There can be no doubt that this is one of the most attractive walks in the Peak District through beautiful Padley Gorge and Longshaw Estate. When crossing the railway bridge at the start of the walk, Totley Tunnel can be seen on the right. The tunnel over three miles in length, when it was opened in 1896, linked the Hope Valley with Sheffield and brought with it prosperity.
Padley Gorge, a place of great beauty, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its plant and wildlife. The woods are one of the best surviving examples of ancient oak woodland in the South Pennines.
After crossing a stretch of open moorland by the side of the Burbage Brook, Longshaw Lodge is soon reached. Originally built as a shooting lodge for the Duke of Rutland, it has been converted into private flats and is not open to the public. Below is Longshaw Meadow, where every September, the country’s oldest sheepdog trials are held, having first started in 1898.
The last section of the walk takes you along a farm track before descending through
woods back to Grindleford Station.
Start/Finish: Station Approach Car Park, Grindleford.
Location: On B6251 two miles south of the A6187/A625 Sheffield to Hathersage road.
Terrain: Some moderate ascents and descents. Can be muddy.
1. From Grindleford station approach road, walk across the railway bridge past Padley Mill before, within about 40 yards turning right up a track which climbs the hillside.
2. Padley Gorge is entered through a swing gate and you then follow the main track through the wood with the Burbage Brook deep in the gorge on your right.
3. After leaving the wood continue close to the brook on your right for about half a mile before crossing the second footbridge you encounter.
4. Follow the surfaced path for 80 yards before turning right along a clear track leading to a swing stile gate and then follow a wide path straight on to reach the Grindleford road at a wicket gate.
5. Cross the road diagonally to the right and walk along the driveway, signed to ‘Longshaw House.’
6. Just before reaching the Visitor Centre take the path off to the right, down a short flight of steps, which leads you in front of Longshaw House.
7. Pass through two facing wicket gates and follow a track for about three quarters of a mile to go through a stile by a gate and in a further 300 yards take the path on the right, for which you will have to keep a good lookout.
8. Cross a wall stile and walk down a long marshy field partly on a paved track and partly following the tracks of other walkers.
9. Close to the bottom of the field bear slightly to the left to cross a small stream.
10. Keep the wood on your right and walk up a short, steep hill, turning right at the top and then almost immediately right again, into the wood.
11. Follow the clear track through the wood eventually arriving at a lane that runs alongside some houses.
12. At the bottom of the lane turn right and then right again on reaching the Grindleford road. Cross the road and in about 30 yards go down a path on the left back to the start of the walk.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Longshaw Visitor Centre (Tel. 01433 631708)situated in the out-buildings of Longshaw House it is a popular place to stop and have something to eat, or to purchase a gift from the National Trust shop. For further information website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Padley Chapel, an early 14th century gatehouse is all that remains of Padley Manor House, the home of two Roman Catholic families who were persecuted. In 1588, two priests from here were executed for their beliefs.
The Derbyshire Craft Centre (Tel. 01433 631231) at Calver has on display a large selection of local and national crafts, plus a wide range of gifts, books and other items. There is also a popular café. Open every day.
Sir William Hotel (Tel. 01433 630303) standing at a height of 1,200 feet above sea level, it is an imposing building with fine views over the Derwent Valley. Open every day for bar meals. There is seating outside. Restaurant. Accommodation.
Grindleford Station Café an excellent walker’s café where groups can book early morning breakfasts at the weekend. There are various amusing notices dotted around so be warned do not use your mobile phone here – this is the place people come to get away from them! There are plenty of tables both inside and out. The café is the home of Grindleford National Spring Water. Open daily except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
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Situated in a beautiful setting with wooded hillsides rising up above the River Derwent, the village of Grindleford occupies a desirable spot. It is a busy place where several roads converge and, before the bridge, a ford crossed the river that for centuries had been an important crossing point.
The ruins of Padley Hall lie along a track a short distance from Grindleford Station. It was here, on July 12th 1588, that Padley Hall was raided and the two catholic priests, Nicholas Garlick, Robert Ludlam and several members of the Fitzherbert family were arrested.
It was not illegal to be a Catholic, but training abroad to be a priest was against the law. Harbouring a priest was a treasonable offence. Both were taken to Derby and hung, drawn and quartered and John Fitzherbert and his brother both died in prison.
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