From Buxton Country Park the walk soon climbs up to the moors and as Stanley Moor is approached there are good views over Axe Edge and from the best vantage points at the top of the climb Kinder Scout can be seen in the distance. Although you pass close to Stanley Moor Reservoir little can be seen of it other than the well grassed dam wall that surrounds it.
Man’s association with Grin Low goes back over five thousand years but it was lime burning and quarrying that scarred the landscape so grievously. Extensive reclamation work in recent years has transformed the area into attractive countryside once more and is now used for leisure pursuits. It has been designated as an area as Special Scientific Interest.
The effort in climbing up to Solomon’s Temple is well rewarded on a clear day with magnificent views over Buxton. Poole’s Cavern was awarded ‘First wonder of the Peak’ status by Charles Cotton in his book written in 1680. It is a natural cave and provided the home for a thief and robber named ‘Poole’ in the 1400’s. The source of the river Wye it is well worth a visit along with Buxton itself.
Length: 4.5 miles.
Start/finish: Poole’s Cavern Country Park off Green Lane which joins the A515/A53.
Location: The A515 from Ashbourne and A6 from Matlock meet in Buxton.
Terrain: Hilly, moderately steep in places, can be muddy.
1. Leave the car park by a gate in the top left corner down a path leading to the road and going right for 100 yards keeping straight on where the road curves to the left.
2. Walk part way across a playing field with a hedge on the left before going through a gap and continuing in the same direction with the hedge now on the right heading towards a row of houses.
3. On reaching the road in front of the houses go to the right. Shortly after entering a field join a narrow fenced path on the right of the field wall, which soon leads you past some farm buildings.
4. On entering an open field at the end of the farm buildings continue straight ahead, climbing gently past a wood to reach a stile in the top corner of the field.
5. Head down the next field to a stile in the bottom corner leading onto the road, turning left and in a few yards sharp right over a stile by a metal gate along a rough track winding uphill to a farm.
6. Walk to the farm and bear right at a small metal gate with the farm buildings on the left.
7. Leave the farm by the lane as it winds its way past Stanley Moor Reservoir to the road.
8. Cross over the road to walk through the gateway into Grin Low Caravan and Camping Park along a tarmac road turning right into the car park at the end.
9. Go through the car park up a slope to follow a clearly signed path for ‘Solomon’s Temple‘, which soon comes into sight.
10. Having reached the temple walk straight back towards Buxton going over a stile and maintaining the same line across the next field to a stile into Grin Low Woods.
11. Turn left and walk through the centre of the wood ignoring all paths to right and left until you come to a ‘T’ junction of paths, where you turn right.
12. Follow the broad path soon turning right down a flight of stone steps back to the entrance to Poole’s Cavern and the start of the walk.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Poole’s Cavern: (Tel. 01298 26978) guided tours are provided of the limestone cavern, famous for its stalactites and stalagmites. Ancient remains show the Romans worshipped here. Large car park, toilets, shop and drinks facilities available. For further information website: www.poolescavern.co.uk
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery: (Tel. 01298 24658) award winning ‘Wonders of the Peak’ gallery. Programme of temporary exhibitions and displays. Well stocked shop. Open all year Tuesday to Saturday and Bank Holidays. Telephone for further information.
Cavendish Arcade: originally designed in 1854 as Thermal baths, converted and re-opened in 1987 as a speciality shopping arcade. The original plunge bath and chair remain. A stained glass vaulted roof adds a touch of distinction.
The Old Sun Inn (Tel. 01298 23452) is full of character and dates back to the 16th century, the lettering over the archway at the side of the pub proclaiming ‘good stabling’. Guinness was once bottled here under licence and some of the original bottles still remain on view. It is situated about 60 yards east of the market place in higher Buxton. Meals served lunchtime and evenings during the week and all day at the weekend.
Hargreaves China and Coffee Shop (Tel. 01298 23083) one of the longest established china shops in the country with an Edwardian style café on the first floor. Open Monday to Saturday every week.
DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
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Visitors arriving in Buxton for the first time from the bleak moorlands cannot be blamed for pinching themselves in some disbelief as they emerge into a town with fine parks and grand old buildings.
It was in the 1780s that Buxton really came to prominence as a spa. The fifth Duke of Devonshire using the profits he had made from his copper mines at Ecton in the Manifold Valley, embarked on a costly campaign to attract and accommodate more visitors in what was then only a tiny Peakland village.
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