the walk), Chatsworth House (hourly) and Baslow (half-hourly).
An Extension at the end, along the Derwent River and via Upper Padley, adds 700m, but cuts tarmac.
An Alternative Ending, crossing Big Moor along White Edge, rises from the Derwent Valley at Baslow back onto the edges and takes a route higher - and more exposed - than the outward route, back to Grindleford Station. This adds 1.5 km distance and 172m ascent and is rated 10/10.

Elevenses/Lunch: Jolly's Catering Company van (5.6 km/3.5 mi); The Robin Hood Inn (10.4 km/6.4 mi, food served to 16.00, last orders 15.30); Carriage House, Flying Childers and Cavendish restaurants at the Chatsworth Estate  (13.6 km/8.4 mi, all open until at least 16.00).
Tea: numerous options in Baslow, Calver, Grindleford and near Grindleford station, check the webpage or the pdf.
For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files  click here. T=swc.322


Anonymous said...

Hi Guys anyone planning a day trip for this walk as cheap tickets are out? Hope to buy ticket soon.

Thomas G said...

Hi Monica,
you are right insofar as cheap King's Cross departure tickets are available (Advance Tickets), while the East Midlands trains from St. Pancras are not yet (currently they are sold up to and including the last weekend of April, so hopefully next week they'll be available for the May Bank Holiday weekend as well).
Based on past year's experience, you can expect a decent number of people to travel up on the Saturday, most of them though then staying on for a few days, but there are usually some that travel back sameday. I will certainly be waiting at Grindleford for any London arrivals and start walking with those, rather than with the group that has arrived on the Friday and will start walking earlier.
As for the Monday: if I knew some are booked to do that journey on the day, I would walk the southerly loop of the walk first and meet anyone coming up from London at the station to then commence the walk with them as written up, i.e. with the northerly loop.
Hope that helps.

Thomas G said...

Advance Tickets are now available (at £22,00) for the 08.02 to Grindleford (you'd be an hour too early but there's a nice cafe at Grindleford Station) or (also at £22.00) for the 08.31 from St. Pancras to Sheffield, but not (yet) for the 09.02. They may never become available, the way things are going. So if you want to be sure of a (very) good price, you could buy now for the 08.31 or 08.02...

Anonymous said...

Have booked 9.02 St P and 20.11 return to KX. The Lunch Monitor

Thomas G said...

I started with the late arrivals off the train from London (7 of them, 2 of which had come up just for the day), as did 2 others who had stayed in Sheffield over night, i.e. 10 of us were about 100 minutes behind the early starters. We experienced a few drops of remnants of hailstorms (supposed to have hit the higher tops of the area in a more threatening way) but else only had w=sunny-with-passing-clouds-and-a-cold-wind weather.
The views were superlative in clear air from the edges down into and across the Derwent Valley and with stoppages for photos etc. we got to the lunch pub just after 2, passed Chatsworth just before 4 and split into a few taking the higher return route across Big Moor and most taking the valley route. The higher route few caught the few early starters that did the higher route and near the end we checked out the Grouse Inn and then also frequented the Maynard Hotel for a last drink before dispersing to the various accommodations.
The main group split into subgroups I hear, some taking elevenses at the coffee van in a car park early on, others taking to gin or tea at Chatsworth, most eating in Baslow.
Plenty of bluebells in good form in the woods, but there aren't many woods on this route (more on the valley ending than the moor ending, admittedly). N=31