Visitors to the Peak District heading off the busy A523 en-route to the more popular locations of Hartington to the East and Longnor to the North, could be forgiven for passing through Warslow without giving it a second glance. However, if you turn off the main road and park up at the top of this attractive old village, then turn around and look to the South, you will be rewarded with the most stunning view; Ecton Hill dominates, but the line of trees below draws the eye, tempting you down into the glorious Manifold Valley. On its distant hillside looms the rocky, gaping mouth of Thor’s Cave inviting exploration.. Yes, Warslow is the perfect location for the start of a hike – devoid of the numerous tourists that you will find in some other nearby places.
To reach the Manifold Valley, you can either follow the small road or take paths over fields; once there the possibilities are endless. If you are feeling energetic, then Ecton Hill and its ridge will beckon, or a short easy stroll will take you along the banks of the river Manifold, perhaps to Wetton Mill or Weag’s Bridge. Children may enjoy hunting for fossils along here – especially near Ecton where crumbling shales might reveal ancient treasures. A suggested longer route would be to turn off the trail at Ladyside Wood and take in the hamlets of Grindon, Ford, Onecote and Butterton – an amazing walk of varied villages and ever changing scenes. To the North West of Warslow is Revidge and Swallow Moss – the moorland offering a further contrast to the limestone hills and dales in the other direction. It is a nature-lover’s haven and until recently was one of the few places black grouse could be spotted in this part of the world. It is beautiful at any time of year, but you would be hard-pressed to find a more lovely spot when the carpet of purple heather blooms in August.
Back in Warslow Village, the church of St Lawrence has William Morris windows, a wide chancel and both Georgian and Victorian features; there were once two chapels in the village but both have now been converted into dwellings.
If you are in need of refreshment, then a warm welcome awaits you at The Greyhound. Formerly an 18th Century coaching inn known as The Greyhound and Hare, it has a smart, comfortable interior following a recent refurbishment and a beer garden to the side. Good food, accommodation and real ale are available. Not a bad place to round off your exploration of the area.