There is nothing I love more than putting on my walking gear and getting out into the British Countryside. There’s something therapeutic about being outdoors, taking in the beautiful views and getting in exercise all at the same time. I’m a big advocate for walking, and studies have shown that a 10-minute walk immediately boosts brain chemistry to increase happiness… so imagine what the below 1.5 hour plus walks could do!
There are so many reasons why I love walking and there are ways to make it work for you. If you’re not a keen sports person or don’t really like the gym, then walking is a great way to get fit. It’s free, you can set your own pace, you don’t need expensive equipment (perhaps just a good pair of walking shoes and comfortable socks), It can help to lose/maintain weight, it can improve your balance & co-ordination and walking with a friend, partner or colleague can turn it into a social occasion!
So, with all this being said, find my top 5 recommended walks in the Peak District, all based on personal experience…
1) Lathkill Dale – 4 miles
This is the shortest option out of my recommendations and will probably take you around an hour and a half. It starts in the pretty village of Monyash, taking you through a peaceful, atmospheric area with large limestone cliffs and woodland. It will lead you down the River Lathkill where you’ll see pretty waterfalls and weirs along the way. Perfect for a quick walk on a day where you perhaps have less time but want beautiful scenery.
2) Hartington Dale – 6 miles
Hartington Dale is definitely a personal favourite of mine! Starting from the village of Hartington, it will take you over fields and through a beautiful woodland into Beresford Dale and onwards into Wolfscote Dale (shown below). It is here the path runs beside the picture-perfect River Dove. The route then returns through the steep-sided Biggin Dale and back into Hartington on some quiet lanes with lovely views of the countryside. Hartington has a couple of pubs and little tearoom should you want to also stop off to refuel after the walk.
3) Kinder Scout – 8 miles
Probably one that you have heard of as it is the highest point in the Peak District. Start at Bowden Bridge car park in Edale, you’ll walk alongside the Kinder reservoir before heading up William Clough eventually passing the spectacular rock buttresses and cascading water of the Kinder Downfall. Be wary once you’re on your way down, part of it becomes a steep, stepped descent and can be slippy when wet! Definitely one I would advise you take a pack lunch on.
4) Mam Tor – 9 miles
This is a 6 ½ mile walk starting in Castleton and walking through some of the most admired and stunning parts of the Peak District. This Peak District walk gives stunning views over Edale, Hope Valley and even the edge of Kinder Scout. The day I did it, it was super windy! But still a very enjoyable walk/day out.
5) Stanage Edge – 10 miles
Probably my second favourite out of these 5 walks. Starting in the village of Hathersage, this 10-mile walk takes you along the wonderful cliffs of Stanage Edge with amazing views of the Derwent & Hope Valleys, Mam Tor and Kinder Scout (below). It’s the longest out of them all and took me around 3.5 hours, this included stopping for the picnic we packed! Perfect on a sunny day when you want to spend a good amount of time outdoors and in the fresh air.
Perhaps cycling might be more your thing?...
Perhaps you’d prefer to be on wheels rather than foot? See below my top 3 recommended bike rides in the Peak District. Another way to get outside into the fresh air and take in some beautiful views in the countryside!
1) Manifold Way – 16 miles
Starting at Waterhouses, head north towards Hulme end, passing Thors Cave on the way. Once you’re 8 miles in, you’ll be able to stop at the Tea Junction to refuel before heading back.
2) Monsal Trail – 17 miles
17 miles in total, this trail is the former Midland Railway Line where you get to cycle through the 6 old tunnels; Headstone Tunnel, Cressbrook Tunnel, Litton Tunnel, Chee Tor Tunnel, Chee Tor No.2 and Rusher Cutting tunnel. Quite flat too which makes it easier!
3) Tissington Trail – 26 miles
Start at Ashbourne, this one is a tough one! 13 miles off slow incline, however made worthwhile with the views. Stop at Parsley Hay Refreshments before heading back to make it 26 miles or keep going to the end and extend the length to Dowlow to make it 34 miles.
All in all, we really do have some stunning locations on our doorstep! Whether it’s a walk in the sun to top up on some Vitamin D or a walk in the cold wrapped up in jumpers, hats and gloves (my fave) there really is a walk out there for everyone!
So, my advice to you, get yourselves outdoors, you honestly won’t regret it! :)
Thanks for reading!