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Derwent Dam, Peak District

Explore the Route

Peak Way Route Map
This Long-Distance Walking Route is a walk of contrasts.
View on the way to Stanage Edge

Starting in Stockport, just a few miles outside the Peak District National Park, you will immediately find yourself in lovely countryside. You will soon be in the area known as the Dark Peak which is the higher and wilder part of the Peak District characterised by vast areas of rugged heather moorland, populated with dark gritstone. The views of the surrounding landscape are stunning.

The White Peak is known for its gently rolling limestone plateau, divided by limestone dales which are often steep-sided, whilst in other places the dales are shallower. You will find clear limestone rivers and streams and colourful hay meadows nestled between dry stone walls. Then there are the picturesque villages and quaint hamlets. You will find that walking in the White Peak is very different than that of the Dark Peak, but equally stunning for its sheer beauty.

Path at Cheedale
There are 13 stages on the walk


Stockport to Hayfield

14 miles

Starting out from Stockport, you'll immediately find yourself in beautiful countryside which continues all the way to Hayfield. And you'll see lots of amazing heritage features such as Marple viaduct and aqueduct and the Torrs Riverside Park along the way, as your walk soon takes you into the Peak District. You'll see an ancient chapel, historic Goyt Hall Farm and a hydro-electric station and canal boats as you walk along the towpath. This is a picturesque route for your first day of the walk.

Weir on River Goyt Stockport

River Goyt, Stockport

Millennium Walkway, New Mills

Millennium Walkway, New Mills


Hayfield to Edale

9.9 miles

This stage includes the ascent and descent of Kinder Scout where you'll reach the highest point on the Peak Way and you'll enjoy magnificent views for much of the time. The walk includes a steep climb up William Clough, then walking on rough moorland paths which include stony paths. The final part of the walk is down via Jacob's Ladder and then through fields to Edale.

View from Kinder Scout

View from Kinder Scout

Kinder Downfall

Kinder Downfall


Edale to Hope

8.9 miles

This is a relatively short walk and so you might have time to explore the lovely village of Castleton and the Hope Valley at the end of your walk, or even visit one of the nearby caverns. The first part of the walk is through fields, followed by a climb up to the moorland on Rushup Edge. The path along the Great Ridge, via Mam Tor, is clearly defined and the views of the Edale and Hope Valleys are amazing.

Hiking on Rushup Edge

Rushup Edge

Hikers at Sunset on Mam Tor summit

Mam Tor summit


Hope to Bamford

16.2 miles

This is a long walk and most of the walk is on high moorland and along gritstone edges above the reservoirs. There is a section of level walking alongside Derwent Reservoir before ascending to Derwent Edge where you'll see many interesting rock formations. Then you'll descend before climbing again to Bamford Edge where you'll have superb views of Ladybower Reservoir and beyond.

Derwent Dam, Peak District

Derwent Dam

Looking towards Ladybower Reservoir, Peak District

Looking towards Ladybower Reservoir


Bamford to Grindleford

11.7 miles

Most of this walk is on high moorland paths and starts with a trek across Moscar Moor to reach Stanage Edge. On your 4 mile walk along the Edge you'll have stunning views of the surrounding landscape before walking to Higger Tor for more splendid views. Then a path down the beautiful Padley Gorge and through fields will take you to Grindleford.

Path on Stanage Edge
Hikers on Froggatt edge

Approaching Stanage Edge - heather in full bloom

Hikers on Stanage Edge


Grindleford to Bakewell

9.4 miles

The route starts in woodland and then along the  high-level moorland of Froggatt, Curbar and Baslow Edges with more fabulous views. Then from Baslow you'll walk through the magnificent Chatsworth Estate, and the lovely village of Edensor, before arriving in Bakewell.

View from Froggatt Edge

Along Froggatt Edge

view from Curbar Edge

View from Curbar Edge


Bakewell to Matlock

10 miles

After ascending through woodland you'll walk  through Calton Pastures and then through fields to reach Rowsley. Then you'll continue through more fields and pass through hamlets before reaching your destination of Matlock.

River Wye at Bakewell

River Wye, Bakewell

River Derwent near Matlock

River Derwent near Matlock


Matlock to Ashbourne

15.6 miles

This is a long route with several ascents and descents. Leaving Matlock on the riverside path, you'll soon ascend to enjoy great views. Then there's another ascent above Matlock Bath before coming down to the historic village of Cromford. Walking uphill again to reach the High Peak Trail and Middleton Top, you'll then pass through fields to descend to Carsington. Then it's through fields to Hognaston, through fields to ascend to Madge Hill and finally through fields to Ashbourne.

Descent to Carsington

Approaching Carsington

Carsington Water

Carsington Water


Ashbourne to Hartington

11.7 miles

This route is mainly along riverside paths along deep-sided limestone dales and fields. After a short ascent then descent into Mapelton, then through fields, you'll soon reach the iconic Dovedale. Then following the River Dove you'll reach the quaint hamlet of Milldale. Then you'll pass through the beautiful Wolfescote Dale and Beresford Dale before reaching the lovely village of Hartington.

Stepping Stones at Dovedale

Stepping stones at Dovedale

River Dove

River Dove


Hartington to Ashford-in-the-Water 

10 miles

Starting from Hartington, you'll soon reach the hamlet of Heathcote before joining the Tissington Trail. Then a short walk on a minor road will take you to the village of Monyash. From here, you'll soon be at the historic Magpie Mine which you can explore for a while, before continuing to reach the lovely village of Sheldon. Then you'll descend through fields to the 'picture postcard' village of Ashford-in-the-Water.

Pond and church at Monyash

The village pond at Monyash

River Wye at Ashford-in-the-Water



Ashford-in-the-Water to Buxton

14.5 miles

Initially walking through Great Shacklow Wood, you'll soon be walking down the beautiful Monsal Dale to reach the iconic viaduct at the end. Then you'll walk along Monsal Trail, passing the former Millers Dale station, and through the Cressbrook Tunnel before dropping down to the stunning Cheedale where you might want to slow your pace to enjoy this special place. Then there's a steep climb and a descent and ascent in the steep-sided Deepdale, before walking through fields and the hamlets of King Sterndale, Cowdale and Staden to reach Buxton.

Path at Cheedale


Stepping stones at Cheedale

Stepping stones at Cheedale


Buxton to Whaley Bridge

14.5 miles

A short walk from Buxton centre will take to the wilderness of Wild Moor from where the views are stunning. From here you'll walk alongside the Errwood and Fernilee Reservoirs and then follow tracks and paths to the lovely hamlet of Taxal. From here you'll follow paths to pass the damaged dam above Whaley Bridge before descending to the town.

Errwood Reservoir

Errwood Reservoir

Path alongside Errwood Reservoir

Path alongside Errwood Reservoir


Whaley Bridge to Stockport

14 miles

Leaving Whaley Bridge on a short road walk, you'll soon reach Whaley Moor from where you'll have great views of the surrounding landscape. Then you'll cross into the estate of the National Trust's Lyme Park where you'll pass close to the magnificent Lyme Hall.  The route then follows a canal towpath before crossing a golf course to reach the Middlewood Way (another former railway line). And finally you'll follow the River Goyt back to Stockport where you started.

Lyme Hall

Lyme Hall, Lyme Park

Narrowboats at Whaley Bridge

Narrowboats at Whaley Bridge

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