In an area where most walkers head for Castleton and Edale, this walk will come as a pleasant surprise, with its glorious views and fascinating historical information.
Soon after leaving Bradwell the Grey Ditch is crossed, an ancient mound that runs across the northern side of the valley. It is generally believed to have been erected between the fifth and seventh centuries for defensive purposes.
Brough is the site of the Roman fort of Navio, though little can be seen today. Recent excavations revealed an enclosure with walls six feet thick.
The walk climbs steadily upwards from St Ann’s Well, with fine views soon coming into sight as you work your way up past the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Reserve of Overdale, to Robin Hood’s Cross. This was sited near where you turn to descend Bradwell Dale, only the base of the cross remains embedded in the field wall.
As you make the steep descent to Bradwell, the views of the village are exceptional.
Length: 4 miles.
Start/finish: Brookside at the centre of the village.
Location: On B6049 between the A6187 Hathersage to Hope road and the A623 Baslow to Chapel en le Frith road.
Terrain: Field walking followed by a long steady ascent mainly on a rough track to Bradwell Edge. A steep and at times slippery descent back to Bradwell.
1. From in front of Recreation Ground on Brookside, walk back to the main road and cross the road into Soft Water Lane.
2. After passing Wortley Court, turn right in about 25 yards and cross two small fields, angling slightly to the right to pass an industrial building and cross a third field to a stile.
3. Continue at the same level through a series of small fields, over the Grey Ditch and soon afterwards cross a road running at right angles to the footpath.
4. Keep straight on passing Lee House and across another short field, before angling very slightly to the left to go over a stile by a gate in the next field.
5. Continue with a wire fence on the right to cross a stile in the top corner of the field and a small stream.
6. Follow a cart track for a short distance and then the hedge on the left in the next field. Where the hedge suddenly ends, you turn sharp left and walk to the bottom corner of the field.
7. Walk along the bottom side of the field to a stile in the far corner, leading down a rough track behind a group of cottages.
8. Go to the right at the rear of the cottages and on reaching Brough Lane, turn left and then left again up the road towards Bradwell.
9. After only a few yards, turn right at the footpath sign for Hope and Castleton, and in about 200 yards an Information Board points out the former Roman site of Navio.
10. Retrace your steps back to Brough Lane and follow it up to a point where it bends sharply to the right, here you carry straight on along an enclosed path that soon starts to steadily climb uphill.
11. At the top of the hill, you enter an open field and turn right. Within a few yards, turn right again up the drive towards Elmore Hill Farm.
12. Go into the farmyard, leaving after about 20 yards by a gate on the right next to a farm shed.
13. Immediately, turn left and walk by the wall to a stile in the top corner of the field leading onto a rough track, turn left and follow the track for just over one mile.
14. On reaching a gate across the track, do not go through it, but go over the wall stile on the right and cross two fields with the wall close on your left.
15. Bradwell is now clearly in view and the path follows the wall for most of the way downhill, before arriving at an intersection of routes where you turn left and continue to descend.
16. On reaching the outskirts of the village, you join an access road that winds round to The Green, where a short flight of steps on the right are descended.
17. Turn right down Church Street, cross the road at the traffic lights and make your way back to the start of the walk.
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