If there’s one thing that Derbyshire is not short of, it’s picturesque walking routes. To give you plenty of inspiration for your upcoming visit, we’ve shared our favourite pub loop walk trails in Derbyshire.
What’s the one thing that could make a countryside walk even better? A pub at the end!
After a long stroll through fields and forests, we reckon the perfect way to end the day is with a stop at a local Derbyshire pub.
So, if you share this vision for the perfect weekend itinerary, keep reading.
Below, we’ve detailed our 5 favourite pub walk trails, including full details of the walking route, and (more importantly) where to find the pub at the end!
Our 5 favourite pub loop walk trails in Derbyshire
1. A loop around the Chatsworth Estate
This is a simple circular walk, which both starts and ends at one of Debyshire’s best pubs, the Devonshire Arms at Beeley.
If this is your first time visiting Derbyshire, this is the perfect walk to add to your itinerary. Not least of all because it showcases Chatsworth’s extensive grounds at their very best.
- Start at the pub, then follow the road towards Beeley Church.
- Keep walking up the hill, until you reach Beeley Hilltop.
- Walk across Beeley More, until you reach the woodland track.
- Keep following the path, until you reach Chatsworth’s renowned Hunting Tower viewpoint.
- Continue following the path, which will take you towards Chatsworth House itself.
- Cross the river.
- Follow the walking path to Beeley, until you return to the Devonshire Arms.
Even though it’s only around 6 miles long, this is a gorgeous walk, which takes you past some of Derbyshire’s most iconic viewpoints.
Then, you can reward yourself with some of Derbyshire’s best locally made beers and a taste of the finest local produce. In fact, it has not only been awarded five stars and a prestigious AA Rosette, but it has also received recognition in the Michelin Guide.
2. A walk through Hathersage Fairy Woods
If you’re not used to super-long walks, or you’re just looking for a shorter afternoon activity, this is a great walk to set out on.
Plus, if the idea of a pub at the end isn’t tempting enough, the elusively named ‘fairy woods’ are sure to capture your imagination.
- Start at Hathersage’s public car park, which is on Oddfellows Road.
- Turn left out of the car park.
- Follow the road until you reach Baulk Lane, and follow that lane.
- Keep an eye out for the public footpath (on the right, a couple of hundred metres along that lane).
- Follow that path, which will take you along a number of lush fields, and give you a fantastic view of Stanage Edge.
- Follow the path upwards, until you reach St Michael’s churchyard. Keep walking straight and head out of the churchyard.
- Turn left onto the quiet lane, and keep walking.
- When the lane starts to fork off, keep heading straight. This should take you through a gate and onto a field path.
- Keep following the field path, before heading through the trees and reaching the mysterious door that takes you into Fairy Woods.
- After exploring the woods, take the left path past the doorway and follow the woodland path.
- Cross the stream, then turn right, and keep following the path down the hill and back to Hathersage.
This short route is only around 2 miles long, which means it should only take you between 40 minutes – 1 hour to complete (depending on how much exploring you do!).
Then, once you return to Hathersage, there’s a number of fantastic pubs to choose from. For classic pubs with good vibes and hearty food, we highly recommend The Plough Inn, Bank House and Scotsman’s Pack.
3. A circular around Ladybower Reservoir and Bamford Edge
You’d be hard pushed to find a walk with more magnificent, awe-inspiring views.
The Ladybower Reservoir is one of the most iconic spots in the Peak District and, when you visit it for yourself, you’ll find it’s easy to see why.
Plus, if this wasn’t enough, there’s also a great pub within easy reach!
- Start at the Yorkshire Bridge Inn, located on the outskirts of Bamford.
- Walk in the direction of Bamford, then turn left onto New Road.
- Keep walking uphill, until you can see Bamford Edge on your left.
- Walk through the gate on your left, then keep following the path along and past Bamford Edge.
- Start to walk down the clough (the stream should be on your right), then the path will start to lead in the south west direction, taking you to a track that heads towards Ladybower Dam.
- Once you’ve explored the dam and reservoir, head back to the Yorkshire Bridge Inn (which is only located a very short distance away).
This walking route allows you to tick most of the key Derbyshire boxes in one go – visiting one of the iconic Edges, getting your walking boots on for a proper stomp, and exploring the famous Ladybower Dam and Reservoir.
4. The Nine Ladies circular trail
Got a flair for ghost stories and spooky tales? The Nine Ladies is one of Derbyshire’s most famous sites, and its links to local legend are renowned across the country.
According to the English Heritage website, most of the archaeological remains left in this area are thought to date back around 3,000 – 4,000 years.
Although there is very little evidence regarding how (or why) the Nine Ladies stone circle was built, according to the popular folk tale, nine women were dancing on the Sabbath, with a fiddler playing the music. Then, they were all turned to stone (with the fiddler becoming the King Stone).
To add to the mystery, there is graffiti carved on the King Stone, which features the name ‘Bill Stumps’. This name, in fact, also features in Charles Dickens’ novel The Pickwick Papers.
Today, the Nine Ladies is one of the region’s most popular attractions, drawing in visitors thanks to a combination of its ancient heritage and ghostly mystery.
- Start at the Stanton Moor, Birchover Road car park (postcode DE4 2LR). Then use the carpark’s entrance to the footpath.
- Go through the kissing gate, then follow the path until you reach the Cork Stone (you can’t miss it!).
- Keep following the path across the moor, until you reach the woods. Keep heading along the path until you reach a fork in the path. Take the path on the right, which will take you to the Nine Ladies.
- Once you’ve finished exploring the circle, walk to the wooden sign, then take the path to the right, through a small forest. Follow the path until you reach the moor again.
- At the next fork in the path, stick to the right.
- Keep following the path until you return to the Cork Stone, then follow the same path back to the carpark.
From there, it’s a short drive (less than five minutes) to the Red Lion Inn. This pub is in the centre of Birchover, and is a firm favourite amongst both locals and tourists alike.
It serves up the full array of traditional pub grub, plus a number of draught beers from the town’s local brewery, Birchover Brewery.
5. The High Peak and Tissington trails
If you aren’t comfortable with map reading, or you just want an easy walk in your trainers, these trails offer the ideal convenient, no-fuss walking route.
The High Peak and Tissington trails offer long stretches of easy track, through forests and countryside. In fact, these trails are actually created from converted railway tracks. The trails follow the old London and North Western Railway route, which was first opened in 1899. After the line was closed (roughly 70 years later), you can still follow its original route through Derbyshire.
- Start at The Royal Oak pub in Hurdlow.
- Follow the signs to the entrance to the High Peak trail.
- Follow the trail.
- If you still have some energy left, you can join the Tissington trail at Parsley Hay.
- Once you’ve reached your desired halfway point, turn around and head back towards the pub.
As you can see, this is a brilliantly simple walk, which you can make as short or as long as you like.
The paths are also cycle-friendly, so you can also take the bikes out along the same route. The full trails aren’t walkable in a day so, if you want to explore both trails and pay a visit to Ashbourne (at the end of the Tissington trail), then cycling the route is a great shout.
We hope you enjoyed this list of our 5 favourite pub loop walk trails in Derbyshire.
If you’re keen to get stuck in and explore Derbyshire’s stunning natural landscape, what other recommendations would you like us to share?
Or, if you think there are any routes that we’ve missed, we’d love to hear your recommendations! You can share your favourite trails with us in the comments, or get in touch via our socials.