Calton Lees – Calton Houses – Bouns Corner – Rowsley –Calton Lees

Distance: Approximately 5 ½ miles

This walk through part of the Chatsworth Estate starts with a gradual ascent onto Calton Pastures which are vast meadows often containing grazing livestock, then to the edge of a wooded ridge with the most wonderful views over White Peak countryside. You then descend along woodland tracks and paths to Rowsley before following a riverside path back to Calton Lees.

Park at Calton Lees car park (charge applicable) just before Chatsworth Garden Centre, which is located about a mile from Chatsworth House heading out of Chatsworth estate towards Beeley, and just above the narrow road bridge over the river which is controlled by traffic lights.

From the car park continue along the road past Chatsworth Garden centre to Calton Lees, a beautiful little hamlet of pretty cottages, owned by the Chatsworth Estate and lived in mainly by Chatsworth Estate employees.

On a sharp left hand bend in the centre of Calton Lees, go through a gate on your right and begin the long but gradual ascent to Calton Houses, being a little cluster of cottages in a sheltered hollow in the hills.

Follow the track through Calton Houses and continue on a path to a gate. Immediately after passing through the gate turn left and follow the wall side. Shortly afterwards you will come to a track heading down through another gate and a gap in the trees on your left. Follow this track up the hillside and head towards a band of trees on the horizon. There are occasional wooden post markers to guide you.

As you walk be sure to glance around at the wondrous views and notice the wooden lodge with attractive white bargeboards located near the trees behind you, which is one of Chatsworth’s famous landmarks. This is Russian Cottage which was a gift from Tsar Nicholas I to the 6th Duke of Devonshire. The two men had become firm friends following the Duke’s visit in 1816 to Russia when he served as the British Ambassador to Moscow. The Duke arranged an exchange visit in 1844 when the Emperor Fountain was built in the Tsar’s honour. Unfortunately the Tsar had to cancel his visit but he sent Russian Cottage with its intricate carvings and window surrounds as a reminder and keepsake. The cottage was used as a luncheon place for Chatsworth Shooting parties.

When you reach the top of the hill, either cross the high stile or go through a gate to enter woods and follow the path through the trees. You should then emerge from the wood at the edge of a ridge with the most amazing view in front of you through a gap in the trees.

Follow the track down through the woods, and at a junction of paths turn left. Shortly afterwards bear right and walk down a well used section of path to emerge on a corner of tracks at the top of Coombs Road from where you can look right down the valley to Bakewell or left towards Rowsley

Turn left and walk around to the left, passing a metal gate and follow the track to Rowsley which was at one time the old main road from Bakewell – the turnpike road in the bottom of the valley was not laid until the mid 18th century.

Continue along this track and ignore a path leading up to the left which is only for private access to the woods. After a while you will come to a corner where you head downhill and away from the woods, bringing you onto a lane leading down into Rowsley

Go past the church on your left and continue until the road flattens out, then just after passing beneath a bridge you turn left along a muddy track and go under another bridge which up until its closure in 1968 carried a railway line above.

Follow this track for about half a mile and then cross a stile and pass through the edge of Bank Wood before emerging in a series of riverside meadows.

This is a well used route and it should be quite easy to make out the path through fields and stiles with the river Derwent to your right. The footpath will eventually rise away from the river with an unusual pillared barn down to your right.

You will come to a stile taking you back into the little hamlet of Calton Lees, from where you retrace your steps back to the car park, passing the Chatsworth Garden Centre where there is a nice restaurant/cafe