Rowsley, Haddon and Chatsworth.
Time taken 3 hours
This walk is a bit of a trek but if you enjoy Peak District natural scenery combined with some man- made historical building this is the dog walk for you, as it passes both of the Peak Districts premier estates – Haddon Hall and Chatsworth. It is a pretty easy walk though it covers over 8 miles so make sure you are prepared to be out for most of the day.
Our walk started outside The Peacock Hotel, in the village of Rowsley, on the A6, and continued along the “no-through road” that sits at the side of the Hotel, passing the post office and a farmer’s track to the right. The road becomes a track and lifts you out of the valley with some lovely views across moorland as you go. Eventually you will reach a metal barrier and have a choice of three tracks that will take you through the woods ahead – take the left hand one of the three and you will come out into a clearway leading to another metal barrier and junction. Take a left at the junction and you will find yourself walking across a ridge offering a panoramic view down to Bakewell on the right. Keep to your right and head towards the town.The track, as you follow it runs along the outskirts of a plantation on the right and where it eventually veers to the left; keep walking straight on aiming for the bridleway passing the bowling green and pavilion to the left, which I believe used to be part of the old Haddon Estate.
Following this route you will need to follow the railings of Haddon Park to the right descending through gates as you follow the tracks. As you proceed you will reach, what looks like a wide hair pin bend, just keep following it until you reach the small bridge that crosses over the River Wye. Taking the bridleway you can venture through the tight metal stile to get closer views of the hall, though we walked straight on towards Bakewell along a grassy path through light tree cover. With wetland to the left and a small cottage to the right keep heading away from the river until you descend through a field offering a gate at the opposite end, below a small wooded area. Follow the track marked for Bakewell, around the ridge until you reach Coombs Road, near the viaduct.Crossing over, there are some steps that take you up to the Monsal Trail track bed and follow towards Bakewell towards the Agricultural Business Centre which looms large ahead.
After about 15 minutes you will pass under a bridge and then need to climb steps up the bank on the right to reach the necessary path to take you then up towards the wooded hillside ahead. At this stage it is worth placing you dogs on a lead as you need to cross Bakewell Golf Course and it is worth noting whether there are any golfers playing, so as not to get knocked on the head by a stray shot.Once across the golf course you will enter a wooded area and offered a climb upwards through some attractive Peak District woodland before erupting into the meadows that are Calton Meadows, from the Chatsworth Park. Continue forward, walking to the right of another small wooded section before reaching a stile and gate to the right of a small pond. Just passed the pond cross another stile and head downhill aiming to the left of the next copse and then through a gate leading onto a grassy track towards Calton Houses. Continue straight ahead, at this stage down towards the river, although if you are feeling energetic, you can take a left turn down towards Edensor and Chatsworth House, to return along the river.
Once at Calton Lees car park, having walked straight through various fields and with Lees Wood to your right, follow the road out towards Rowsley, over the hump back bridge and on the hedged pavements until you reach your starting point at the Peacock Hotel.It may be worth your while taking refreshment here, or at one of the other local hostelries, though on my version of the walk, we were so very muddy that we would not have dared venture in any Peak District establishment, so it was quickly off to the car and home!!