Wheeldon flower emblem Calendar tick box Phone icon Chat icon
skip to Main Content
Curbar Edge CREDIT Visit Peak District & Derbyshire (1)

Derbyshire Dales Community Walking Festival

The Derbyshire Dales Community Walking Festival is back for a second year this autumn with free led-walks for all.

Seventeen fabulous walks have been mapped out in a festival organised by Derbyshire Dales District Council in partnership with local Ramblers, U3A groups and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

A variety of distances and geographies mean there is something for everyone, from fully accessible walks and dementia-friendly walks to heritage and wellbeing walks.

The Derbyshire Dales Walking Festival takes place from 25 September to 1 October, and starting points include Wirksworth, Ashbourne, Darley Bridge, Dovedale, Foolow, Hathersage, Cromford, Matlock, Chatsworth and Bakewell, with gentle forays just over the Dales border into Ilam.


Monday 25th September to Sunday 1st October

How to book

All walks are free and led by experienced volunteer walk leaders and must be booked. To book your place contact Helen Milton, DDDC Health Walks Coordinator phone or text 07775 931047 or email: helen.milton@derbyshiredales.gov.uk.

Monday 25th September

1:30 pm Ashbourne with Ashbourne U3A

Ashbourne to The Royal Oak and return to Ashbourne via Clifton goal. Three-mile level walk through fields. Some stiles. At the Royal Oak cross the A52 at Hanging Bridge and return via the Shrovetide Clifton goal. Refreshments at The Stepping Stones. Meet at the Homebase end of Waterside car park to begin the walk at 1.30 pm prompt.

2 pm Wirksworth with DDDC Health Walks

Very steady walk for up to 1.5 hours covering about two miles. Meet in the Wirksworth Leisure Centre car park.

Tuesday 26th September 

9:30 am Dovedale with Ashbourne U3A

This Dovedale walk will be around 10 miles and take about six hours. Well-behaved dogs on a short lead will be welcome. Starts from Dovedale car park (National Trust) at 9.30 am.

10:30 am Darley Bridge with DD Ramblers

Steady walk four miles in 2.5 hours. Meet at Darley Bridge in the free car park by Cricket Ground (SK269623, DE4 2JY).

2 pm Hassop Station Walks for All with Peak District National Park

Fully accessible, dementia-friendly stroll for up to one hour along the Monsal Trail followed by tea and cake. Meet outside Hassop Station café.

Wednesday 27th September

9:30 am Ashbourne to Wirksworth via Carsington, getting the bus back with Ashbourne U3A

This is a linear walk with options to join and leave at the halfway point in Carsington. Five or 10 miles. Three hours for every five miles and an hour for lunch at Carsington.

Meet point 1 – Ashbourne Memorial Gardens at 9:30 am sharp for a 5-mile walk to Carsington (DE6 1EJ, OS ref: SK 1817 4680.

Meet point 2 – Millfields car park picnic area Carsington Water at 13:30 pm sharp for a five-mile walk to Wirksworth (DE6 3JL, OS ref:25093 49701).

Approximate Duration of Walk: Seven hours in total, including an hour for picnic lunch – or two to three hours walking.

10 am Darley Bridge with DDDC Health Walks

Steady walk of about 3.5 miles in 90mins meeting at the free car park by the Cricket ground.

10:30 am Ilam with DDDC Health Walks

Steady walk of about 5.5 miles in three hours meeting in Ilam Hall stable yard with parking in the National Trust car park (DE6 2AZ, SK 131507) or roadside in the village.

Thursday 28th September

10 am Matlock with DDDC Health Walks

Very steady walk of about two miles in around 90 minutes meeting at the Bandstand in Hall Leys Park.

10 am Foolow with DDDC Health Walks

Steady walk of about four miles in two hours meeting parking next to the village green.

10 am Ilam with DD Ramblers

Steady walk of eight miles in about 4.5 hours meeting in Ilam Hall National Trust car park (SK131507, DE6 2AZ). Route: Rushley, Musden Wood, Blore, Manifold Trail.

Friday 29th September

10:30 am Bakewell with DDDC Health Walks 

Very steady walk of about two miles in 90 minutes meeting on Water Street by the Bakewell Pudding Shop outside the café.

10:30 am Narlows Lane with DDDC Health Walks supporting MacMillan Coffee Morning at Thorpe

This will be a great walk supporting a wonderful cause. The walk will be about six miles in four hours including the cake stop. Meeting in Narlows Lane free PDNP car park (DE6 2AT, SK163504).

Saturday 30th September

10 am Matlock with DDDC Health Walks

Very steady walk of about two miles in 90mins meeting at the Bandstand in Hall Leys Park.

10:30 am Cromford Wharf fully accessible walk to Aqueduct Cottage and back for a Heritage Talk

Meet at Cromford Wharf and walk along the canal, past High Peak Junction, where the group will be met by a volunteer from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust who has been working on the restoration of Aqueduct Cottage. The walk is 1.5 miles in each direction (three miles in total) and will take about 2.5 hours including the talk.

Sunday 1st October

10 am Calton Lees with DD Ramblers

Walk of 11 miles over 5.5 hours meeting in Calton Lees car park near Chatsworth (SK258685, DE4 2NX) Route: Calton Pastures, Jubilee Rock

10:30 am Hathersage with DDDC Health Walks

Family walk to Thorpe Farm for Hope Valley ice cream. This walk meets in the car park on Oddfellows Road opposite the swimming pool in Hathersage, walks along the river to Thorpe Farm and Hope Valley ice cream parlour (not included – must be paid for) and then returns to Hathersage through the fields. Just over a mile each way—about two hours total including time at the Farm.

Book your autumn cottage at Wheeldon Trees

Wheeldon Trees is stunning all year round, but autumn brings amazing colours and cosy nights in the local English pub.

Our cottages are close to a variety of activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and visiting historic landmarks. In addition, we’re perfectly placed for wandering around charming English villages and taking in cafe society.

We have 10 stunning cottages set in 12 acres of Peak District National Park. Alongside luxury cottages, our rural retreat offers free EV charging and an honesty shop packed to the brim with goodies. In addition, we have a fantastic games room where you can play pool, air hockey or ping pong. We have two new electric bikes for you to borrow to explore the local area. What’s more, we have recently added two new hybrid bikes.

In 2023 five of our cottages were rated 5-Star Gold by VisitEngland. Firstly, the Farmhouse retained its 5-Star Gold rating from 2020. And now Priestley Cottage, Ollerenshaw Cottage, Nadin Cottage and Mycock Cottage join it with top marks. The remaining five cottages – Sheldon, Walker’s Rest, Critchlow, Elliott and Lomas were all rated 4-Star Gold. In addition, TripAdvisor recently named Wheeldon Trees in the top 10% of places to stay in the world. Thanks to our visitors’ amazing reviews, we were delighted to be awarded the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award 2022. To complete the hat trick, we were also the runner-up in best self-catering accommodation at this year’s Visit Peak District and Derbyshire Tourism Awards.

You can view our availability and pick your perfect cottage by following this link – view our availability.