Category Archives: 2 to 5 miles

Shining Cliff Woods, and back via the pub (4 miles; direct from the holiday cottage)

A lovely varied walk through woods and fields, taking in a small lake in the woods.  The walk is direct from the holiday cottage and comes back via the pub.

Shining Cliff woods

On the Shining Cliff Woods walk

Dog walk Factors

Wildlife/livestock – Sometimes there are cows and/or sheep in Alderwasley Park.  I’ve never met any troublesome cows here – they don’t seem interested. If you want to avoid them altogether, you can drive up to Shining Cliff (see the Shining Cliff circuit walk).

Stiles – there are a few wooden and stone stiles to clamber over, which could be tricky if your dog is large and not very agile. Nothing which caused our labrador sized dog a problem though.

Water – there is a small lake in the woods and a stream nearby (clean!)

Roads – you have to walk up Pendleton Lane at the start and there is a short walk along the main (ish) road to get to the pub. It is not very busy but not completely empty either.

Other dogs – you may meet other people and dogs in the woods at weekends/holidays.

See the walk on an OS map

Or on alternative map that shows more paths in the woods

Walk Directions

1. Leave the holiday cottage and turn left onto Pendleton Lane. Walk generally north along Pendleton Lane until you reach a T junction at the end of the lane.

2. At the T junction, don’t go onto the road at the end – instead take a footpath which is on your right, up a gravelled drive towards a large house.

3. Continue on the path, entering some woods.

4. Keep going on this path until you hit a road. Turn right onto the road and pass a school on your left and an old vicarage on your right.

5. After about 50 yards, take a footpath on your left, into some parkland. You should see Alderwasley Hall (now a school) and church on your left behind a lake, and a war memorial on your left.

6. Keep to this path, ignoring a footpath to your left. As you climb, you’ll get good views of Crich Stand (the tower on a cliff) over to your left.Shining Cliff view

Shining Cliff clearing

Occasionally there are cows in this area. We’ve never had a problem with them – just keep to the right by the stone wall. After about half a mile, you’ll enter an area with more trees, and a solid wooden bench on your left. Follow the path to the right, coming to a stile.

7. Go over the stile and walk through a grassy field (note – this may contain sheep!)

8. Go through a gate into Shining Cliff Woods. Whichever path you take in these woods, you will have a good walk, so don’t feel you have to follow my instructions! (It is possible to get lost though 🙂 )

9. You’ll see a path straight ahead down a hill. Follow this, ignoring any paths to the right. You’ll reach a cleared area where there may be parked cars. Take a path which is generally left, past a low chain barrier and with a notice board on your right.

Shining Cliff lake10 Walk a couple of hundred yards or so, and then take the first path on your right. Follow this down a hill until you reach a small lake.  There is a bench here where you can sit and admire the view (or in our case admire our loony dog cavorting in the lake!)

11. Follow the path around the edge of the lake, with the lake on your right, passing over a wooden bridge. Where the track forks, take the left fork.

12. Follow this path for a few hundred yards until you see a modern sign on your left (and an old sign on your right.) There is a path going left up the hill. Take this path.

13. Walk up the hill, following the path around to the left when you see a building ahead of you.  You will soon pass Shining Cliff on your right. There is a picnic area at its base.

14. Keep on this track until you find yourself back by the low chain fence that you passed earlier.  Retrace your original steps briefly by climbing up the hill towards the gate where you entered the woods.  Instead of going through that gate, take the path on your left.

15. Follow this path through the woods until you eventually meet a road.  Turn left onto that road, walking along it until you hit a T junction. Turn right and you are now on the road which takes you to the pub (The Bear).

16. Walk along the road until you see The Bear on your right.

17. On leaving the pub, exit via the car park at the back. You’ll see a stile in the far left corner of the car park, to the left of some recycling bins.

18. Go over the stile and follow a path through a field to another stile. Go over this stile and walk diagonally across another field to join a path with a hedge on your left. Walk down the hill on this path, and this will take you back to Pendleton Lane, just south of the holiday cottage.

Cromford Woods Walk

View from Bow Wood

View down the valley from the woods


Black Rock Woods Walk (2.5 miles; less than 3 miles from the holiday cottage)

An easy and enjoyable walk around the Black Rock area. You can divert to climb the rock, giving spectacular views.

View from Black Rocks

View from Black Rocks

Wildlife/livestock – there are sometimes cows in the area heading up to the trig point towards the end of the walk. They have never been a problem but there is an alternative route which is cow-free.

Stiles – none

Water – a pond by the side of the trail near the start (clean).

Other dogs – quite a few on the High Peak Trail on weekends or during holiday periods.  Both on and off lead.

Refreshments – there is a kiosk at the car park selling drinks and snacks.

Roads – none

View the walk on an OS map

The paths on this walk are not very clear on the OS map, so the route is a little rough. It is shown more accurately on this map:

View the walk on a map.

You can walk up to Black Rock from the cottage, but if you are driving, park at the Black Rock car park shown on the map. If there is space in the area just after the bridge (before turning right to the main car park, this is free!)

Black rock view1. Walk from the car park onto the High Peak Trail and turn left. You will see Black Rock looming above you on the right. You can take a detour to climb it now, or come back via the Rock at the end of the walk.

2. Walk down the High Peak trail for half a mile or so, passing a strange sunken area on your right and a bicycle shed on your left.

View from High Peak trail near Black Rock 3. You’ll see a path to the right signposted “Cromford Moor”. You have the option of taking that path, which you may want to do if it is busy and you would like to get off the trail early. Otherwise stay on the trail for some lovely views over to the left.

4. You’ll pass a small pond on your right (your dog may be in it!) and approach an area with picnic benches and an old engine house (the engine was for pulling trains up the steep “Sheep Pastures Incline”).

5. Just before the engine house, take some steps ascending steeply to your right into the woods. If you start heading down the incline, you’ve gone too far.

6. At the top of the steps you’ll meet the path you would have taken if you followed the sign to Cromford Moor, coming in from your right.

7. Go straight ahead, following a path through woods.

8. Ignore the first right turn (unless you want a slightly shorter walk – it is a nice path!) and continue on the path through the woods.

9. You’ll pass a gate on your left and another footpath to the left through the gate. Ignore this and continue on the path through the woods.

10. After half a mile or so, you’ll meet a wide forestry commission track. Turn right and walk along the track.

11. After a few hundred yards, you’ll reach a gate on the left allowing access into an attractive rocky, brackeny area which may have cows. (The path I mentioned if you wanted a shorter walk comes in from your right here.)  If you want to avoid the cows, keep straight on and this track will take you back down to the High Peak Trail. If you are OK with the cows (I have never had a problem with them here) go through the gate and take the left hand path. (For a shorter walk you can take the right hand path which avoids the trip to the view point and takes you through woods to the top of Black Rock.)

12. Follow the path upwards with woods on your left, until you reach a trig point which gives lovely views all around, including down to Wirksworth and its quarries.

13. From the trig point take the left path which leads back towards Black Rock.

Dog at Black Rock14. Pretty much any path will take you back to Black Rock now. I tend to take the left fork where the path divides, then the second wooden gate into the woods on the left. This takes you to the left side of Black Rock, and there are obvious paths up onto the top of the rocks.

15. Once you see the rock on your right, you can follow any of the well worn paths back down to the trail and the car park.