Nine Ladies, Winster and Birchover
The Nine Ladies Stone Circle dates back to the bronze age used for pagan rituals and it has a mystical feel about it. You approach over Stanton Moor passing the famous Cork Stone en-route and you soon arrive at the circle and it’s quite easy to imagine the rituals that went on here in the past, and the site is now popular with visitors who gather here for the solstices.
From here you carry along a path towards Winster passing the Earl Grey Tower and enjoying superb views over the Peak District.
The path takes you through Barn Farm Campsite, Birchover with its noisy peacocks and friendly llamas soon to arrive at Winster, a good destination for a picnic.
Winster is characterised by its narrow roads and old houses and winding alley ways-wonderful to explore with something interesting always round the corner. I recommend its popular ‘Secret Gardens‘ every July.
From Winster, you follow the Limestone Way past the imposing outcrop of Cratcliffe Tor and wind up the hillside path passing The Druid Inn at Birchover to arrive back at our start.
Castleton, Cave Dale and Mam Tor
Starting from Castleton we head up the imposing Cave Dale, surrounded by imposing steep walls with Peveril Castle perilously poised on top. After some steep uphill walking the path flattens out and you soon glimpse the imposing Mam Tor peak in the distance.
The walk up the path leading onto Mam Tor is steep but you soon arrive at the summit with its 360-degree panoramic view over the Peak District. The view looks out over Kinder, the Edale Valley and Winnats Pass-this is an ideal spot for a picnic.
After all the hard work getting up Mam Tor, the path down to Castleton is all downhill and it’s worth taking some time to explore the village with its many tea shops and old buildings.
Ladybower Reservoir, Dovestone Tor and Back Tor
Starting from Ladybower Reservoir famous for its association with the ‘Dambusters’, we head uphill steeply until passing the wind-weathered rocks en-route very reminiscent of the Dartmoor Tors. The path soon flattens out. Next, we arrive at Dovestone Tor where you will be treated to superb views over Kinder, Bleaklow and the Derwent Reservoir and its dam stretching along the valley below.
Heading along the ridge on a paved path you soon arrive at summit Back Tor with a summit trig point and this provides a welcome spot to enjoy your picnic.
To descend, you follow a winding path downhill until you soon arrive at the Derwent Dam and walk along the side of it. You are likely to encounter patient watching fishermen and the bird life that populates the area.
All in all, a very satisfying walk out in the Peaks.
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