Bakewell, the largest town in the Peak District, with a history going back a thousand years to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, is also one of the most attractive. Beneath the mellow stone arches of its medieval bridge the River Wye meanders slowly, while across the hillsides run packhorse routes that for centuries were the only link between the towns and villages of the Peak. Until the turnpikes were made in the 18th century the population was virtually cut off from the rest of England.
Then the railway arrived. But the era of the train lasted barely a hundred years and now traffic problems are cars which throng the roads in summer. Yet on the hillside the packhorse ways still follow the white limestone walls, and as you stroll along the silent railway there are only walkers and cyclists for company.
LOCATION: Twelve miles east of Buxton
START: Bakewell Town Bridge, lots of car parks. Grid ref: SK219487 Postcode: DE6 1JR
DISTANCE: 4.0 miles
GRADE: Easy with a gentle ascent
TIME: 2.5 hours
MAP: Outdoor Leisure - White Peak Landranger 119
REFRESHMENTS: Ample choice in Bakewell
EN ROUTE: Scotís Garden, Holme Bridge, Rowdale Toll Bar House, Monsal Trail
This walk was originally published by
The Manchester Evening News