An outstanding walk with excellent views and with Edensor, Chatsworth House and Baslow all on the route, this walk could take a considerable time to complete with so many fascinating places to explore.
After a short walk towards Ballcross a rough track leads down to Edensor. The splendid collection of differently designed houses, makes you feel, when you leave, as if you had been on a whistle stop tour of Europe.
If you can resist visiting Chatsworth House, the route continues through the park close to the banks of the River Derwent, passing the lovely little estate cricket ground on the way to Baslow.
The shortest of detours will take you to Baslow Church where the tower clock displays on one side ‘Victoria 1897’ instead of the usual numerals. Another surprise waits inside in the form of a dog whip in a glass case, supposedly to drive out stray dogs during service, or, as has been suggested to keep the congregation from snoring!
After leaving Baslow the walk continues through fields, before descending steeply to the A619 and then climbing sharply back to Pilsley.
Length: 6 miles.
Start/finish: Roadside parking in village.
Location: On B6048 through Chatsworth Park, to the west of Chatsworth House.
Terrain: Good walking conditions. Short steep ascent and descent near the end of the walk.
1. Walk up the road from the Devonshire Arms and, at the end of the houses keep straight on along a rough track that soon swings to the left. Where the track ends go over a stile and cross a field to another stile by a gate leading onto a road.
2. Cross over to the other side and continue up another road marked ‘Unsuitable for motors’ and when it levels out, just before rising again, turn left down a rough track leading to Edensor.
3. Leave the village by the main gates and cross the road to join a surfaced path that swings to the right and leads to the River Derwent.
4. Go over the bridge and immediately turn left alongside the river path for about one mile, passing Chatsworth cricket ground, with the Derwent only a short distance away on the left.
5. The park is departed through a swing gate designed to give access to wheelchair users.
6. In about 100 yards, go through a gate stile on the left and within a short distance cross a narrow stone bridge. Walk across a field behind the Cavendish Arms to join a fenced path leading to the main road.
7. Follow the road round to the left and after crossing Devonshire Bridge, turn right along Bubnell Road.
8. Directly opposite the ‘Old Bridge’ go through a squeezer stile between two cottages and walk up a narrow path, before crossing three fields with the wall close on the right.
9. In the next field, continue beside the wall for about 80 yards before turning left where the wall turns sharply to the right.
10. Walk straight across the field to a stile by a gate leading onto a country lane. Turn right along the lane and then, in about 50 yards, left into a field.
11. Keeping close to the wall on the left, walk to the other end of the field and turn right without leaving the field. Just over half way across the field, go over a stile in the wall close by a gate.
12. Cross the field diagonally to the right as it drops down quite steeply to the road.
13. Cross the road by two stiles and follow a steeply climbing track diagonally to the right to go through a gate stile and over a wooden stile in the top corner.
14. Turn left and walk alongside the wall to reach a minor road, where you turn right and walk back into the village of Pilsley and the start of the walk.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE AREA
Chatsworth House and gardens (Tel 01246 582204) stands in a deer park designed by Capability Brown in the 18th century with hills and woods. Visitors are free to wander in the magnificent parklands. Shop and restaurant facilities available. For full details of Chatsworth House, click here.
Edensor, a delightful estate village where the houses have been built in a variety of architectural styles that add to the appeal of what must be one of the most beautiful villages in England. Members of the Cavendish Family lie buried in the churchyard, as does Kathleen Kennedy, sister of the former President of the USA.
Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop (Tel. 01246 582204) situated at Pilsley one and a half miles from Chatsworth House, at what used to be the Stud Farm and later became a milking parlour. Then in 1977, the Duchess of Devonshire opened The Farm Shop in the former Tack Room, selling beef and lamb from the estate. As the shop has become more successful, it has expanded to include a whole range of products. Further expansion will take place during 2004. Open daily.
Devonshire Arms (Tel 01246 583258) built in about 1700, incorporating an oak beamed ceiling, thick stone walls and open fires it personifies the image of the traditional country pub. A speciality is the fortnightly Irish evening, when a barbeque and singing are the order of the day. Home cooked food is served every lunchtime. From Thursday to Saturday, carvery meals are served in the evening. Accommodation.
Stud Farm Pantry (Tel 01246 582204) this smart little café at the Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop, will be relocated to larger premises within the same block of buildings in 2004, to try to help meet demand. Open daily, providing a good range of hot and cold food.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
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Pilsley is a pretty, unspoilt village with magnificent views over the Derwent Valley. It lies about one mile east of Chatsworth House, and with Edensor and Beeley makes up the three Chatsworth Estate villages. They tend to share facilities; Pilsley has the school and a pub, Edensor a church and institute and Beeley a church and a pub. Both pubs are called the Devonshire Arms, which can cause confusion at times.
Some describe it has a sleepy little village, but fail to take into account that the popular Chatsworth Farm Shop is located in Pilsley. It has been so successful further expansion of the Farm Shop has taken place, including an enlargement of the catering facilities.
Almost all Pilsley’s population either works on, or used to work on the Chatsworth Estate - or holds a connection with the estate through a partner. The inhabitants have a wide range of skills as they have had the task of maintaining Chatsworth House and Gardens over the last 400 years.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.