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Outstanding views and fascinating places to visit, this walk reveals much of the heritage of this upland area. There are many strange rock formations found in the area at Rainster Rocks and Hipley Hill, the countryside surrounding Brassington being of considerable interest to the geologist, the botanist and the climber. 

After leaving Brassington behind, the unusual rock formations of Rainster Rocks, an example of dolomitic limestone, are soon reached. Harborough Rocks further on in the walk, where the remains of Bronze and Iron Age man have been found, are similar in formation. 

Longcliffe, on the dry limestone moorlands, was an important watering point in the days when the Cromford and High Peak Railway was in operation. The railway was considered to be an engineering masterpiece. It linked High Peak Junction at 277 feet above sea level with Whaley Bridge at 517 feet, rising in the middle to over 1,000 feet. The track has now been converted into the High Peak Trail.

After leaving the trail at Harborough Rocks, an extensive area where lead miners used to work is passed.



Length:     5.5 miles.

Start/Finish:     Wirksworth Dale Car Park. 

Location:     Between the B5056 Ashbourne to Bakewell road, and the B5035 Ashbourne to Wirksworth road. 

Terrain:     A short climb out of Brassington, but generally easy going along moorland paths, quiet country roads and the High Peak Trail.



 1.  From the car park, walk down Wirksworth Dale and turn left at the bottom of the road towards Brassington.

2.  Turn right by the Village Hall and follow the narrow lane round to the right. At a crossing point of lanes, continue ahead along a lane with walls on either side.

3.  A few yards past the church, go over a stile on the right into a field (public transport users should walk to the church and go through the gate on the far left side. Then follow the path close to the church wall up to the lane referred to above. Turn left and then right into the field mentioned previously.)

4.  Angle to the left to climb up the field, but it soon levels out, before reaching a stile in the wall on the far side of the field.

5.  Turn half right across the next field, but before arriving at the far side the path bends further to the right leading to a stile onto a farm lane.

6. Do not cross the stile opposite, but walk down the lane for a short distance, before going over a stile on the right.

7.  Rainster Rocks are now clearly in view and you should angle to the left down the field to join a grass track heading in the direction of the rocks.

8.  Follow the track past a small outcrop of rocks and turn left to go over a stile in the wall, and walk to a footpath marker post a few yards ahead. 

9.  From here, you can continue straight ahead to explore Rainster Rocks, before returning to the same marker post. You then head back across the field to a stile to the north of the one you previously crossed.

10. Do not cross the stile, but walk alongside the wall, past a barn and down a cart track to reach a minor road.

11. Turn right and carefully follow the road towards Longcliffe - 50 yards after passing under the High Peak Trail Bridge, go to the right along a surfaced track and then turn left down the trail.

12. Follow the High Peak Trail for one and a half miles. You can then go to the left to explore Harborough Rocks, before retuning to the same point and turning right immediately after passing an industrial plant.  

13. On reaching Manystones Lane, turn right and after about 300 yards go over a stile in the corner of a field on the left.

14. Head across the field, keeping close to the field boundary as it bends its way round, eventually arriving at a stile in the far left hand corner.

15. Turn right and walk down the lane to the car park and picnic site (public transport users should walk to the bottom of the lane and turn left to reach Brassington.)   


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National Stone Centre, Wirksworth (Tel. 01629 824833) tells the story of stone, its geological and industrial history. The exhibition inside shows how advanced technology makes use of stone in an incredible number of ways. Outside the visitor centre, the quarry trail takes you back over three million years. Open every day 10-4pm during the winter and 10-5pm in the summer.

 Steeple Grange Light Railway, (Tel. 01246 205542 or during running hours 07769802587) an 18 inch (450mm) gauge line built on the trackbed of a branch line of the old Cromford and High Peak Railway. Enjoy a ride of approximately 20 minutes to Dark Lane Quarry. Many of the surrounding fields are designated as sites of Special Scientific Interest. The railway operates between 12.00noon and 5.00pm, on Sundays and Bank Holiday from Easter until autumn and also Saturdays during the summer. Santa Special Weekend in December. Please telephone for opening details or visit website.

Middleton Top Visitor Centre (Tel. 01629 823204) tells the story of the Cromford and High Peak Railway. Open weekends all year, open daily during the summer months. Shop facilities and cycle hire available. The Engine House opens on a limited basis. Ring for details. 


Miners Arms (Tel. 01629 540222) is a 250 year-old pub once used to hold the Barmote Court, where lead mining disputes were settled. Meals served at lunchtimes during the week and both at lunchtime and in the evenings at weekends. Some outside seating. 

Carsington Water Visitor Centre Restaurant (Tel. 01629 540363) occupies an enviable position with excellent views across Carsington Water from the Visitor Centre. Provides a wide range of hot and cold meals. Open every day.



Provides a wide range of features on towns and villages with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.


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A special new sub-section has been added to this website, based on the Discover Derby Supplement, published by the Derby Evening Telegraph during March 2005.

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An attractive limestone village set on a hillside with winding little streets in a remote corner of Derbyshire, Brassington is about six miles to the north west of Wirksworth. The rough ground to the east, west and north of the village has the hillocks and hollows of hundreds of abandoned mines. There are many strange rock formations round the village at Rainster Rocks and Hipley Hill.

The surrounding countryside is of considerable interest to the geologist, the botanist and the climber. Little more than two miles away is Minning Low, where Neolithic chambered barrows were found on the summit. 

Brassington Feature




High Peak Trail

Middleton Top

Carsington Walk

All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.