Tag Archives: refreshments

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.

Wirksworth quarries and Puzzle Gardens

A short, varied walk which explores the quarries of Wirksworth and takes a detour to look at the Puzzle Gardens and the Stardisc.

Wirksworth quarry view

View the walk on an OS map

Or on a different map that you can export to a GPS device.

Wildlife/ livestock – there are sometimes sheep in the field after the first quarry (noted below). I have never met cows up here.

Water – none.

Other people/ dogs – you meet occasional walkers in the quarry and on the lanes in Wirksworth, sometimes with dogs.

Roads – you are on lanes in Wirksworth, with very little traffic.

Refreshments – you can take a detour into Wirksworth. The Red Lion pub is nice, and dog friendly.  If you don’t have a dog, you can get good food in Le Mistral.

1. If you are happy driving up steep, narrow lanes, you can park for free at the top of The Green, where it loops around to go back down The Dale. If you aren’t, you can park in the square in Wirksworth or in a carpark that you’ll see on the right, as you come in from Alderwasley.

Wirksworth quarry2. Assuming you’re starting from the top of The Green, you’ll see one path straight ahead of you up some steps and another path to the left (back down the road a bit). Take the path on the left which slopes gently upwards.  This leads you through an old quarry and you can see Wirksworth on your left.

3. Pass through a tunnel and continue on the path, up a hill and round to the right.  This leads you onto a path which runs parallel to a lane on your left.

4. Stay on this path, going through two kissing gates. You should see footpath signs referring to “circuit walks around Wirksworth”.

5. Remain on the path as it takes you into a field. Sometimes there may be sheep here. Stay on the left side of the field with the road on your left. At the end of the field, pass through another kissing gate., which takes you onto a path with a copse  on your left and the road still on your right.  Just stay on this path, going through gates as necessary, following the footpath signs.  (Beware, there are some gaps onto the road on the left.)

6. Continue on a well trodden path, following the yellow arrows.  After you descend with a wood on your right, the path then goes to the left, but the sign has been knocked over, so you’ll need to look out for this.  It’s not very clear but you need to go left and then in the next field follow the arrow which points right, walking up the right side of the field.

Wirksworth quarry view to Middleton Top

View to Middleton Top

7.Pass through a squeeze stile, and follow the path up to the road. You’ll go  alongside the road, but not onto it.  After about 50 yards walking parallel to the road, you’ll meet another footpath. If you go left (across the road) this takes you up to the High Peak Trail. In fact you can see Middleton Top pump house in the distance. But to stick with this short walk, turn right onto the footpath. This takes you diagonally across a couple of fields. Look out for the squeeze stiles and the red footpath signs.

8. Eventually the path leads you to a wooden gate. There is a yellow arrow and a red arrow with a train on it.  Go through the gate and into the quarry, and follow the path until you arrive back at your car.

WirksworthStarDiscWirksworth Great Dog9. Now, take the right hand of the two lanes and walk down until you see a sign for the Stardisc.  This is worth a look. It is a black granite disc engraved with the stars as they are seen from here, with the constellations marked out.  Starsky chose to sit on “Canis Major” (Great Dog)!

WirksworthRoofView 9. When you leave the star disc, you can continue to wander down The Dale. Take any of the little alleyways off to the right and explore the “Puzzle Gardens” – the area between the old lead miners’ cottages on The Dale and those on The Green.  In some places you can almost step out of one cottage onto the roof of another.

10. Wind your way down into Wirksworth or across to The Green and back up to your car.



Middleton Top Walk

A walk on the High Peak Trail

Black Rock and Midshires Way Walk

A lovely walk – rocks, woods, views, and (at least when I last did it) no cows or sheep.

See a map of the walk.