This glorious walk takes you along picturesque dales, passed dark satanic mills, through woodland and lovely open countryside.
Soon after leaving Tideswell behind, you walk through peaceful Tideswell Dale with its abundance of wildlife. After joining a narrow lane, you soon arrive at Litton Mill. It was here that Robert Blincoe arrived as a child from a London poorhouse. He later wrote a harrowing tale of the cruelty and inhuman treatment meted out to the mill workers, many of whom never saw their families again.
The walk continues through the tranquil beauties of Miller’s Dale to Cressbrook Mill. William Newton, probably better known as the ‘Minstrel of the Peak’, was the manager of the mill and showed much greater compassion for his workers than at Litton. He built a school and a row of latticed windowed cottages that look down on the mill.
A climb up through woodland leads to an undulating walk through fields with distant views of Litton, returning to the starting point along quiet country lanes.
Length: 5.5 miles.
Start/Finish: Road side parking on the B6049, just south of the village centre.
Location: One mile south of the A623 Baslow to Chapel-en-le-Frith road.
Terrain: Mainly easy with a long steady climb up from Cressbrook Mill. Can flood after heavy rainfall.
1. From Tideswell, walk down the main street and continue along the B6049, before crossing the road to an opening on the left to walk along a path under the trees that soon brings you to Tideswell Dale Car Park.
2. Continue past the toilet block down Tideswell Dale. Where the footpath forks go to the right over a footbridge and continue descending to reach a narrow road.
3. Turn left, soon passing through the hamlet of Litton Mill.
4. Go to the right of the tall gateposts at the entrance of the mill, down a flight of steps, before continuing straight across the mill yard.
5. After walking alongside the river through Water-cum-Jolly Dale, you arrive at Cressbrook Mill. Do not cross the bridge but walk behind the mill to the road.
6. Here you turn left and then right at a fork in the road, signed for Cressbrook and Litton.
7. Continue climbing up the hill until, where the road turns sharply to the left, you carry straight on along a track into a wood.
8, Just before coming to a clearing in the wood, where a set of gate posts are to be seen, take the path to the left which leads to a long winding flight of steps which climb steeply up to the edge of the wood.
9. Follow the path along to the right, keeping just inside the wood, before eventually crossing a stile on the left and angling across the corner of the field to another stile on the right.
10. Cross the next field diagonally and continue over a series of fields and a farm track, maintaining the same direction along an obvious path, aiming towards a barn in the distance.
11. As the land rises, walk straight ahead, with the barn you have been aiming for, two fields away on the left.
12. At the top of the field, turn left onto a tarmac road and follow it along until it bends to the left, where you continue straight on across three narrow fields, keeping close to the wall on your right.
13. Turn left along a fenced path which leads you to a country lane. Cross the lane, walk down the field opposite to the bottom left hand corner, and turn left down the road.
14. Cross the road before reaching a white bungalow and go up a lane to the right, signed ‘Unsuitable for Motors’, which leads you back into Tideswell.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Freshfields Donkey Village (Tel. 01298 79775) off the A623 close to Peak Forest village The herd of donkeys have their own distinctive colours and range in size from Highland donkeys to Sicilian Miniatures, which when fully grown are only three foot tall. Turn off A623in Peak Forest village, towards Smalldale and Wormhill. Approximately 800 yards along the road is the Trust sign. Follow the lane (narrow with passing places) to the very top (about 1 mile) where the lane turns right to the farm. Souvenir shop, free parking and tea gardens. Open daily from 1 April to 1 November 2007, from 10.30-4.30pm. Winter opening is dependent on weather conditions.
Derbyshire and Lancashire Gliding Club (Tel. 01298 871270) at Great Hucklow is a members club, but also offers trial flights for visitors. There is a large car park where visitors can sit /picnic and watch the gliders taking off and landing. Open all year (closed Mondays September to April). Call for further details.
Bookstore Trading Post (Tel. 01298 71017) at Brierlow Bar, three miles south-east of Buxton on the A515. Massive bookstore selling a wide range of books, CD’s, cards and gifts at bargain prices. Refreshments available. Large car park. Open daily 9.30-5.30.
The George Hotel (Tel. 01298 871382) an 18th century coaching inn, dating back to 1730, which still provides excellent hospitality for travellers. The Venetian windows at the front are much admired. Inside, the pub is quite spacious and there is a function room with seating for 100 guests. Accommodation available. Meals available lunchtime and evenings except Sunday evening.
Vanilla Kitchen (Tel. 01298 871519) is a popular longstanding tea room, formerly known as ‘Hills’n’Dales.’ It is situated in what used to be a joiner’s shop. Accommodation is available. A good selection of meals available. Open Wednesday to Sunday 9-6pm.
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 large, very well kept, upland village of considerable character, ablaze with colour in the summer with hanging baskets and flower tubs everywhere.
In recent years, Tideswell has won both the Derbyshire Best Kept Village Award and the East Midlands section of the Britain in Bloom Contest on several occasions.
Songs of Praise, the popular television programme visited Tideswell during October 2002, but it is for the singing exploits of Singer Slack the village is best known.
Samuel Slack, born in 1757, was a noted base singer. He was commanded to sing before George III, and as a young man he competed for a place in the College Choir at Cambridge. After he had sung, there was a stunned silence and none of the other contestants took the opportunity to sing after such an awesome performance.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.