Walking in from Bamford via Hathersage
Time Taken: 2 ½ hours
This walk starts on the lower outskirts of Bamford near Sickleholme service station and takes you up alongside the pretty and beautifully located golf course at Sickleholme taking a shaded muddy lane that leads on to a path that meanders through the fields until you reach Outlane, offering truly fantastic views of the valley. From this vantage point you get a stunning view over to Stanage Edge above Hathersage, providing the uniquely Peak District style of scenery that us locals still do not take for granted. So, let me start from the beginning and offer directions for you to discover these views for yourself whilst enjoying walking with your canine companion.
As detailed, the walk starts at Sickleholme Service station where you need to turn right into Saltergate Lane following the path up with the golf course on the right. As you ascend there will be a road sign with a stile on the fence to the right hand side that allows entry to the golf course. Climbing over the stile you need to continue to walk uphill, by the perimeter fence, with your faithful companion on the lead, until you reach the top corner of the “field” where there is another stile which takes you into Hurstclough Lane. Take a right over the stile and continue to follow the lane, upwards.
As Hurstclough Lane forks take the path to the right until it starts to narrow and descend into a more muddy base. As it starts to ascend again, there is a footpath sign showing a path to the right. Enter through the gate and climb up through the trees and fields, keeping to the left. You can, if you prefer just continue on the lane for this section but it does not offer the same views in the process, so the more meandering route through the gates is preferable for those who want to make the most of the Peak Districts beautiful panorama.
You do eventually get led back to a footpath sign on the left that ensures you are brought back onto Hurstclough Lane for a short section before deviating off after the bridleway on the right back into the field, through a gate on the right. Walking up the field, keeping left you eventually rediscover Hurstclough Lane near Nether Hurst Farms driveway and continuing uphill you will see some stone cottages which have a stile just before them that needs traversing on the left.
Keep the cottages to your right and walk up the field towards another stile which leads you up towards Upper Hurst Farm. Bear right in front of the farm and continue across the land to a stone stile in the top right hand corner. Cross the field at a diagonal to the right and head towards the gate in the corner, opposite near the stone buildings. If you cross over the lane and use the footpath opposite you will venture down the driveway toward Outlane with the stone properties that reside along it. Cross over the cattle grid and continue to the valley bottom where once again you will be able to take in some breathtaking views over Stanage Edge with tumbling Peak District hills on all sides.
Follow the lane to the left passed Green’s House and pass through the large gate that then takes you along a grassy track contained between stone walls until you reach the gate at the end. Enter through the gate and walk across the field to the right down to the stile at the bottom of the field. Passing through another stile you will find yourself in a wooded area and then by a stream with stepping stones that need crossing – a sunny day will allow you to make the most of this part of the walk as the open space lends itself to a break or a light picnic, but also a spot for the dogs to amble in the cooling waters, though you might find it hard to move on further once they have started to play!!
When you are ready to proceed, you need to climb up the valley side ahead along the path until you reach the second large gate that leads onto another footpath with views of Stanage Edge clearly in your left. If you continue along the path, turning downhill and then down the drive you will reach North Lees camp site on the left. Just passed the camp site there is another footpath which you need to follow having crossed the stepped stile and, keeping the approaching farm buildings to your left go through another gate to follow the path to the left.
With Brookfield Manor in the base of the valley, ahead just continue through the gates and fields forking to the right as the path splits and follow it downhill over the stream until you reach Hathersage outskirts. Climbing he steps after the stream you will see the church climb over the stile and turn right which allows you to enter the church yard to the left.
Hathersage churchyard is a lovely place to spend some time. Apart from Little John’s grave that resides within it, it has an air of real peace and tranquillity, and it is worth spending time wandering around all the headstones to introduce yourself to its “inhabitants”, if you have the time, or inclination.
From here leave the church yard through the path that extends away from Little John’s resting place, through more recent graves and out and down towards to Cricket club at the bottom of the hill. Once at the bottom, turn left and continue to the main Hathersage road. Turn left onto to the main road and continue down towards the George Hotel, walking passed with it on your right, until you reach the rail bridge over the Bamford road.
Taking care to cross the road, climb over the stile into the river meadow off to the left and walking down to the river turn right to follow it back to Sickleholme and passed the old Marquis of Granby Hotel, which has been undergoing a massive redevelopment for some year now. You will then find yourself back where you started, at the service station and I am sure, whilst tired, you will have had a lovely, slightly challenging, but most enjoyable time walking with you faithful canine companion in our fabulous Peak District.