Distance 8 miles
Time 4-5 hours
Terrain Hill trails, village lanes, woodland paths
Accessibility Gates, steps, squeeze stiles, uneven terrain
Start and End Point Grid Ref SK 25549; postcode S32 3ZJ; /// cable.basis.brick
Map Ordnance Survey OL24
This walk offers some of the very best views in the Peak District, following a spectacular route across Froggatt Edge, Curbar Edge and Baslow Edge with the wide vistas of the stunning Derwent Valley laid out below. It then descends gently on moorland trails and returns to the start point via the pretty villages of Curbar, Calver, Froggatt and Grindleford, on country lanes, field tracks and shady woodland paths alongside the River Derwent.
This is a walk of 8 miles. The terrain is very uneven on the Edges and please be aware that the moorland trails and woodland paths will be muddy after wet weather. There are gates and squeeze stiles but no climbing stiles. You may encounter cows on the route. There is parking at the start/end of the walk (fees apply), and there are opportunities for refreshments at the halfway point in Calver. Allow 4-5 hours to complete this walk at a moderate pace, allowing for rest stops to take in those fabulous views.
1. Park at the National Trust Hay Wood car park, part of the Longshaw Estate (postcode S32 3ZJ). Please note that there is a charge to park here if you are not a member of the National Trust.
2. Keeping the car park on your left, head into the trees and turn left on the path. The path dips down through a small stream and then climbs up a set of steps to a gate. Go through the gate and turn immediately right. Cross the road with care and head towards the broad white gate visible ahead of you.
3. Go through the white gate on to Froggatt Edge and follow the well-marked, broad trail. Stay on this and ignore minor paths off. The trail passes through pretty areas of woodland with occasional views through the trees.
4. Soon after you’ve passed through a further gate, look out to the left of the path for a small stone circle, Stoke Flat Circle (SK 24967). It consists of around 11 stones and is roughly 15m in diameter, believed to date back to the Bronze Age. Excavations in the 1930s are said to have recovered cremation remains and an urn.
5. Continuing on the trail, the view opens out before you, with vast moorland to your left (appropriately known as Big Moor) and the view down towards Grindleford, Stoney Middleton and Eyam to your right. In summer listen out for curlew, snipe and grouse on the moors, and you can often see wild red deer here too. PLEASE keep your dogs on a short lead during nesting season between 1 March and 31 July to avoid disturbing birds that nest on the ground.
6. Continue on the main trail as it passes through rocky outcrops and over the moor. It eventually leads on to Curbar Edge, still with magnificent views in all directions.
7. Go through an obvious gate and follow the signpost to Baslow Edge. The trail goes down to a quiet road which you should cross over carefully and take the path directly opposite. If you’re in need of refreshments there is often a catering van parked in the car park just a few metres off the road here.
8. Go through another gate and follow the trail up on to Baslow Edge. Again, there are fabulous views along the Derwent Valley over to the right. A herd of Highland Cattle often graze here. If you’re lucky enough to spot them please give them some space, treat them with respect and keep your dog on a short lead.
9. After approx. 300-400 metres on your left you’ll see a large gritstone boulder standing on its own on the moor. This is known as the Eagle Stone. It’s now a popular landmark and rock-climbing point, but in the past it was a testing ground for local young men, who had to climb to the top to prove their fitness for marriage! Fancy a challenge while you’re here?!
10. Soon after the Eagle Stone the path forks. Take the right hand fork, past a beautifully-positioned bench that’s perfect for a possible picnic stop. From here you can see for miles along the Derwent Valley; see if you can pick out Chatsworth House.
11. Walk along the trail for approx. 100 metres to another fork in the path. Again, take the right hand fork and follow the obvious path over fields and moorland, with the rock face towering above you on your right.
12. At a further fork in the path, marked with a prominent signpost, take the right-hand fork on a bridleway that’s signed towards Curbar Edge. The path passes through a succession of gates and be aware that it is uneven in places.
13. Go through a small gate with a squeeze stile immediately beyond, and very soon afterwards turn left to follow the line of the stone wall down to a further squeeze stile. Turn left on the road and walk down towards Curbar village. Follow the road straight down through the village, ignoring all other roads off, following signs to Calver.
14. At the bottom of the hill you’ll reach a T-junction, with the Bridge Inn directly opposite if you’re in need of refuelling. Turn right at the T-junction to cross the bridge and walk towards Calver village. The Derbyshire Craft Shop and Tea Room ahead of you is a further alternative for lunch, or within Calver village you’ll find the excellent Derwentwater Arms and a great tearoom at Calver Sough Garden Centre.
15. To continue the walk, turn right immediately after the Calver Mill Gallery along a narrow lane. Continue straight on past Calver Mill towards Stocking Farm, and take the public footpath through the gate to the right of the farm buildings. Walk diagonally right across the field towards the river, and then follow the path with the river on your right.
16. Where the path reaches a road, cross carefully straight over the road and take the path directly opposite. This path takes you into Calver Marshes, a restoration wetland project with habitat supporting water voles and great crested newts. Cross the small footbridge and follow the path through a succession of gates, keeping the river on your right at all times.
17. On reaching the road, go through a small gate and turn immediately right. Cross the bridge over the river into the pretty village of Froggatt.
18. At the T-junction in the village turn left and follow Hollowgate through the village. Where the road bears right, instead continue straight on down Spooner Lane.
19. The lane soon gives way to a grassy path between two stone walls. Where the wall ends, follow the signed path diagonally right across the field and then onwards, keeping roughly to the right of a dry stone wall and then heading diagonally right towards a small patch of woodland. Go through a squeeze stile in the wall to enter Froggatt Wood.
20. Continue on the main path through this pretty woodland, crossing over a couple of streams. Ignore all other paths off.
21. Where the woodland ends, go through a small gate and diagonally right across the field in front of you, crossing over the stream again via a small stone footbridge. Leave the field by way of a small gate that leads on to the road.
22. Turn right on the road and then very quickly right again, approx 50 metres later, on a public footpath immediately before Grindleford church and community shop.
23. Follow the footpath up, with houses to the left and fields to the right, until the path forks. Take the left hand fork to enter a beautiful National Trust wood, Hay Wood. There are many, many paths through the woodland, but at all times stick to the main path that heads roughly straight on, usually upwards. At a crossroads of paths marked with a wooden sign, go straight on again.
24. At an obvious fork in the path amid silver birches, take the right hand fork, still following the path upwards. Go through a small gate and head straight on, to find yourself back at your starting point in the Hay Wood car park.