Start at: Stoney Middleton
Grid ref: SK227756
Scramble element: Walking
Distance: 7.6 kilometres
Total ascent: 346 meters
Approx. time needed: 2 hrs 30 mins
Stoney Middleton Circular
Park by the side of the road opposite the Lovers Leap Cafe and walk follow the road into the village, towards Calver. Continue past The Moon public house before turning right onto a narrow lane marked with both "Private Road" and "Public Footpath Coombs Dale" signs. Follow this lane as it slowly ascends into Coombs Dale, ignoring a couple of minor paths that head off to either side. The path follows the bottom of the dale, accompanied by a small stream on the right hand side.
After a mile Coombs Dale takes a sweeping curve to the left before arriving at Sallet Hole Mine. This impressive mine entrance was once one of the biggest Flourspar and lead mines in the area, and the remains of old spoil heaps lie all around the entrance. The entrance itself provides a welcome relief on hot days, with a constant cool wind issuing from the depths, and the lead rich soil provides a habitat for rare, metal tolerant, plants like leadwort. Beyond Sallet Hole the path continues through Rough Side and slowly narrows to the path junction at Black Harry Gate.
Turn right at the path junction along Black Harry Lane, climbing uphill between drystone walls, to reach the limestone plateau and its patchwork of fields. From its high point the path narrows a little as it drops down slightly to a road, where you cross straight over. Ahead lies the descent through Dalton Quarry. Keep on the path, and take note of the warning signs about "firing" as this is an active quarry area. The path skirts the edge of the quarry as it drops down to meet the main Middleton Dale road by the quarry entrance. Directly opposite take the road uphill towards Eyam. The road leads directly up the hill to the village square of Eyam, famous as “The Plague Village” and an ideal spot for both a break with several pubs and cafes.
From the village square, take the road marked to"Lydgate Graves" to where it suddenly bears right, at this point continue ahead then take the left fork at a junction. The path now drops towards Stoney Middleton, leading into open fields above The Cliff after quarter of a mile. A wall on your left provides a handrail for the descent into Stoney Middleton, leading past a rare octagonal church on the left before emerging at the old octagonal toll house now serving as a chip shop. Turn right and walk back along the road to your start point.