Friday, 2 December 2011

A Walk through Coombs Dale in the Peak District

This is a walk in the Peak District through one of the National Park's least known dales - Coombs Dale.  Starting at the village of Stoney Middleton, it's an excellent wander.

The full description of this walk is on our website here, which provides information about the length of the walk and its suitability for different people - along with the walking video.

  • The Moon pub cark is a good place to park and start this walk - although remember to have at least a drink in the pub on your return as a thank you.
  • From the car park, turn right and head along the busy A623.  Cross over to the far side when the path on the pub side disappears.
  • After a couple of minutes, there's a public footpath on the right at right angles away from the road.  Cross the road again, and head down the footpath.
  • Soon, this path enters Coombs Dale - with trees lining both sides of the path.  These trees eventually give way to small rock faces on the left and hills on the right.
  • Following the path leads past Sallet Hole Mine on the left, before meeting with Black Harry Gate, some 2 1/2 miles into the walk.

  • Just after the gate, turn right - heading north-east - and follow another public footpath.
  • Here, the path climbs for the first real time on the walk.  Although other paths lead off, stick with this one, as it passes signs warning about blasting and shooting (fortunately off the path of our walk)
  • After passing an abandoned stone barn on the right, a cross roads is reached at Lane Head, with Middleton Lane travelling from left to right.  Go straight on, down the path which is now a public bridleway.
  • Carry on desending until the entrance to the quarry is on the right.  Cross this entrance road with care, and carry on down the bridleway, making a trek towards the A623.
  • More care is needed crossing the busy A623 in order to head up the B6521 towards Eyam.
  • On the right, around 600 foot from the road junction, is a footpath going past an Electricity Substation.  Follow this path and enter the most surprising part of this walk - a cliff-top trek across the top of Middleton Dale - with even high rock formations to the left.

  • Take care along this path - it provides great views, and although it seems higher than it is, it is still quite a drop over the side.
  • After the cliff walk, pass the entrance to the caves and head towards the A623 again.
  • Heading back into Stoney Middleton passes "Lovers Leap" on the far side of the road.  Carry on through the village, ready to enjoy that drink and possibly a meal, at The Moon.
 Let us know here if you attempt this walk - and if you do, please leave us some photos on our Facebook page.