Distance; 8.5 miles
Time 4.5 hours
The village of Tideswell may not have the twee prettiness of some of it’s more visited counterparts but it is a fantastic base for exploring the Peak District and with it’s famous bakery, a couple of fish and chip shops, tearooms, pubs and a greengrocer it provides all the sustenance a hungry rambler might require. The centre of the village is dominated by the imposing 14th Century church of St John the Baptist, better known as “The Cathedral of the Peaks” and well worth a visit at the start or end of any walk in this area.
I sit in the graveyard of the church bathed in sunshine and work my way through a pork pie from “Tindall’s” as I trace my route on my unfolded map. It’s hard to tear myself away from this idyllic spot, watching the Swallows and Swifts wheel and soar overhead and feeling the sun on my neck, but I eventually climb to my feet and make my way out into the surrounding countryside.
A rough walled track leads me through wild flower fringed fields of Sheep and Cattle before the footpath branches off and plunges me into a chest high field of Rye, the crop ebbing and rippling like water around me. Cotton wool cumulus stud the blue sky and Wagtails and Pippits are constant companions as are the beautiful butterflies that seem to have proliferated this year, I see Orange Tip, Peacock, Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell as I head gradually down towards Miller’s Dale and the River Wye.”The Angler’s Rest” is just opening for lunch but I press on into Monk’s Dale where the rocks and branches of the wooded valley are coated with lush, green moss which makes progress a little slower, but there’s no rush and I enjoy the Tolkeinesque landscape and the shade of the canopy.
Another walled path leads me to Wormhill, a hamlet mentioned in the Domesday book and reputed to be the spot the last wild Wolf in England was killed during the 15th Century. Today it is notable for a memorial to James Bradley a pioneering canal builder which occupies pride of place on the village green. Another dale awaits me, Chee Dale this time. I follow the crystal clear waters of the river to Cheedale viaduct where I climb up to the Monsal Trail as other more intrepid souls are abseiling down! The old railway line that is now the Monsal Trail is busy with walkers and cyclists, but I soon leave the crowds and cut back through Miller’s Dale and across the fields towards Tideswell and the imposing edifice of St. John’s.
I very much hope that you enjoy reading about my walks as much as I enjoy undertaking them. If you have any questions or enquiries about either my articles or guided walking in the UK please feel free to visit my webpage at www.comewalkwithmeuk.co.uk or e-mail me at Ian@comewalkwithmeuk.co.uk . Liking my facebook page or following me on twitter @cwwmuk will help you keep up to date with all my latest walks and general outdoor news. In the meantime, enjoy the ramblings of a rambler…