Last weekend I ventured off into the Derbyshire countryside once more, as the weather promised to be fine. In fact it promised to be sixteen degrees and overcast, and ended up LYING TO ME by being more like twenty degrees and bright sunshine, and I got sunburnt. Oops.
This walk, which is probably one of our favourites, starts from the Hay Wood National Trust car park just south of the Grouse In on the A625. It’s £4 for a day’s parking, and while I doubt anyone comes around and checks that seems a fair price for a maintained car park. There’s a path that runs north and south from the car park; we took the route north, then almost immediately took another path leading west down through the woods towards Grindleford (winner of the Brooks Award For Real Life Place Name That Sounds Most Like It Should Have Been In Harry Potter).
Keeping on the path in a straight line, we reached a lane at the base of the hill that leads down to the B6521, Grindleford itself and the River Derwent, whereupon we took an almost immediate left turn into a field and cut away from the river again to take the path that runs through Froggatt Woods.
Once through the woods the sun came out (curse you, evil daystar) as we tramped over a couple of fields and on into Froggatt itself, which is a delightful little village (and had a Sainsbury’s home delivery van in it, which bumped it significantly up the list of Places We Might Retire To Assuming The World Is Still Here). We then took a path that runs directly alongside the Derwent itself, and which these days is positively abundant in wild garlic.
The path runs on, eventually crossing the A625 and then carrying on south to reach Curbar. Here we took a sharp left up the road running to the north of the church and climbed a steep hill (which was rather warm, I can tell you). We then turned right at the public phone box and walked for a little way down Cliff Road, which provides a nice view of Curbar Edge to the east:
As the road bends to the right there’s a stone stile on the left with another footpath that cuts down between two houses and then reaches a T-junction with another path: we turned right here and headed south alongside a nice little stream until we reached a gate on the left. This announced the most gruelling part of the walk, as we proceeded to climb up over various fields until we reached the southern end of Curbar Edge (which was at least the right place to have lunch, looking out south over Chatsworth Estate).
We did, however, have to stand aside while a shepherd on a quad bike herded some sheep past with shouts of “piss off!” when they strayed too far to one side or the other.
After lunch we set off again, following the track around and simply heading north over first Curbar and then Froggatt Edges. There was no more tricky navigating, just a wide, well-surfaced path (with an optional, smaller one slightly closer to the actual edge itself), but we understandably met far more people up here.
From here the path runs north back into woods, finally dropping back down to the A625 and crossing it, dipping into a small valley with a nice stream at the bottom and then back up to the Hay Wood car park. We finished off by visiting The Grouse Inn for a drink (and the toilet) before heading back to Nottingham.