A lovely valley walk alongside the Hood Brook, before climbing to North Lees Hall with good views of Stanage Edge and returning across the fields to explore Hathersage.
The Hood Brook provides one of the many connections with Robin Hood in the area. Another landmark with literary connections that is passed early in the walk is Brookfield Manor, which is linked with Jane Eyre.
Stanage Edge looms high above, concealing a cave where Robin Hood is said to have hidden. North Lees Hall, Thornfield, in Jane Eyre is one of the seven manors that Robert Eyre distributed among his seven sons.
On returning to Hathersage yet another connection with Robin Hood is found in the well tended churchyard of St Michael’s, where Little John is buried!
Length: 4 miles.
Start/Finish: Hathersage Car Park situated off B6001 Grindleford Road.
Location: On A625 Chapel-en-le-Frith to Sheffield road.
Terrain: Easy. Mainly flat valley walk.
1. Walk to the left from the car park. As the road bends, turn into Ibbotson’s Croft to follow the footpath to the A625, cross the road and go down Baulk Lane opposite.
2. Follow the lane past the cricket ground and after about three quarters of a mile take a footpath sign on the left leading towards Brookfield Manor, which is passed by a narrow path to the right of the buildings.
3. On reaching a road take the path opposite signed ‘Green’s House’, keeping close to the Hood Brook on the left, before crossing by a wooden bridge as you approach Green’s House.
4. Angle to the right through a small area of woodland and cross two fields heading for a narrow path to the right of Green’s House to turn right down the farm track at the rear of the house.
5. On entering the next field, follow the path to the right leading down to the Hood Brook and cross by some large stepping stones.
6. Carry straight on keeping the farm buildings on your right to the far side of the field. Go over a stile and head across the next field for the top corner.
7. On reaching a gate in the top corner of the field, do not go through it, but turn sharp right and walk back down a grassy track to North Lees Hall, leaving by the drive.
8. At the bottom of the drive turn to the left, and in about 100 yards as the road begins to bend to the left, cross a stile on the opposite side.
9. Carry straight on keeping Cow Close Farm on your right and then continue close to the hedge on the right until a stile takes you to the opposite side of the hedge.
10. Angle across the field to follow the path into a wire fenced field heading towards the church that is now clearly visible.
11. Cross a bridge over a stream in the right hand corner of the field and head straight on up a slope to reach the churchyard on the right.
12. Leave the church by the lychgate to follow the road round to the right into Hathersage, going down the main street past the George Hotel.
13. Go over the road close to the Catholic School and within a short distance turn left down Barnfields. The path continues to the left of the building in front of you down the side of the houses and over a small footbridge into Mill Lane.
14. Go to the right down the road past Victoria Mill close by the viaduct on the right. Follow the road round as it bends to the left to reach the B6001.
15. Turn left and then right along Oddfellows Road past the swimming baths back to the start of the walk.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
David Mellor Cutlery Factory (Tel.01433 650220) designated a masterpiece of modern architecture. The shop beside the factory sells a wide range of cutlery and is open seven days a week. The factory may be visited during the week.
Padley Chapel an early 14th century gatehouse and chapel is all that remains of Padley Manor House,the home of two Roman Catholic families who were persecuted. Two priests from here were executed for their beliefs.
Ladybower and the Derwent Valley is a popular area for visitors. The dams in the valley were used by Dr. Barnes Wallis and his team to test his bouncing bomb and the film ‘The Dam Busters’ was partly shot here.
Longlands Eating House (01433 651978) upstairs in the popular outdoor shop, the café provides good wholesome food in pleasant surroundings. A familiar haunt for walkers open seven days a week.
Scotsman’s Pack Inn (01433 650253) standing on one of the old track ways to Sheffield, there has been an inn on this site since the 14th century. There is a good choice of food available seven days a week. Seating outside when the weather is suitable.
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Hathersage today is a large attractive village with hotels and shops lining the main street. To the north, Stanage Edge rises steeply and to the south flows the River Derwent.
Hathersage has strong literary connections. Charlotte Bronte’s best friend at school was Ellen Nussey, whose brother was vicar of Hathersage. In 1845, Charlotte stayed at the vicarage with Ellen for about three weeks to prepare for the return of the vicar and his wife from honeymoon.
During her stay Charlotte took the opportunity to explore, walking on the moors and visiting many of the houses scattered around the area. Her famous novel ‘Jane Eyre’ was set in Hathersage.
The famous outlaw Robin Hood is said to have been born at Loxley, only eight miles from Hathersage. His lieutenant, Little John, is reputedly buried in Hathersage churchyard, in a grave measuring 11 feet from head to footstone.
Close by the church is Camp Green which dates back to 850 AD; the circular mound was a fortification built by the Danes.
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