Details: Beeley & Hell Bank Plantation
Distance 3 miles
Time Approx 2 hours
Terrain Field paths, woodland trails, quiet lanes
Accessibility Uneven ground, stiles, squeeze stiles and kissing gates
Start and End Point Postcode DE4 2NT; /// spiking.balancing.detergent
Map Ordnance Survey Explorer OL24
This lovely walk takes you out of the pretty village of Beeley on grassy field paths and along the edge of the moorland above Chatsworth House, with fabulous views back across the Derwent Valley. It then descends on trails through woodland known as Hell Bank Plantation, alongside a stream with a series of waterfalls, before returning to Beeley via quiet lanes.
This is a walk of 3 miles. There are kissing gates, stiles and squeeze stiles. The terrain is uneven in places through the woodland, and some parts of the walk may be wet underfoot after periods of heavy rain. Street parking in Beeley is free, but please park with consideration for residents. There are no toilets or refreshments en route, although there is a wonderful pub and a café in the village at the start/end point. Both are dog-friendly. Allow around 2 hours to complete this walk at a moderate pace.
1. Park considerately on any of the quiet streets in the village of Beeley. The walk starts on Pig Lane (nearest postcode DE4 2NT). Walk just past the two pretty cottages on your left beyond the church car park, and look out for the public footpath on the opposite side of the road, through a squeeze stile into a field.
2. Walk straight on through this field, usually occupied by friendly horses, and through the squeeze stile at the far end into a second field. Follow the obvious path up through the field, to go through a further squeeze stile where the two hedge borders meet at the top left corner of the field.
3. On entering the next field, follow the obvious path diagonally right away from the squeeze stile, and up to the top left corner of the field, where you should cross a stile. Look back at the fabulous views towards Beeley village and on over the Derwent Valley as you walk.
4. Once over the stile, again walk diagonally right across the field to the brow of the hill. Go through a wide gate and join a track to a farm, keeping a stone wall on your right. Follow the farm track as it passes to the right of a lovely farmhouse marked on the map as Beeley Hilltop.
5. Follow the yellow footpath signs into and through the farmyard, turning left after a collection of barns. When you see a large silo on your left, look out for the continuation of the footpath directly opposite, through another squeeze stile. Turn immediately left and cross the field to a further squeeze stile, where you emerge on to a quiet lane, Beeley Bar Lane.
6. Turn right on Beeley Bar Lane and keep following it, ignoring a footpath off to the left. The lane runs between two hedges at first, which later give way to old stone walls, with the slopes of Beeley Moor to your left and beautiful views across fields to your right.
7. Keep following the lane as it heads uphill and becomes more rutted underfoot. The pine forest on your right is Hell Bank Plantation, which sounds much more foreboding than it is, don’t worry.
8. As the lane reaches the top of the hill it comes to a T-junction of paths, with tracks off to Beeley Moor on the left. Turn right here, and almost immediately after turning follow a public footpath (signed for the Boundary Walk) into the trees.
9. The path here is clear as it cuts through bracken. At a fork in the path after approx. 150 metres, take the right hand path into the wood, following the yellow public footpath arrows. After approx. 50 metres there is a further sign, where the footpath turns right and zig-zags back on itself into the forest.
10. The path now cuts through coniferous woodland. It soon reaches a small stream, Beeley Brook, where there is a little footbridge over the water and a collection of waterfalls. Cross the footbridge and continue following the path, with Beeley Brook on your left.
11. Continue following the path through the trees, at one point heading into dense pine woodland. When you reach a stone wall turn left, keeping the wall on your right. Look out for a set of small steps with a further yellow footpath marker, at which point you should follow the arrow and turn right.
12. The path widens here and continues through pretty, broad-leafed woodland, still with the stone wall on your right.
13. At a fork in the path, take the footpath on the right that heads gently uphill, keeping the stone wall on your right, until you reach a broad wooden gate with a ladder stile beside it.
14. Continue straight on, with the wall now on your left and open countryside to your right.
15. As the wall ends, go through a kissing gate and follow a wide track, with cleared woodland to your left and a stone wall on your right. Where the track meets a T-junction of paths, turn right and continue downhill.
16. This lane eventually gives way to a tarmac road and comes back into the village of Beeley. Turn right at a T-junction with a large beech tree on a small triangle of grass, to return to the start of your walk on the right after approx. 100 metres.
To learn more about the pretty village of Beeley, click HERE.