Walking near Hartington

Hartington is an excellent centre for walking, with opportunities for long and short walks. Most of the going underfoot is quite good as most of the routes are on limestone areas, with numerous well-paved paths and tracks.

Walk 1

This is a circuit from Hartington across to Biggin Dale, returning via Wolfscote Dale and Beresford Dale. It is fairly gentle and the surfaces underfoot are mostly good. Distance about 8km / 5 miles, time around 2 hours - 2½ hours.

From Hartington Market Place, take the small road signposted to Heathcote, which leads past the Youth Hostel. Opposite the Youth Hostel turn right down Leisure Lane. Follow this until it (and the cycle track) make an abrupt right-hand bend. Go straight on here, following first a rough farm track, then a path across a field.

heron in wolfscote dale

Heron in Wolfscote Dale

footpath sign

Footpath sign to Biggin Dale

You come out on a single track road. Follow this until it also takes a sharp right-hand bend, where again you go straight on, following the sign to Biggin Dale. Pass a magnificent large barn which is going to ruin and then descend a rather rough track to get to Biggin Dale itself.

Turn right and follow the dale down. Biggin Dale is a large, imposing valley which would probably be better known were it not for its proximity to Wolfscote Dale and Dovedale. It is also a Nature Reserve and in spring is full of wild flowers.

After 2 km of rather rough walking you reach the junction with the River Dove in Wolfscote Dale, and the paved path along that valley.

Turn right and after stopping to admire Drabber Tor opposite, follow the path upstream. Wolfscote Dale is very imposing and there may also be dippers and herons on the river.

After a while you reach Beresford Dale, marked by the cliffs of the 'Celestial Twins', and the valley narrows until eventually it becomes a gorge. You cross the river by a footbridge, then re-cross before the valley starts to widen out and the path climbs away from the river.

At this point you may be able to catch a glimpse of Charles Cotton's fishing lodge, a tower-like structure on the opposite bank, almost hidden by trees. This is where the 'Compleat Angler' was conceived.

The path ambles across the fields to return you to the centre of Hartington.
In wolfscote Dale

In Wolfscote Dale


Dovedale at the junction with Lin Dale

Walk 2

This walk makes use of the bus service between Buxton and Ashbourne, which passes through Hulme End, Hartington and Biggin. This is the 442 bus and it runs approximately every 2 hours. For a timetable click here.

This walk uses the bus service to get down to Thorpe, at the bottom of Dovedale, and returns along the valley of the River Dove, passing all the most spectacular scenery of the area. It is approximately 14km / 9 miles in length and should take about 4 hours including the bus journey (but not including stops to admire the scenery!).

Take the bus to the Dog and Partridge pub at Thorpe, a scenic journey of about 25 minutes. On alighting here, follow the road southwards 400 metres before turning right along the minor road through Broadlowash (this is more pleasant than following the B road through Thorpe).
Upon reaching the B road in the middle of Thorpe village, continue in the same direction about 200 metres before taking a footpath on the right which leads across Thorpe Pastures (an area of open land) to Lin Dale.

Follow Lin Dale (or climb Thorpe Cloud, which is easily ascended from this direction) and go down to meet the River Dove just above the famous Stepping Stones.

Turn right and follow the river upstream. There are numerous sights to see and a good path all the way back to Hartington, following Dovedale, Wolfscote Dale and Beresford Dale.

Suffice it to say that there is a cafe and tea shop at Milldale, and if you want a pub then it is best to leave the river track at Milldale and climb up the the village of Alstonefield, where The George provides excellent refreshment.
Dovedale stepping stones

Dovedale Stepping Stones

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