A contrasting walk through beautiful limestone country with superb views, crossing the isolated gritstone plateau of Stanton Moor, covered with its Bronze Age relics.
Climbing up steadily from Rowsley on a circuitous route the edge of Stanton Moor is reached. However, before crossing the moor the path follows the edge round, providing wonderful views and passing on the way Earl Grey’s Tower that commemorates his Reform Act of 1832.
The most famous of the Bronze Age relics on the moor are The Nine Ladies Stone Circle. Legend has it that the nine ladies danced here on the Sabbath Day and were turned to stone as a punishment, along with the fiddler who stands nearby. Last century, the Heathcote family excavated in excess of 70 burial mounds on the moor.
On the edge of Stanton in the Peak, your route takes you through the local cricket ground that must have one of the prettiest views in the country.
Continuing on your journey down the hillside, you go through the tiny hamlet of Congreave before the walk levels out. It then follows the beautiful River Wye almost back to the start of the walk.
Length: 5.50 miles.
Start/Finish: Roadside pull-in by the Recreation Ground on the road to Stanton. There is also a public car park virtually opposite the Grouse and Claret. Caudwell's Mill Car Park is strictly for patrons only.
Location: Turn left opposite The Peacock Hotel on the A6 from Matlock and follow the road round over the bridge.
Terrain: Steep in places, but nothing too strenuous.
1. From the car park follow the private lane by a footpath sign towards Stanton Lees and continue along the lane as it gradually climbs through Holly Wood.
2. Leave the lane to the right at a footpath sign and keeping close to the wall on the left climb a short hill.
3. Take the next footpath sign on the left and immediately bear right onto a stony track leading past Stanton Woodhouse Cottages and Farm.
4. Pass through a metal gate in front of you into a field where the track bends to the right.
5. Go through an open gateway and follow the path as it bends to the right passed Endcliffe Quarry.
6. On reaching a stile onto a road turn right and at a ‘T’ junction of roads turn left to walk uphill.
7. After about 300 yards go over a wall stile on the left and cross a short field to enter a wood.
8. Angle to the right and continue alongside the wall to follow the main track alongside Stanton Edge, going by Earl Grey’s Tower along the moorland edge.
9. On reaching a National Trust sign, opposite a viewpoint, go over a stile on the right and continue up the bank before turning left to follow a path close to the side of the moor.
10. At the Cork Stone (easily recognisable by its footholds and handgrips) turn right and when the track divides keep to the right.
11. After about half a mile continue on the track on the left passed the Nine Ladies Stone Circle. Then keep left along a track that leads to two separate stiles and the end of the moor.
12. Continue straight ahead along a clear field track leading to a road.
13. Turn left for 250 yards along the road and, just before entering Stanton village, take the footpath sign on the right to walk along a rough surfaced path, passing by the village cricket ground and then following the path into Sheepwalk Wood.
14. At a yellow waymarked arrow turn left out of the wood to descend a short path to the road.
15. Turn right along the road walking passed a viewpoint sitting area to a stile on the left. After crossing the stile turn right and walk downhill to follow a line of trees to a stile.
16. Continue ahead with the field boundary on your right to go over a stile by a metal gate. Turn left down the road into the small hamlet of Congreave.
17. Opposite Dove House Farm, turn right along a track to a squeezer stile. Follow the path to the right as it leads round the base of the hill to a stile in the far corner.
18. Go through two gate stiles in quick succession into a small wood and then cross the next field angling slightly to the right, close to a line of trees to join a green farm track.
19. The grassy track brings you to the water’s edge and leads along a farm track to a wooden fence stile by a metal gate to gain access to the road.
20. Turn left along the road to reach Rowsley in about a quarter of a mile.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Caudwell’s Mill, (Tel. 01629 734374) powered by the River Wye is the only complete Victorian working roller flour mill in the United Kingdom. There are a number of craft shops as well as a well stocked gift shop, artist’s gallery and café. For further information visit the Caudwell's Mill Feature.
Peak Village (Tel. 01629 735326) is the Peak District’s first and only factory outlet shopping centre, set in beautiful surroundings at Rowsley. Open every day.
Peak Rail (Tel. 01629 580381) a preserved railway, operating steam trips from on Sundays throughout the year. Trains run from Matlock Riverside Station to Rowsley South, calling at Darley Dale. Rides are available on Sundays throughout the year. Trains normally also operate on Saturdays from April to October and mid-week in the peak season. Telephone for details.
Grouse and Claret (Tel. 01629 733233) formerly the Station Hotel, but due to the demise of the railway it was renamed. A grouse and claret is the name of a specialist dry fly used in trout fishing in the locality. A large popular pub offering food lunchtime and evenings. Beer Garden. Children’s play area. Accommodation .
Caudwell Mill Tea Rooms (Tel. 01629 733185) have an excellent reputation for food and serve both hot and cold meals. If it seems a little like sitting in church there is a reason. The seating and serving counter have both been salvaged from Crich Carr Chapel when it closed. Normally open daily please ring for details.
THE DISCOVER 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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A special new sub-section has been added to this website, based on the Discover Derby Supplement, published by the Derby Evening Telegraph during March 2005. The most recent additions are:
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The village of Rowsley stands at the confluence of the Rivers Wye and Derwent, with wooded hills on either side.
It was the beauty of its setting in the 19th century which attracted artists, poets and anglers. Though the wonderful scenery remains unspoilt, the Peak Village Shopping Complex also draws visitors in the 21st century to the village.
There is a busy Craft Centre at Caudwell’s Mill, an excellent café, and well-stocked gift shop and picture gallery. But, if you just want to relax you can stand on the wooden footbridge and watch the ducks on the millpond, in idyllic surroundings.
Almost certainly the best-known building in the village is the Peacock Hotel, with a stone peacock sitting above the door. Built in 1652, as a private residence, it later became a hotel and in its time has housed many famous residents including Royalty.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.