The Limestone Way is a 47.5 mile trail that traverses the Peak District, so called because limestone is the most common rock found in the Peak District. The Limestone Way begins at the village of Rocester, and continues all the way to the village of Castleton. Its fairly level terrain make it popular with walkers of most ages, with some choosing to do either part or whole of the Way. We decided to split the walk into three managable sections. The first day we walked from Rocester to Brassington, and then from Brassington to Monyash and finally from Monyash to Castleton.
For the first day we began at the village of Rocester. The actual start point is quite vague; with no sign pointing to its beginning. After consulting the OS map we determined the start is where a road called West View and the main road though Rocester meet. Here, the Limesone Way is not that well signposted, and the only indication as to where the route is comes in the form of a small signpost with a figure walking on it. After going through the village, we approached a wheat field and had to cross a few roads. Then the route follows the River Dove for a bit before approaching another village called Ellastone, and Calwich Abbey. Just after Ellastone the route takes a sharp left, which can be missed.
After that, the path passes through a few farms, with one of them using an electric fence that has to be negotiated. Then the route drops down towards the A52, crossing it, and then continuing up a small road towards the village of Thorpe. Upon reaching it we had lunch, as it about half way through the first section. Then the path crosses the A515 towards Tissington. A small road flanked by trees leads into the village, and then the route continues through it, towards Bletch Brook. Here the path heads down into the dale, crossing the brook, and then approaches a steep incline into the village of Parwich. Here you can choose to finish the walk for the day, or continue on to Brassington. We chose to finish at Brassington, passing an interesting rock formation known as Rainster Rocks.
The Limestone Way doesnt actually go though the village of Brassington, but instead it goes on towards a junction, heading towards Grangemill and passing the quarries. The serene countryside may seem to be momentarily disturbed by the noise at the quarry, but the route only passes them for a short while, before coming to the farming hamlet of Ible. Next, the route moves onto the tiny village of Upper Town near Bonsall. Here, we were about a quarter through the second day, and so we had our mid morning snack, before pressing on. The next part was quite tedious, as we passed through field after field, but some amazing views across Longstone Edge and Beeley Moor made up for it. This stretch of path then approached winster, and then on to Dudwood Lane which leads nicely towards Robin Hood Stride, a fairly well known rock formation that we came across in a previous walk.
At Robin Hood Stride, we stopped for lunch, and appreciated the view once again. The next part of the walk went along part of a previous walk i did, that covered Robin Hood Stride and Nine Ladies Stone Circle. But this time we went through a small woods instead of Harthill Moor Farm, towards Youlgreave. Upon reaching the village we followed the River Bradford for a section, before attempting a fairly steep climb out of the dale, but after a while we came towards Lathkill Dale, which included a very steep descent down some steps, and then an equally steep ascent up to One Ash Grange Farm. From the Farm down to Monyash, the route is very easy.
We decided to stop at Monyash at the end of the second day and camp overnight, preparing ourselves for the final day. The final day was slightly shorter than the previous two days, which was a refreshing thought for some rather tired walkers. We started the third day by passing through the village of Flagg, and onwards towards Millers Dale. Then we went up a fairly steep ascent out of Millers Dale and then came across a small minor road. Here there was a signpost for both the Limestone Way and the Pennine Bridleway, so there was a little confusion as to which way to go. We decided to take a left and go through Peter Dale and Hay Dale, in order to follow the route properly.
After coming out of the dales, we eventually reached the A623, following the route passed a farm called Mount Pleasant Farm. Here everything looked very bare and barren, far away from any roads or civilization. The path then reaches Cave Dale, along a rocky descent into Castleton, behind Peveril Castle. The Limestone Way finishes its 48 mile course upon reaching the village of Castleton.