Chatsworth House

SWC Walk 322 - Grindleford Circular (via Chatsworth House)

02-Oct-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Backview from Curbar Edge

SWC Walk 322 - Grindleford Circular (via Chatsworth House)

02-Oct-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Nelson's Monument, Birchen Edge

SWC Walk 322 - Grindleford Circular (via Chatsworth House)

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The Hunting Tower, Chatsworth Estate

SWC Walk 322 - Grindleford Circular (via Chatsworth House)

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River Derwent, Chatsworth Estate

SWC Walk 322 - Grindleford Circular (via Chatsworth House)

02-Oct-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Up into Oak's Wood

SWC Walk 322 - Grindleford Circular (via Chatsworth House)

02-Oct-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Steep Bouldery Path in Oak's Wood

SWC Walk 322 - Grindleford Circular (via Chatsworth House)

02-Oct-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Grindleford Circular via Chatsworth House walk

Through ancient woods and along some famous Dark Peak Edges to the UK's most-loved Country House, back through the verdant Derwent Valley


24.7 km (15.4 mi). Cumulative ascent/descent: 504m.
For a shorter walk and an Alternative Ending, see below Walk Options.


8 out of 10
Time: 6 hours 20 minutes walking time.
For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 11 1/2 hours.


OS Landranger Map: 110 (Sheffield & Huddersfield)
OS Explorer Map: OL24 (The Peak District - White Peak Area)

Walk Notes

From Grindleford Station, you ascend through ancient oak woodlands to the eastern rim of the wooded Upper Derwent Valley flanked by a continuous series of some of the most famous of the gritstone escarpments - or edges - of the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park, named after the colour of the grit stone. You follow the edges south, with views along this stretch back along the Derwent River encompassing much of the Central Peak District: Higger Tor and Stanage Edge, Win Hill, Lose Hill and the Great Ridge, Kinder Scout as well as Eyam Moor across the valley.
After lunch you follow permissive paths through the Chatsworth Estate and drop down through the steep wooded edge and past the magnificent Chatsworth House (the UK's most liked Country House). You then join the Derwent River and return along it through the scenic Chatsworth Park, landscaped by 'Capability' Brown and Sir Joseph Paxton, situated in a glorious setting surrounded by wooded hillsides, looking up to the classic gritstone edge scenery walked along earlier. You pass through Baslow and a few other, more quiet villages, some woods, marshland, a wooded wetland and finally along ancient packhorse routes through quiet lush pastures back to Grindleford Station.

An alternative - more challenging - return route re-ascends the edges from Baslow village along the grassy slopes of the valley and through the Curbar Gap to cross the upland Big Moor along the lonely White Edge.

Walk Options

Various bus lines enable shorter versions by either taking buses from Sheffield or Chesterfield stations to stops along the route or by finishing the walk earlier with buses back to train stations. The stops are: Bar Brook Bridge, Robin Hood Inn, Chatsworth House, Baslow Nether End, Baslow Church Street, Calver Bridge, Grindleford Playing Field (see the route map for symbols for them).

  • Line 65/65a (Buxton - Sheffield, Mon-Sat to late afternoon): serves Calver, Froggatt and Grindleford (village);
  • Line 66 (Tideswell - Chesterfield, Mon-Sat, useful services are late afternoon and early evening): serves Calver, Baslow and the Robin Hood Inn;
  • Line 170 (Bakewell - Chesterfield, hourly Mon-Sat, every 2 hours Sun): serves Baslow and the Robin Hood Inn;
  • Line 215 (Bakewell - Sheffield, Mon-Fri, only one bus late afternoon): serves Baslow, Calver and Grindleford (village);
  • Line 218 (Matlock/Bakewell - Sheffield, 7 days): serves the A 621 by Bar Brook Bridge (half-hourly, cutting 8 km from the walk), Chatsworth House (hourly) and Baslow (half-hourly).

An Extension at the end, along the Derwent River and via Upper Padley, adds 700m, but cuts tarmac.

An Alternative Ending, crossing Big Moor along White Edge, rises from the Derwent Valley at Baslow back onto the edges and takes a route higher - and more exposed - than the outward route, back to Grindleford Station. This adds 1.5 km distance and 172m ascent and is rated 10/10.


Jolly's Catering Company Car Park off Clodhall Lane, Curbar, Derbyshire, S32 3YR (07880 139925). Open - weather permitting - 11.00-16.00 Fri, 10.30-17.00 Sat-Sun. 100m off route, 5.6 km/3.5 mi into the walk.
The Robin Hood Inn Chesterfield Road, Baslow, Derbyshire, DE45 1PQ (01246 582 551). The Robin Hood is located 10.4 km/6.4 mi into the walk. Food served 12.00-15.00 (last orders 14.45) and 17.00-20.30 Tue-Fri, 12.00-20.30 Sat and 12.00-16.00 Sun.
At the Chatsworth Estate (all open daily, until at least 16.00), 13.6 km/8.4 mi from the start of the walk: Carriage House, Flying Childers and Cavendish restaurants.

Tea All Route Options: [All Baslow options are 16.1 km/10.0 mi from the start of the walk.]
Cafe on the Green Nether End, Baslow, Derbyshire, DE45 1SR (01246 583 000). Open from 09.30 Wed-Sun.
The Devonshire Arms Nether End, Baslow, Derbyshire, DE45 1SR (01246 582 619). Open all day. Food served all day, except 15.00-17.00 Mon-Fri.
The Wheatsheaf Nether End, Baslow, Derbyshire, DE45 1SR (01246 582 240). A Marston's Inn. Open all day. Food served all day.
Il Lupo Nether End, Baslow, Derbyshire, DE45 1SR (01246 583 000). Open 12.00-20.45 Tue-Sun. Pugliese cuisine on the village green.
The Maynard Main Road, Upper Padley, Grindleford, Derbyshire, S32 2HE (01433 630 321). A hotel, welcoming to walkers, 5 minutes from Grindleford station.
Grindleford Station Cafe Station Approach, Upper Padley, Grindleford, Hope Valley, Derbyshire S32 1JA (01433 631 011). Open 09.00-16.00 weekdays, 09.00-17.00 weekends.

Main Walk Option
Rowley's Church Lane, Baslow, Derbyshire, DE45 1RY (01246 583 880). Open all day every day. Food served 12.00-14.30 Mon-Fri and 12.00-15.00 Fri-Sat and 18.00-21.00 Mon-Sat. 17.0 km/10.6 mi from the start of the walk.
Charlie's Church Street, Baslow, Derbyshire, DE45 1RY (01246 582 619). Food served Wed-Sun to 16.00 & Fri-Sat from 19.00. 17.1 km/10.6 mi from the start of the walk.
The Bridge Inn Calver Bridge, Calver, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S32 3XA (01433 442 479). The Bridge Inn is located 5.1 km/3.2 mi from the end of the walk. Open 12.00-23.00 Mon and Wed-Sat and 12.00-20.00 Sun. Food served 12.00-15.00 and 17.00-21.00 Mon and Wed-Fri, 12.00-21.30 Sat and 12.00-17.00 Sun.
The Eating House Calver Bridge, Calver, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S32 3XA (01433 631 583). Open 09.00-17.30 daily.
The Sir William Hotel Sir William Hill Road, Grindleford, Derbyshire, S32 2HS (01433 630 303). The Sir William is located 300m off route, 1.6 km from the end of the walk and a Greene King pub hotel. Open Mon-Thu 16.00-23.00, Fri 08.00-23.00 and 08.30-23.00 Sat-Sun. Food served 12.30-14.30 Fri-Sun and 18.00-20.00 daily (-21.00 Fri-Sat).
Grindleford Community Shop St Helen's Church Vestry, Grindleford, S32 2JG (01433 631 611). Open Mon-Sat to 18.00 (-17.00 winter) and Sun to 16.00 (-15.00).

White Edge Option
The Grouse Inn Longshaw, near Sheffield, Derbyshire S11 7TZ (01433 631 011). The Grouse Inn is located 1.6 km/1.0 mi from the end of the walk. Open 12.00-15.00 weekdays plus 18.00-23.00 Thu-Fri, and 12.00-23.00 weekends. Food served 12.00-14.30 weekdays plus 18.00-21.00 Thu-Fri, and 12.00-21.00 weekends.


Grindleford Station is on the Hope Valley Line from Manchester to Sheffield, with a journey time of 12-15 mins from Sheffield. Sheffield Station is the terminus of the Midland Main Line from London St. Pancras, with up to two trains per hour (journey time from 118 mins Mon-Sat, longer on Sundays).

Saturday Walkers Club: Take a train no later than 9.00 hours.


The Peak District (National Park)
The Peak District is an upland area at the southernmost end of the Pennines.
The Peak District National Park is one of the UK's most popular and is located within the boundaries of five counties (Derbys., Ches., Staffs., Yorks. and Greater Manchester). Founded in 1951, it was the first national Park in England. The Park spans an area of around 1,440 km2 (550 mi2) and - despite its name - its terrain consists mainly of rolling hills, farmland, moorland and some gritstone escarpments (the "edges"). It is however significantly higher than much of the terrain in the surrounding area.
The Peak District is formed almost exclusively from sedimentary rocks dating from the Carboniferous period. They comprise the Carboniferous Limestone, the overlying Gritstone and finally the Coal Measures, though the latter occur only on the extreme margins of the area. In addition there are infrequent outcrops of igneous rocks including lavas, tuffs and volcanic vent agglomerates.
The northern Dark Peak (whose geology is gritstone) is one of the most famous landmarks in the Peak District National Park, known for its exposed and isolated tracts of moorland, as well as its expansive rolling plateau which is covered by cotton grass bogs and heather moorlands. The soil of the area is composed of moorland peat which provides the perfect environment for the plant life in the area. The areas to the flanks of the high moorland host numerous copses which are composed of Oak and Birch.
The southern White Peak (whose geology is mainly limestone) is another distinctive area within the park due to its gently sloping Limestone plateau, crisscrossed by the Limestone Dales. The Dales provide the areas' drainage and vary in steepness throughout the area.
The Peak Pilgrimage is a 63 km (39 mi) waymarked linear Long-Distance Path through South Derbyshire from Ilam to Eyam. It was created by Eyam Parish Church and is marketed as a 'spiritual journey'.

Derwent River
The Derwent is a Derbyshire river of 106 km (66 mi) length and is a tributary of the River Trent, which it joins south of Derby. Its waters ultimately reach the North Sea via the Humber Estuary. For half its course the river flows through the Peak District and for most of the first 10 km it forms the border to South Yorkshire. In the lower reaches between Matlock and Derby it was one of the cradles of the Industrial Revolution, providing power to the first industrial scale cotton mills. Today it provides a water supply to several surrounding cities, and its steeply sided valley is an important communications corridor through the uplands of the Peak District.

The Hope Valley
The Hope Valley is a wide valley running East-West along the boundary between the gritstone moors and edges of the 'Dark Peak' and the limestone outcrops and deep cut dales of the 'White Peak'. It is a rural area centred on the village of Hope, but although it appears to be a single valley, the name of the river changes several times. The head of the valley lies at Castleton below Mam Tor, once the home of Iron Age people. From here, the Peakshole Water flows out of Peak Cavern to Hope, where it enters the lower reaches of the River Noe, which has risen on Kinder Scout near Edale. The Noe then flows to Bamford, where it enters the River Derwent, which has travelled about 15 km from Bleaklow and is a tributary of the River Trent.
The valley is now technically the Derwent Valley, but the term "Hope Valley" is still used as the Derwent flows through Hathersage and Grindleford. Other streams in the area include the Burbage Brook.
The area is a popular tourist destination, particularly as the Hope Valley Line railway from Sheffield to Manchester runs through it.
From earlier times there are traces of a Roman fort at Brough, just to the east of Hope. Its Roman name Navio was later replaced with the Old English word for fort, Brough. It is thought that the fort was probably built to protect Roman lead-mining interests in the Peak District.
Later, the parish of Hope covered two thirds of the Royal Hunting Forest of north Derbyshire.

Froggatt, Durbar, Baslow, Birchen, Chatsworth & Dobb Edges
The dramatic chain of escarpments or edges which flank the eastern boundary of the Peak District National Park were formed by glacial action in the last Ice Age some 20,000 years ago. They are a sheer wall of rock with heather blossoming in the spring and summer months transforming their rather fearsome appearance into somewhere lush and lovely. In winter the moorland stretching above them can look barren but it is home to plenty of wildlife and some free roaming cattle.
The Edges are a Mecca for rock climbers due to the abrasive quality of the rock and the short, steep but technical challenges the gritstone offers.
They were once home to a thriving industry, as the course gritstone was in great demand from the 17th century for grind- and millstones, used for flour mills and the emerging cutlery industry in nearby Sheffield.

Chatsworth House/Estate
Chatsworth House is a stately home in the Derbyshire Dales west of Chesterfield. It is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, and has been home to 16 generations of the Cavendish family since 1549.
Standing on the east bank of the River Derwent, Chatsworth looks across to the low hills that divide the Derwent and Wye valleys. It is set in expansive parkland and backed by wooded, rocky hills rising to heather moorland, and has evolved through the centuries to reflect the tastes, passions and interests of succeeding generations. It has been selected as the UK's favourite country house several times and contains an important collection of paintings, furniture, drawings, sculptures, books and other artefacts that span 4,000 years, from ancient sculpture, to masterpieces by Rembrandt, Reynolds and Veronese, to work by outstanding modern artists, including Lucian Freud, Edmund de Waal and David Nash.
The name 'Chatsworth' is a corruption of Chetel's-worth, meaning "the Court of Chetel", after a man of Norse origin at the time of the Norman Conquest. In the 15th century it was acquired by the Leche family who owned property nearby. They enclosed the first park at Chatsworth and built a house on the high ground in what is now the south-eastern part of the garden. In 1549 they sold all their property in the area to Sir William Cavendish, Treasurer of the King's Chamber and the husband of Bess of Hardwick, who had persuaded him to sell his property in Suffolk and settle in her native county. Bess began to build the new house in 1553. She selected a site near the river, which was drained by digging a series of reservoirs, which doubled as fish ponds. Sir William died in 1557, but Bess finished the house in the 1560s and lived there with her fourth husband, George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury. In 1568 Shrewsbury was entrusted with the custody of Mary, Queen of Scots, and brought his prisoner to Chatsworth several times from 1570 onwards. Bess died in 1608 and the estate was passed to her eldest son, Henry who later sold it to his brother William Cavendish, 1st Earl of Devonshire.
Chatsworth was occupied by both sides during the Civil War, and the 3rd Earl did not return to the house until the restoration of the monarchy. He reconstructed the principal rooms in an attempt to make them more comfortable, but the Elizabethan house was outdated and unsafe.
The 4th Earl of Devonshire, who was to become the 1st Duke in 1694 for helping to put William of Orange on the throne, was an advanced Whig and was forced to retire to Chatsworth during the reign of King James II. This called for a rebuilding of the house, which began in 1687.
Later, the 4th Duke made great changes to the house and gardens. He decided the approach to the house should be from the west and had the old stables and offices as well as parts of Edensor village pulled down so they were not visible from the house. He also replaced the 1st Duke's formal gardens with a more natural look, designed by Lancelot "Capability" Brown, which he helped bring into fashion. In 1748, the 4th Duke married Lady Charlotte Boyle, the sole surviving heiress of Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, whose death brought many estates to the family, including Devonshire, Burlington and Chiswick Houses in London. The 6th Duke loved to entertain and the early 19th century saw a rise in popularity of the 'English Country House Party'. People who have stayed here include Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens.
In the early 20th century social change, a failure of business ventures, the depression in British agriculture and death taxes began to affect the Devonshires' lifestyle and led to sales of rare books and portfolios, tens of thousands of acres of land and - in London - Devonshire (to developers) and Chiswick (to Brentford Council) Houses. And while the 10th Duke had transferred his assets to his son during his lifetime in the hope of avoiding death duties, he died a few weeks too early (killed in action in Belgium in September 1944) for the lifetime exemption to apply, so tax was charged at 80% on the whole estate. The amount due was £7 million (£220 million as of 2016). Some of the family's advisors proposed to transfer Chatsworth to the nation as a 'V & A of the North'. Instead, the Duke decided to retain his family's home if he could. He sold more thousands of acres of land, transferred Hardwick Hall to the National Trust in lieu of tax, and sold some major works of art. The family's Sussex house, Compton Place was lent to a school.
In 1981, the trustees of the Chatsworth Settlement, owners of the house, created a new charitable trust, The Chatsworth House Trust. The intention was to preserve the house and its setting for "the benefit of the public." For the multi-million-pound endowment fund, the trustees sold more works of art, mostly old master drawings, which had not been on regular display. The family is represented on the trust council, but it is composed of a majority of non-family members. The duke pays a market rent for the use of his private apartments in the house. The cost of running the house and grounds is around £4 million a year.
The 11th Duke died in 2004 and was succeeded by his son, the current Duke, Peregrine Cavendish, 12th Duke of Devonshire. A major renovation of the house was completed in 2018.

Friends of the Peak District Boundary Walk
The Boundary Walk is a 305 km (190 mi) waymarked Long-Distance Path which never strays far from the boundary of the Peak District National Park. It was devised in 2017 by Friends of the Peak District, a branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). It follows existing paths, tracks and quiet lanes, past or through dramatic crags, open moorland, quiet woodlands and some popular trails. A guide book is available.

Derwent Valley Heritage Way
The Derwent Valley Heritage Way (DVHW) is an 88 km (55 mi) waymarked Long-Distance Path along the Derwent Valley from Ladybower Reservoir via Chatsworth, the Derbyshire Dales area, and through the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site to Derwent Mouth where it flows into the Trent.

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Start S32 2HY Map Directions


National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234


May-19 Thomas G

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