Longnor oozing with character, it is surrounded by stunning countryside it sits on a high ridge between the Dove and Manifold valleys, making it an ideal base for walking and exploring the surrounding countryside. There is also a regular bus service, not only to Leek and Buxton, but to Ashbourne as well.
Known as a market town, Longnor is in reality the size of a village, yet evidence of its enterprising past remains quaintly intact. It certainly has the feel of a very small, Trumpton-like town and is well equipped with amenities, such as a post-office which sells basic provisions, fruit and locally grown vegetables, a well-stocked general store, a coffee-shop / craft centre, two pubs (as of March 2011) and a very popular chippy where you can eat-in or take-away. Indeed, the chip-shop is so popular that often tables need to be reserved in advance!
The former Crewe & Harpur pub has now been turned into self-catering holiday accommodation and, sadly, the stately-looking Grapes Hotel is currently closed; however, there are still two excellent hostelries, namely:- The Horseshoe and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese at opposite ends of the village, just off the market square. If they aren’t enough for you, then the equally good Pack-Horse Inn is only three-quarters of a mile away down the hill in the hamlet of Crowdecote.
The cobbled market square has recently been acquired by the Peak District National Park Authority who, for a peppercorn rent will lease it to the Parish Council, which is excellent news as it means that the locals will keep control of their historic heritage. Behind the market square is the former market hall, now the craft and coffee shop. Above the door you can still see a board listing the toll charges for produce sales – evidence of the weekly and annual fares which were held during Longnor’s 19th Century heyday.
From the edge of the village towards Crowdecote you look down onto the Upper Dove Valley – an amazing sight; to the north-west are the jagged peaks of Chrome and Parkhouse hills, with the massive bulk of High Wheeldon towering above the valley ahead of you. Down in the valley you will discover delightful walking alongside the clear waters of the Dove, or, alternatively, climb the hills for truly panoramic views. The River Manifold flows down the Manifold Valley from the other side of Longnor and is, although less dramatic, equally beautiful. Brooding on the horizon is Revidge, a wild expanse of heather moorland which is a haven for birds and wildlife – and for walkers too, who will be delighted to find this gem relatively undiscovered.
All in all, Longnor is a lovely place from to start a hike, stay for night or two, or simply visit on a day trip. You will not be disappointed.