White Peak Walks: The Northern Dales

35 walks in the Derbyshire White Peak

By Mark Richards

This guidebook describes 35 circular walks cross the gritstone uplands and moors in the northern dales of the White Peak between Edale, Matlock and Buxton, in the middle of the Peak District National Park. Routes explore Bakewell and the Wye and its tributary dales. One of two Cicerone guides to the White Peak.



The exquisite beauty of this landscape is fringed by and adorned with a multitude of wild flowers in spring and summer. Although modern clothing and equipment enable you to experience the thrill of wilder weather, responsible walker should seek to minimise their impact especially on heavily worn paths in the wetter seasons.


Castleton, Hope, Bradwell, Hathersage, Baslow, Tideswell, Bakewell, Buxton, Monyash, Youlgrave, Winster, Matlock Spa and Cromford


easy, circular walks on good paths, well waymarked, between 3 and 8 miles long, easy to combine into longer routes - simple country walking with the odd citrus twist in the limestone dales! Modern walking boots will give good protection in such stony situations and walking poles lend reassurance in descent.
18 Sep 2009
2 Jun 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.3cm
  • Overview

    This guide explores the northern dales of the White Peak area of the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire. 35 walks are included in this guide, between 3 and 9 miles long. From Castleton and Winnats Pass gorge, down to Lathkill Dale and Matlock Spa, the northern section of the White Peak offers variety and beauty and is waiting to be explored.

    The White Peak is the name given to the rocky southern area of the Peak District, for its pale underlying limestone. The result is a landscape of escarpments, heather moorlands, wooded valleys and the roll of hillsides and plateaux. Idyllic villages dot the walks with pubs standing by for refreshing walkers after a good White Peak walk.

    This guide covers the northern section of the White Peak, divided from the southern by the High Peak Trail between Buxton and the Cromford Canal near Matlock. The guide not only provides clear route descriptions for all 35 walks, but practical information on transport to and around the area, history of the region and information on the Peak District National Park. The guide helps change a simple walk into a memorable one, with insights into the places and sights of interest along the way.

    • Each walk is illustrated with OS maps to guide the way.
    • Walks can be shortened, or added together to create longer itineraries according to the desires of the walker
    • Beautiful colour photography is throughout the guide.

    The companion guide to this book is the White Peak Walks: The Southern Dales.

  • Contents

    Bronze Age to barn conversions
    From protests to the Park Authority
    Walking in the White Peak
    The Northern Dales
    What to take
    Local services and transport
    Using this guide
    The Walks
    Walk 1 Eldon Hole and Oxlow Rake
    Walk 2 Four Caverns Trail
    Walk 3 Lose Hill, Castleton and Navio Roman Fort
    Walk 4 Bradwell Moor
    Walk 5 Bradwell Edge, Abney and Bretton
    Walk 6 Eyam Moor and Offerton Moor
    Walk 7 Eyam Edge and Foolow
    Walk 8 Deep Rake, Coombs Dale and the Derwent
    Walk 9 Grinlow and Axe Edge
    Walk 10 Woo Dale, King Sterndale and Thurst House Cave
    Walk 11 Chee Dale and Blackwell
    Walk 12 Churn Hole, Chelmorton and Deep Dale
    Walk 13 Hay Dale
    Walk 14 Monsal Trail, Chee Dale, Wormhill and Monk's Dale
    Walk 15 Litton Mill, Monsal Trail, Limestone Way and Tideswell
    Walk 16 Cressbrook Dale
    Walk 17 Monsal Trail, Water-cum-Jolly and Brushfield
    Walk 18 Brushfield Hough, Priestcliffe and Taddington
    Walk 19 Deep Dale, Magpie Mine and Shacklow Wood
    Walk 20 Monsal Head, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood
    Walk 21 Calton Pastures, Coombs valley and the Monsal Trail
    Walk 22 Chatsworth Park, Edensor and Rowsley
    Walk 23 Taddington and Flagg
    Walk 24 High Peak Trail and Flagg
    Walk 25 Lathkill Head and One Ash Grange, with Arbor Low
    Walk 26 Calling Low, Cales Dale, Lathkill Dale and Meadow Place Grange
    Walk 27 Lower Lathkill Dale and Bradford Dale
    Walk 28 Kenslow Knoll
    Walk 29 Bradford Dale and Harthill Moor
    Walk 30 Gratton Dale, Smerill Grange and Long Dale
    Walk 31 Stanton Moor and Rowtor Rocks
    Walk 32 Bonsall Moor
    Walk 33 High Tor and the Heights of Abraham
    Walk 34 Masson Hill
    Walk 35 Black Rocks and Cromford

    Appendix 1 Route summary table
    Appendix 2 Recommended reading
    Appendix 3 Useful contacts

  • Updates
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    We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our contact form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).

  • Reviews

    Wanting to give an in depth summary of the White Peak Walks guides, I got on the web one rainy Saturday and did some research. Cicerone, ‘a British Publisher specialising in guidebooks from walkers, climbers and cyclists...’ Great, a British concern. Good on ‘em.

    The next info to be gathered was on the author. Mark Richards. He’s a Lakeland man, keen walker, photographer and even has his own slot on BBC radio Cumbria, talking about fellwalking.

    As seems to be universal with these guides, the layout is slick, presentation immaculate and book’s structure solid enough to stick in your sack.

    The routes are quite chilled out affairs, up to 16km across mostly undulating countryside. If you’re in a similar position to me, needing to take the nipper out to give mum a rest, or entertaining city slicker friends, these are perfect.

    All in all I’d say these books are well worth the £12.95 asking price. I’ll be heading out with the youth to try a few of them. Hope to see you out there too!’

    (AMI News, December 2009)

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Mark Richards

In 1980 Mark Richards began his three-part guide to the Peak District for Cicerone Press, and in 1987, with Chris Wright, wrote a guide to walking around the former county of Westmorland. He now lives in Cumbria and, after 14 years' dedicated research, has completed his series of Lakeland Fellranger guides covering the entire region. He has also written a guide to Hadrian's Wall.

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