Peak District, South (White Peak Area)
How to get there: From Hathersage continue towards Sheffield on the A6187. Turn right following signs of the National Trust Longshaw Estate, the turn right following the signs for the car park and estate visitor centre.
Grid Reference: SK 266800
Nearest Postcode: S11 7TY
Parking: National Trust Woodcroft Car Park (Pay and Display).
Facilities: Shop/Cafe at the visitor centre, toilets.
Map with thanks to Ordnance Survey.
1 Keep your dog on a lead whilst passing through the estate. From the car park, follow the well-made path passing the pay and display and an interpretation panel on your left. Follow the path over the little bridge and passing between the stone walls. Continue along this path until you reach a second path. Turn right, ignore a left turn and continue until you reach another path.
2 Turn left continue for a short way before following the path to the right. Walk past the visitor centre and benches to your left, with a stock fence on your right.
Pass through the gate and enter into the shade of several yew trees. Livestock may be grazing on this section of the walk. Continue straight ahead along the path. The trees and plants on your left clear to give views across the farmland to the hills beyond.
Pass through another gate into fields that contain sheep or cattle (the cattle are a gentle breed that are used to people). The lake is on your right. Pass through a gate into the woodland. Follow the path through another gate and you will reach the lake and mature pine and beech trees.
Continue along the path past the lake and through the woodland, you will pass a stone outbuilding on your right. Go through another gate ignoring the path to your left and continue along the gravel path. You will reach another stone building: ‘The Discovery Barn’, with interpretation panels inside. Pass the building and continue to the road. Go through the gate and cross the road.
3 Pass through the gate on the opposite side of the road and descend the steps. Ignore a path on your left and continue towards the river. Cross the foot bridge and follow the path to the left, along the river.
The boulders increase in both size and number as you continue along the river. Walk through the oak woodland, go through the gate and continue, descending on a rocky path with exposed bedrock. The path veers away from the river with ferns and bilberry spreading across the forest floor.
When the path becomes parallel to the river once more, you will see it is far below you. Cross over a small stream joining the river and ignore the path on your right signed for: 'Surprise View'. A short way further you will come across a fork in the path. Take the right path, where just on the left you will see a discarded carved millstone.
Keep an eye out for away-marker on your left, just before the path ascends with stone steps. Take a sharp left here to descend further into the gorge. Descend the steps to reach another path and turn right. Pass a stone bench before descending more stone steps to a bridge crossing the river.
4 After crossing the bridge turn right and proceed up the steps. Once at the top turn left and follow the worn path ignoring a path that descends back down to the river. The path ascends with steps taking you up the steeper sections. There is a road to the right so be sure to keep dogs under control. The River is below you on your left.
Continue to ascend straight ahead, ignoring another path that descends to the river. As you continue, the path will ascend over a rocky section, pass through another rocky section with a descent crossing a stream before ascending back to a well-worn path.
The path now follows a high stone wall on your right, with the river below you on your left. Upon reaching another stone wall; pass between the two stone walls and take the path on your right. Leaving the old stone wall follow the well-worn path.
As you continue, you will pass a path on your left. Stay on the wider path to the right until you reach a fork. Stay on the higher path that runs parallel to the road. You will pass another old millstone to your right, as you come close to the river on your left.
Continue on the path between the river and the road, heading towards a stone wall. Pass through a gate at the end of the stone wall and continue to follow the river below.
Continue along the path which will veer right towards the road. Cross the road once again, and continue through the grounds of the estate, retracing your steps from earlier. Turn left after passing the lake. Follow the path past Longshaw Lodge and visitor centre, then turn right and then left back to the car park.