An easy walk mostly on level ground with good open views on both sides. The walk includes a visit to Eyam, tragically made famous because of the terrible hardships endured by its people during the plague.
Soon after departing from Foolow, a shallow dip is encountered; this is tiny Linen Dale. After leaving it behind, several more stiles are passed through. The views to the left are of Eyam Edge.
Any tourist visiting the beautiful village of Eyam for the first time, not knowing of its tragic history, rapidly becomes aware by reading the wall plaques on the buildings. The inhabitants of this village once endured an epic struggle. In a period of only just over 12 months, from September 1665, 260 people died from the plague out of a population of about 800.
The Lydgate Graves at the far end of the walk provide a reminder of the horrific death toll inflicted by the plague. A visit to the museum, which you pass within a few yards, is well worth a visit.
The return journey takes you along Tideswell Lane. Shortly after passing through Linen Dale again; the road back into Foolow is reached.
Length: 5 miles.
Start/Finish: The centre of Foolow, close to the duck pond. Parking in the village is very limited. At busy times the walk should be started in Eyam, using the car park by the museum – turning right up the main street to follow the walk instructions from Point 11.
Location: Off the A623 between Stoney Middleton and Wardlow Mires.
Terrain: An easy route to follow across mainly level open countryside. There are a good number of stiles on the first half of the walk, some squeezers.
1. Leave the centre of the village and walk for 100 yards along the road towards Eyam, before crossing a stile on the right into a field.
2. Angle to the left to cross a stile in front of a derelict farm building. You now have your back to Foolow, and the road you just walked down runs roughly parallel with your route.
3. From this point continue over several fields with the wall close by on the right, before descending into Linen Dale by a short flight of steps.
4. Climb up the other side of this very shallow dale, where the path goes slightly to the left along an obvious route.
5. The path soon straightens out, maintaining the same direction through a series of fields, aiming to the right of a group of trees you can see in the distance.
6. After passing the trees, the path drops gently with the wall close by on the right at first, and then continues through a further three fields, along an easy to follow route.
7. Walk down a short enclosed path between cottages, cross an access road, and continue along a path across a narrow field.
8. Cross a further access road and walk down a slightly longer enclosed path. Continue along a signed route between houses and down an estate road, to arrive at a ‘T’ junction, opposite Eyam Hall Craft Centre.
9. Turn right and walk down the main street as far as the Lydgate Graves, which are to be found by walking up the narrow road to the right of Eyam Tea Rooms.
10. The graves are on the right a short distance past the tearooms.
11. Re-trace your steps back up the main street and continue past Eyam Hall to Town Head on the edge of the village, where you go to the left up Tideswell Lane.
12. The smooth surface of the lane soon gives way to one that is much rougher, which you continue to walk along until it ends close by the A623.
13. At this point turn right along the road signed for Foolow; there is no pavement for a short stretch.
14. After a fork in the road, a pavement has been provided on the left, which leads you back to the centre of Foolow.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Eyam Hall (Tel. 01433 631976) is a fascinating 17th century manor house that has been the home of the Wright family for over 300 years. Please telephone for opening details or visit website.
Eyam Hall Craft Centre (Tel. 01433 631976) a working craft centre situated in the old farm buildings to the hall. Restaurant and gift shop. Open every day in the summer season except Mondays.
Eyam Museum (Tel. 01433 631371) tells the dramatic story of the bubonic plague outbreak that so decimated the inhabitants of the village in 1665/6. Local geology, archaeology and social and industrial development are all covered in this excellent little museum. Open 28 March to the 5 November from Tuesday to Sunday, plus Bank Holidays Mondays – 10-4.30pm (last entry 4pm).
Bull’s Head (Tel. 01433 630873) a delightful, traditional country pub with stone flagged floors and an oak panelled dining room. Open Tuesday to Sunday (closed Mondays apart from Bank Holidays) lunchtime and evenings. Full and varied menu served lunchtime and evenings, Tuesday to Sunday. There is seating outside. Accommodation is also available.
Eyam Tea Rooms (Tel. 01433 631274) popular with visitors for many years and following a short period of closure has now re-opened. It is deceptively spacious inside and there is further seating outside. Take away meals can be provided. Alcohol served on the premises. Accommodation is available. Open every day throughout the year 10.30-5pm (earlier closing during winter months).
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The small upland Derbyshire village of Foolow, with its light grey stone houses is one of the most picturesque in the whole of the Peak National Park. Pretty limestone dwellings cluster round the neatly sculptured village green, the centrepiece of which is the duck pond. Visitors often stop to picnic and watch the ducks swimming on the pond and admire the idyllic scene.
The green is surrounded by some fine 17th and 18th century cottages. Also prominent are the bay windowed Manor House and its handsome out buildings, and the Old Hall, split into two residences. The village cross now stands on a plinth in the centre of the green and bears the date 1868, when it was moved from where the chapel gates are positioned. In front of the cross is a bull-ring that once stood by the roadside. Behind the pond there is an ancient well enclosed on three sides by a stone wall.