Tideswell to Tideswell via Wheston -Mable's view
Time taken: 1 1/2 hour
This walk to me is home to home, it’s a local walk for us and one that makes me realise how lucky we are; how lucky we are to be able to step out from our door step and walk into pure Peak District National Park country beauty and onto the Pennine Bridleway.
If you start this walk from the centre of Tideswell, from the Church square you head off towards Manchester Road, , which if you follow the main road round leads off to the left, passed Market Square and then off left up towards Wheston, which is signposted.
The first part of this walk is road walking. I enjoy this as know it offers “pawdicure” for Mable’s nails, but I still benefit from the scenery, both left and right as you do get stunning views over to Peak Forest one way and Millers Dale the other. There are sheep fields galore, with the occasional rock outcrop off to the right as you walk.
To the left is the most stupendous landscape with farmland over wonderful rolling hills. The road continues past a couple of farms, houses and stables and then just before Wheston Hall there is a gravel path off to the left, past a small cow field and barn to the left of the Hall, itself.
The gravel lane, away from Wheston Hall, which extends for about a mile, although straight and flat, still holds interest as with every stone on ground or wall, with every green field, there is still so much to enjoy and appreciate. We took this walk in the savage January of 2010, when the whole lane was snow filled to thigh /waste height, with snowfall as well as drifts. We were walking that day with our best friend and her two dogs Bumble and Dilly, and all of us really struggled to get to the end – what, at the beginning was a giggle, was after half an hour of ploughing through and sinking into thigh high snow drift, a pretty big challenge. The dog’s tried to walk on the embanked walls, but struggled to keep their balance and, all in all, it proved quite scary – Mable became quite stressed by continually sinking to her tummy each time she took a step. It was time for Kendal Mint Cake but we hadn’t packed reserves. Eventually, dear reader, you will be pleased to hear we made it out safely – the frozen wastelands had been conquered and we had survived ( OK, I am over dramatising, but I had never seen a 6ft drift until then, in the U.K., and it was quite unnerving – needless to say, we have no plans to conquer the Arctic!)
Anyway, getting back to the present, and reality, you have options here, when you get to the house at the end of the lane, you can turn left and follow the road back to Tideswell – “pawdicure” all the way, but still a lovely walk past horse, cow and sheep fields – or you can continue straight over the road for more lane walking.
If you have the time and energy, I would advise the latter, passing lush cow fields with their dew ponds until you either see styles of to the left through the fields, back to Tideswell or you eventually hit a walking dead end and again turn right, over a short stile, along a very narrow lane beside sheep fields, with stunted or broken trees and a couple of old shepherds huts.
After these, and after skipping over a style, you turn left at the empty quiet road, walking along passed a couple of cottages, one with stables and allotments. You eventually get to Peak District Dairy, the cows in the fields are their dairy herd and they own the multitude of free range brown hens that congregate in fields, both left and right. Mable always manages to pull up and sniff the bird smells, though has yet to really work out where they are, behind the dry stone walls.
This road leads you back into Tideswell, along the top road, but if you are in need of sustenance just drop down to the right, where you have the cafes of Vanilla Kitchen and The Peak District Dairy, who cater well for the weary traveller. If liquid refreshment is required, you will quickly find the Horse and Jockey, with The Star and The George, further on into the village.
Me – well I just bumble along with Mable until we get home to Market Square and get to put our feet up with a nice cup of tea. How lucky we are to be Peak District dwellers!