This is a great walk that takes you to the beautiful Shining Cliff woods. This particular walk involves a short drive to the woods, and so completely avoids any stiles, possible sheep or cows and roads. A dog walker’s paradise!
Wildlife/livestock – very few hazards in the woods although we have had a dog lost down a badger set in the past!
Stiles – none actually in the woods.
Water – there is a small, clean lake in the woods, which most dogs love.
Roads – none
Refreshments – if you want to go to the pub, you can do the alternative walk which takes you back via The Bear.
This is just one suggested route. Whichever paths you take in the woods will be good.
1. Drive or walk to the parking area on Higg Lane by the woods. To drive there, go out of the cottage and turn right up Pendleton Lane, turn left at the top of the lane and then take the first left down Higg Lane. The parking area for the woods is on your right.
3. Now just stay on this path, following it around the edge of a large area where trees have been cleared (to re-plant original species).
4. Stay on the path as it enters a wooded area, and eventually you will hit another distinct path at a T-junction. Turn left onto that path and then after about 50 feet, take a small, narrow path which goes off to the right through the trees.
5. Follow the small path until you meet a stream. Cross the stream (which can be a bit tricky if it is very wet, but there are stepping stones.)
6. Continue on the path, passing a sunken stone area on your right. The path meets a more distinct path which heads down a hill. Turn right onto the more distinct path and follow it down to a small lake.
7. Pass the lake (it will be on your right) and cross a small wooden bridge. The path forks after the bridge – take the right fork.
8. Follow this clear path, eventually passing some houses (one with a skull and crossbones flag!) There is a large house on your left which has barking dogs (not free) and chickens.
9. Continue past several houses. You’ll see a path heading sharp left and a sign saying “Betty Kenny Trail and YHA” There are boulders in the way to stop cars. Go down this path.
10. Continue past a derelict cottage and some derelict factory buildings. Eventually you’ll reach a point where the path forks and there is a sign saying “Private property – no access.” This only applies to the left fork (which appears to lead up to a rather intriguing old building high up on the left). Resist the urge to go up there (!) and take the right fork past some impressive old factory buildings.
11. You reach a clearing and the path forks again. Take the right fork, past a Forestry Commission sign. (The left fork takes you back to the lake if you want to cut the walk short.)
12. Pass a low barrier and climb up the path. When the path forks, take the left fork, following a sign saying public footpath to Alderwasley. Just stick to this path until you eventually reach a stile in a stone wall. (If you go over the stile it takes you into Alderwasley park, and back to the village.)
13. Turn left and follow a narrow path, with the stone wall on your right. Stay on this path. It forks a couple of times – always take the right fork. You’ll pass a hole surrounded by stone cliffs – maybe an old quarry – on your right. On your left, you’ll see views down into the Derwent Valley.
14. Stay on this path until you reach a wooden bench and an old stone sign, and a gate through which you enter the woods if you walk from Alderwasley through the park. Continue on the high path, past the gate on your right, then keeping the stone wall on your right.
15. Stay on this path until you arrive back at the parking area.