Chatsworth Triangle Walk
Three monuments and 8 miles of fun!
Chatsworth Walks - 8 miles - includes this marvellous circular walk that offers great photo opportunities at every stride.
Taking in the Hunting Tower in Chatsworth Park, Wellington’s monument high above the village of Baslow and finally Nelson’s monument on Birchen Edge is this 8 miles long, 3-4 hour walk through the Chatsworth Estate, alongside the River Derwent and along some of Derbyshire’s loveliest gritstone edges. With several possible refreshment stops and public toilets en route, this triangular half-day hike is a walkers’ delight. Great care must be exercised, however, when walking with children (or dogs) along this route as several high, potentially dangerous rocky edges are crossed. Dobb and Birchen edges are particularly steep.
GETTING TO THE START
Take the A619 from Baslow (near Bakewell) to Chesterfield, and after several minutes of uphill driving, a left hand turn is reached just past a farm on your left. Immediately left at this turn is the Robin Hood pub and immediately after this is a public car park at which the walk starts and ends. Alternatively, begin and end in the public car-park at Baslow (bus route).
Exiting the car park you should turn right past the pub to follow the footpath down to the road junction where you turn right to pass a cottage, then a sign for ‘Eric Byne’ campsite. A few metres on from here you should carefully cross the busy road to a small hidden stile, over and down the steep steps on to a wooden slatted bridge that crosses the stream below. Follow the path up until you come to a track that you cross over following the sign for ‘Beeley via Swiss lake’ and striding up to a ladder stile at a wall up ahead. Immediately over and left of this stile begins the delightful Dobb edge section along which you should take great care. In a short time you will arrive at a small roped section (care please!) before continuing to a stile in the wall and then, quickly, another to your right which descends a rocky path.
Continuing forwards and upwards, another stile is reached. At this point, high to your right on a distant edge you might be able to make out Wellington’s monument that stands to the right of a huge boulder known as the Eagle Stone. Behind, you will also be able to see the monolith that is Nelson’s monument! Veer right, keeping the trees and dozens of rocky boulders to your right and on across the field to steps in the high wall (very tricky if you have a large dog!) that marks the Chatsworth Estate boundary. Head diagonally left and upwards first before you reach and follow the path by the wall side for a few hundred metres - more wall steps are eventually reached before turning left through the copse and then joining a broad track. Turn right onto this track and continue straight ahead for some distance through the peaceful woods until it, at last, rounds a gentle right-hand bend to reveal the handsome Chatsworth Hunting Tower and its cannons standing sentinel high above the famous house now visible below. The estate village of Edensor (pronounced ‘ensor’) and its church can also be seen from this point. The Hunting Tower was built originally to allow the ladies of Chatsworth to observe the hunt in the park below!
Just past the steps that lead up to the tower is a slightly hidden path on your right. This path leads down numerous steep and sometimes slippery steps (an alternative is to avoid this route by following the surfaced road through the woods passing the aqueduct that ‘feeds’ the famous Chatsworth Fountain). At the bottom, along a short path through shrubs you come to a track that you should cross straight over and on until, a few yards ahead, you reach a back road (the alternative route passes here also). These woods are known as Stand Woods and are rich in bird life, woodpeckers amongst many others. Turn right here, round a bend at the side of the Chatwsorth Adventure Playground and Farmyard and on to the cattle grid and gate. Heading through this you should continue ahead/left and down through the car parking areas, keeping the house to your immediate left (refreshments/toilets available at the little shop here from Easter until late December).
Continue past the huge main gates, over the car park to a broad track that leads to the bridge over the Derwent. Just before this, you should turn right, cross over the road to Chatsworth House and through a gate to pass by the ruin of Queen Mary’s bower. Turn left off the main path and follow the Derwent upstream heading towards several Poplar trees and a cricket pavilion away in the distance. As you reach the cricket pitch boundary fence you will need to walk away from the river to re-join the main path to your right. Continue on to pass White Lodge cottage on your left and then on until you reach a minor fork in the broad path at which you should bear right to follow the path as far as the Cannon ‘kissing gate’ through which you should pass. Continue on until you pass a few thatched cottages on your right and then turn left over the bridge to enter the Nether End part of the village of Baslow. Here you will find public toilets, tea rooms and pubs.
Crossing the main road at the pedestrian lights you will join Eaton Hill (at the side of an Italian restaurant) up which you should trek as far as Bar Road where you should turn right. Along this ‘no through road’ for traffic you will eventually reach a track straight ahead. Continue up this steep track, ignoring side paths until you arrive at the open moors. As you near the top, a seat (take a break here –and if the weather allows, you’ll be able to see all three destinations from this single vantage point!) is passed on your left, then the huge Eagle stone is seen (ignore the left hand path) and shortly afterwards your second target, Wellington’s monument (1866), in the shape of a stone cross, is reached.
Continuing along past the monument, an obvious path is followed for a few minutes, until you reach a gate at the side of a ‘B’ road some distance on. Through the gate, turn right and walk down to the often busy road junction. Cross over and climb the stile in the wall on your right before choosing the left hand path of the two on offer. Walk along this bumpy, feint and occasionally boggy path across a few wooden slatted palettes serving as mini bridges, and continue rising slowly to your left towards the distant ridge. Nearing the ridge, and just prior to a large flat-faced boulder being reached to your left and opposite a huge boulder on your right - turn left on to a tiny path through bracken, heather and silver birch trees to joins a more obvious path to ascend the rocky ridge. At the top of the ridge you will encounter the white painted triangulation pillar of Birchen Edge, beyond which is the third and last of your destination points, Nelson’s monument (1810) – a simple stone column (extra care along here please!). Standing proudly in the lea of this monolith is a trio of massive boulders engraved with the names of some of the heroic naval warrior’s ships! At weekends, this area is very popular with climbers.
Continue on along the rocky edge (care please!) and wind your way for some distance before eventually turning sharp right in the bracken (next to a water hydrant) to join a very, very steep (care please!) and tricky descent overlooking the green of a par 3 golf course situated behind the Robin Hood pub.
Turn left at the bottom to join a track that leads to a gate through which you should turn right to a path which joins the road back to the car park - signalling the end of what should have been a very enjoyable few hours!
Time to celebrate with a drink and a snack!
Walk by Mike Cummins – courtesy of Let’s Stay
More photographs of Chatsworth | More walks around Chatsworth for you to tackle!
Why not make a weekend of this walk combined with another for good measure - we have lots of superb Peak District cottages for you to choose from on our famous Let's Stay website. Have a great break and let us know how you get on!
Last Updated: 13 May 2017