Weekends, for me, are about getting outside and having an adventure. Adventures on your doorstep are great but sometimes you have to go that little bit further. This is a nine mile, circular walk, from Winster, in the Peak District. You can find a link to the route at the bottom of the page.
We have owned our rescue dog, Brew, for a few weeks now. It was time to take him on his first big walk in the Peaks. This was also a chance to try out my funky new Stance walking socks! I love my Ordnance Survey maps, both the paper copies and on their app. Scanning the familiar towns and villages, I spotted Winster. There is a parking area and a pub, plus it is on the Limestone way, perfect!
The great thing about the OS maps app is you can plot a route, from your phone, in minutes. So that’s just what I did. Paper maps are still invaluable. They give you wider picture of the area and I always take one with me on a walk as back up.
A couple of hours later and we pulled into the small, free car park. Brew is not keen on car journey’s yet and windscreen wipers terrify him. He was happy enough though, when he leapt from the car to a plethora of great animal smells.
The car park is just outside the main part of the village and close to one of its pubs. Its always good to know there will be a pub at the end of a good walk!
For the first couple of miles we were following the route of the Limestone Way. This long distance path starts in Castleton and runs through the White Peak to Rocester. Footpaths and quiet lanes made for a pleasant first few miles.
We diverted slightly away from the Limestone Way before re-joining it to enter the bottom of Youlgreave at just under 3.5 miles. We weren’t ready for lunch yet but plenty of other people were taking advantage of a lovely spot, by the River Bradford, for theirs.
Back on the Path
Crossing the river we joined a footpath on the other side and followed its course for a while. Arriving at Alport at 4 miles, we found a quiet spot and settled down for sandwiches.
The path now leads you toward Stanton in Peak. At around 4.7 miles you come to the only bit of busy road on the walk, the B5056. Although you are only on this for a minute or two it is important to be aware and we hugged the verge closely. Crossing the road, we were back on footpath once more and into Tolls Wood.
This was the perfect time of year for woodland walking. Bluebells were sprinkled underneath the bright green canopy and other flowers were bursting into bloom.
Stanton in Peak
Jamie and I are both fascinated by stately homes and the history behind them. Stanton in Peak has the fine, Stanton Hall and I was given the task of Googling its history to educate us as we strolled past. The house is still privately owned, by the Davie-Thornhill family, so there is no chance of a peek behind the doors.
We did manage to get through the door of the village pub; The Flying Childers. A nice half of real ale was accompanied by a chat with a gruff but friendly local chap. He was happy to tell us that his, slightly aggressive, Jack Russell was a stud dog; thus explaining him squaring up to Brew at every opportunity.
We left the centre of Stanton on Lees Road, taking a footpath off to the right at just over 6 miles. Here we entered Stanton Moor Plantation. Stanton Moor was a hive of activity in the Bronze Age (Jamie swears he doesn’t remember) and evidence is left in the form of Nine Ladies Stone Circle.
Back to Winster
A little underwhelmed by the stone circle we strolled on by, emerging back onto Lees Road at 7.2 miles. Heading straight over onto another footpath and we were on the final leg of our walk.
This was also the steepest part, with some pretty short but sharp ascents and descents across the fields. Popping out into the centre of Winster, at just over 8.5 miles, we were able to see what a charming village it is. Filled with handsome buildings, one of which is a National Trust information centre and indeed the first property the National Trust owned in the Peak District.
We thought it would be rude not to pop into The Miners Standard pub before leaving for home. Brew was especially pleased with the dog treats given out by friendly bar staff. He was certainly far too tired to be scared in the car on the way home.
This was a charming walk, with some lovely views and gently changing scenery. It lacks the dramatic landscape of the Dark Peak area but still feels like a hearty walk. My new Stance socks were super comfy and I’m looking forward to trying out my second pair.
If you would like to walk the Winster Circular you can borrow our route! You can view the route and download the GPX file, via Mapometer, here.