Distance: 6 miles
Time: 3 hours
This walk covers two popular sites of the Peak District, Robin Hood Stride, and the Nine Ladies Stone Circle. It starts near the villages of Youlgreave and Bradford, on a road called Bradford Lane that runs down the side of the church in Youlgreave, towards the River Bradford.
The Limestone Way is where the walk begins, following the path from the road towards Robin Hood Stride. Here, the path is easy to follow, as the Limestone Way is a popular route in the Peak District. The way goes through Harthill Moor Farm, before crossing a road. At this point Robin Hood Stride can be seen in the distance. As the path approaches Robin Hood Stride, there is a great opportunity to explore it and climb to the top for some great views over Elton, Winster, Longstone Edge and Beeley Moor. You could also head down towards Hermits Cave, which is another interesting rock formation with good views, but that is optional. The Limestone Way then continues towards the B5056 after crossing a cattle grid. Then you have to walk along the road for a short while before rejoining a path on the right hand side. Here it goes round to the left, round some small woods, and then it joins the village of Birchover.
There is a chance to have a break and a drink at The Red Lion Inn. There was a village store, but this has been closed down. The route then carries on up the main road through Birchover, and then approaches a junction. Carry straight on, up a small minor road. The start of the path up to the Nine Ladies comes into view on the left hand side, as well as a great vista over Elton, Winster and Darley Dale.
The path traverses Stanton Moor, a very open and barren area, and then goes through some woods. Then you will see a small circle of stones, called the Nine Ladies, in the middle of a clearing in the woods. This stone circle was used by druids and pagans to celebrate the summer solstice, and is used nowadays as a site to protest against the nearby quarry. The route then carries on past the Nine Ladies, and then reaches a small minor road. Here you go left towards the village of Stanton. Here is another opportunity to have a break and a drink at the Flying Childers Inn.
You then continue down the road all the way to the B5056, and then cross over onto a public footpath. The path crosses a field, and then joins another minor road. This carries onto right up to a T-junction, where it transforms into a small track that goes through Millfield Farm. This then continues though some crossroads to Hollow Farm. The path then swings round to the right, and back to the start of the route.