Just minutes from Sheffield by train sit the pretty Peak District villages of Hathersage and Grindleford. Follow this leisurely walk from one to the other, by a meandering river, fabulous woodland, open moorland, and a great cafe stop.
Starting at Hathersage station, there are two options:
A: a linear walk of nearly 3 miles, ending at Grindleford station
B: a circular 6 mile route via Padley Gorge
Leaving Hathersage station, begin on the busy B6001 towards Grindleford. After around 600 metres, take a track on your left (before Leadmill Bridge/The Plough Inn), heading east on a path alongside the river, turning south through fields and entering woods. In late spring, you'll find lambs, bluebells and wild garlic here.
In the woods, the path splits. Keep left, climbing uphill until you cross the railway line. A field leads to a well-defined path heading south into Upper Padley village and Grindleford station.
Stop for a pint of tea at Grindleford Station Cafe – well-known, until quite recently, for its notices pointing out various 'rules' – and potter around the grounds of Padley Martyrs Chapel (the chapel itself is open just 2-4pm on Wednesdays and Sundays, from the end of March to late-September).
A: your walk ends here. Catch the train back to Sheffield.
B: onwards to Padley Gorge.
With Totley Tunnel on your right, take the path into Yarncliff Wood – spectacular whatever the season, whether dotted with bluebells in spring, dappled in autumn hues, or alive with the sound of winter water cascading over rocky boulders. Follow the Burbage Brook up the gorge. Interestingly, this river was once the boundary between Yorkshire and Derbyshire.
Navigating woodland can be tricky, with informal paths not marked on the map. Keep the river on your left, though, and you’ll soon come to steps taking you down to a bridge. Cross the river and zigzag steeply up the other side of the gorge.
Again, you’ll find more paths than on the map – but with an old quarry and abandoned millstones, it's time for some exploring. The aim is to meet a track going north/north-west to the A6187 Sheffield/Hathersage Road. Call in at the nearby Longshaw Estate discovery centre or tea room.
For an easy way back, walk to the road and follow it downhill to Hathersage. Or for a traffic free option, look for a path heading west/north-west over the moors towards a track and Greenwood Farm.
Once you reach Greenwood Farm, take a downhill track sign-posted Hathersage, walking under the railway to emerge back onto the very first path. Turn right to follow the path back to Hathersage station.