How the walk was created
The view from the window that was the inspiration for the Peak Way
Ken Reece planned the Peak Way and is the author of the Official Guide Book. And this is how he created it. “I stared through our bedroom window at the snow-covered Kinder Scout, which is the highest point in the Peak District. It’s just 10 miles or so away, and I longed to be walking on its plateau. It is a place I have walked many times before with my walking partner, my wife, my five children, our dog and, sometimes, alone. But now I couldn't walk there. It was January 2021 and the restrictions imposed due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic only allowed me to walk locally.
So, as a result, I started to walk more frequently on local walks and I was struck by how beautiful the local countryside is, and how lucky I am to live in an urban area that is just a few hundred metres from the woodland along the River Goyt. Perhaps I had taken it for granted before, but now, being far more mindful, I began to really appreciate just what it offered in terms of the lovely views across beautiful countryside and the great variety of bird, animal, tree and wild flower species that inhabit the area.
I started to think about walking from home to Hayfield which is a popular start point for walks on Kinder Scout. Then I took my OS map and started planning what I thought would be the most interesting long-distance route, based on my knowledge of this area, and this led to the evolution of The Peak Way“.
So, he developed the idea and started to create a route from his home town of Stockport into and around the Peak District. Based on his knowledge of walking in the Peak District, and of his experience of walking long-distance trails, he started creating a walking route that would offer some of the most spectacular views and showcase some of the most interesting heritage in the stunning 555 square miles of the Peak District, whilst also providing places to stay at the end of each day. The Peak Way was born. And it seems so appropriate that it was in the 70th anniversary year of the Peak District National Park.
Although Stockport sits just a few miles outside the Peak District, it is an ideal place from which to start a long-distance trail. It has some of the best transport links, being well connected to main rail networks with frequent services and, of course it is on the national motorway network too. It is also well serviced by public transport provided by private bus companies and is located only seven miles from Manchester Airport.