Distance: 6.7 miles
Approximate Time: 3-4 hours
Altitude: 1683 ft
This is a moderate Peak District circular walk with a fair amount of altitude. The best place to begin would be at Bakewell Bridge Car Park, which is on the corner of Baslow Road and Coombs Road, with the path starting a short way down Coombs Road where a signpost for a public footpath is situated on the left hand side of the road, between the drives of two houses. Alternatively the walk could start at the Monsal Trail, heading right until the second bridge is reached.
The path continues in a north-east direction, up past a few houses and then around to a bridge that crosses the Monsal Trail, a cycling and walking trail that was a railway line up until 1968. The path then continues up to Bakewell Golf Course where there are great views over the town. After ascending through some woods, we came to a large open area known as Carlton Pastures, an isolated yet vast space spreading out in every direction. A lone tree and a small, tranquil lake are the only sign of life that can be seen, and any villages are discreetly hidden from view. This is also a great place to bring pets, as our dog Jimmy thoroughly enjoyed the freedom to run around. After the woods the path continues staight, through the pastures and past a small bunch of trees.
The path then heads downhill, leaning slightly right, and is quite clearly seen. A shorter version of the walk can be chosen by heading left at some crossroads that leads straight to Edensor. To continue to Carlton Lees, we took a right turn past a farm, walking downhill towards the main road. There is a signpost at the crossroads that tell you which direction villages are in. We then approached Carlton Lees Garden Centre which offers a car park, toilets, and a small cafe to eat in. Upon reaching Carlton Lees Garden Centre, we crossed the main road and followed a path along the River Derwent. The river flows in front of the Peak District Chatsworth House, a stately home with over 500 years of history, and one of the Peak Districts most iconic attractions. At this point there are several paths, which can be quite confusing, but the best thing to do is to stay between the main road and the river, and then keep to the main road until Edensor is reached.
A short distance from Chatsworth House is Edensor, a Chatsworth Estate Village, that originally was situated closer to the River Derwent, but was moved by the Dukes of Devonshire as it blocked the view at Chatsworth. It is a quaint little village with a small café for refreshments, and a picturesque village green for a picnic. When leaving Edensor, take the lane that is straight opposite the cattle grid, but not left into the Peak District village.
The route continues straight up to a trail that heads west out of the village. Stay to the lefthand side of the trail. This continues for about a mile before turning into a road that goes down back to Bakewell - Peak District. At the highest point of the road, there are magnificent views over Great Longstone, Pilsley and Beeley. The road then heads downhill towards Bakewell, passing Ballcross Farm. Here, the road takes a sharp right, where you can either follow the road round the bend, or take the path straight down through some woods for a steeper descent. We then approached the station at Monsal Trail, crossing it once again. To return to Bakewell Bridge Car Park we followed the road to the left down into Bakewell, with the car park appearing on our left side. A well deserved drink can be enjoyed at one of the many fine cafés and coffee shops in the heart of this Peak District town.