Great winter walks in Chesterfield and the Peak District
Being on the edge of the Peak District National Park, Chesterfield is ideally situated for winter walkers.
Whether you want to walk off the Christmas excesses or simply enjoy the fantastic scenery of Chesterfield and the Peak District, here are four fabulous routes to tackle this winter that pass by cafes, tea rooms and cosy pubs.
Chesterfield Canal – Tapton Lock Visitor Centre
The Chesterfield Canal, which is on the edge of the Chesterfield Waterside development is a beautiful waterway, and an oasis of calm. The 5-mile stretch from Chesterfield to Staveley, known as Cuckoo Way, is now restored and a wonderful walking route for every fitness level. You can even hire a tramper mobility scooter from Tapton Lock Visitor Centre.
Start from the Visitor Centre, where you’ll find a café offering freshly ground coffee, delicious snacks and homemade cakes.
If you want to explore further afield there are plenty of opportunities. Do a circular route looking out for the elusive water vole or the brilliant blue flash as a kingfisher darts past. Early morning walkers may spot Roe deer grazing along the canal and many water birds make their home here.
This is a 6.5-mile circular walk which begins and ends in the village of Castleton. It goes through some of the most admired and stunning parts of the Peak District. Known to be one of the best ridge walks in the country, it provides stunning views over Edale, Hope Valley and even the edge of Kinder Scout. There is also an option to extend this route to an 8 mile walk to include a stroll by the river on the way back.
Start in the main carpark in the village of Castleton and head up to summit of Mam Tor and then follow the stone path along the ridge line between Mam Tor and Lose Hill. The going is good all the way.
Whether at the start of the finish of the route, take the opportunity to call into the fabulous Three Roofs Café in the village of Castleton for a superb selection of cakes, light lunches and hot drinks.
Ilam – Dovedale
A short 2.5 mile walk but an opportunity to appreciate the famous limestone geology and wildlife of the White Peak in the Peak District. It’s an easy walk so again if you’re stuck for time or don’t want to be out in the cold too long, this is ideal. The walk begins at Ilam Park / Ilam Hall, which is a youth hostel you might want to have a look around – it boasts a café and bar which is open to the public. As part of the walk, you’ll pass through Ilam village before venturing into possibly muddy fields with some great views across to Manifold Valley. Finishing at the stepping stones in Dovedale, this is arguably one of the most scenic areas of the Peak District but, beware the stepping stones may not be suitable to walk on if it’s frosty or icy, so do take care.
In Dovedale, you’ll also find the dog friendly Izaak Walton Hotel, an AA 3 Star converted 17th Century Country House, which boasts a cosy bar.
Bakewell – Chatsworth
Starting from the old Bakewell railway station, this 7-mile circular walk takes you over the hill to the picturesque village of Edensor and on to Chatsworth House, before returning to Bakewell via the Chatsworth Garden Centre.
There are some glorious views of the house and the Hunting Tower along this walk, as well as the chance to have a cup of tea and some cake in the traditional tearooms at Edensor, the closest village to Chatsworth itself. Failing that, Chatsworth Garden Centre boasts its own café and Bakewell itself abounds with tea rooms selling the famous Bakewell Pudding.
Winter is one of the loveliest times to take this walk, because you’ll often have the frosty meadows to yourself, and have a better chance of seeing wildlife, such as the herds of deer that graze in the grounds of the Chatsworth Estate.
Bus – Peak District bus routes can be found here
Train – Details of trains to the Peak District can be found here along with some more information on public transport into the area.
Car – If you’re travelling from the north or south, the M1 and M6 motorways provide easy access into the Peak District. Other routes into the area include the M62, M42, M60, M56, M67 and M18.
If you’re looking to hire a car when you arrive into Chesterfield or the Peak District, please contact United Rental Group here and find your local vehicle rental branch.
Staying in Chesterfield
If you’re visiting Chesterfield from further afield and looking for a place to stay, the town has a great accommodation offering and is a great base for exploring Chesterfield and the nearby Peak District.
From four-star hotels like Casa, Ringwood Hall and Peak Edge, to the budget Premier Inn at Elder Way and cosier B&Bs like Stephenson’s Bed and Breakfast, there’s something to suit every taste and budget.
Further hotel accommodation will be added to Chesterfield’s offering with the addition of an 84-bed hotel in the Basin Square neighbourhood at Chesterfield Waterside.
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