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Hartington Three Dales

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Altitude Information
Start Point
Low Point
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Other Information
Tea Shops
Parking
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Hartington
5.50 Miles (8.90 Km)
Explorer OL24  1:25000
White Peak Area
Hartington Post Office
SK17 0AL  (SK 1284 6040)
 
 
751 feet   (229 meters)
639 feet   (195 meters)
944 feet   (288 meters)
 
 
Two
Pay and Display plus Road Side
Nov 18th 2011  Duration 3 Hr
Map For
This Walk.

Walk Altitude Profile:
 


 
2011 Well Dressing, Hartington 
Well Dressing

A relatively easy to follow walk from Hartington through Beresford, Wolfescote and Biggin Dales. Although this walk has something to offer at any time of year as it tracks the River Dove through varying landscapes. However it has to be said that the final short climb near the top of Biggin Dale is a bit steep.

Getting There:

Hartington can be reached by taking the A515 north from Ashbourne for around twelve miles, turning left onto the B5054 shortly after passing through Newhaven, this leads directly to the village of Hartington in a distance of just over two miles. There are several parking options in Hartington, a few roadside parking spaces are to be found on entering the village near to the school, there ate also a few in the centre of the village but these fill quite quickly. A small pay and display car park (50 or so spaces) can be found off Mill Lane a hundred or so meters from the village centre. Refreshments and food can be found at either the Devonshire Arms or the Beresford Tea Rooms. The Beresford Tea Room (also the Post Office) is a popular tea room, well decorated and very friendly. The Tea Room is open daily from March to November between 10.00am and 4.30pm and in winter from 10.30am to 3.30pm (Closed on Wednesdays during the winter months). The second tear room on this route is at Hartington Hall (YMCA) near the end of the walk, once again opening hours are limited during the off-peak months (Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays).
The Walk:

The walk starts from the centre of the Village of Hartington near the Beresford Tea Rooms and Post Office. From the Post Office walk towards the Charles Cotton Hotel and follow the pavement as it bends to the left. Loot on the left for a pottery workshop and a block of puplic toilets. The footpath for this walk passes between the toilet block and the side of the pottery workshop. The path is marked with an unusual sign dated 1907 and was placed by "Peak District and N C Footpath Society", www.peakandnorthern.org.uk. Walk up the steps between the two buildings then follow the path to the right across the field, pass over a stile and continue across a second field then across a sunken farm track. Beyond the track the path continues around the base of Pennilow then bears right to begin a gradual descent down towards the River Dove. As the path approaches Morson Wood there is an opportunity to see Charles Cotton's Fishing House/Temple across the river (SK 1271 5921). This view is often obscured during the summer months by shrubs and other flora.

Car Park Charges
(Hartington 'Mill Ln')
These prices were correct at the time of last visit.
(September 6th 2014)

    One Hour       1.30
    Two Hours     2.20
    Three Hours   3.30
    Four Hours    4.40
    All Day          5.50
    Over Night    1.00

Footbridge at Pike Pool, Beresford Dale Derbyshire 
Footbridge At Pike Pool, Beresford Dale

Enter into Morson Wood through a stock gate and follow the path down into Beresford Dale, then on to the footbridge at Pike Pool. The Pike of Pike Pool is not a fish, it is the slender monolith of rock that rises from the waters on the far side of the pool.
Coins in a tree trunk, Beresford Dale Derbyshire 
Coins In The Tree Trunk

Cross the bridge into Staffordshire and continue along riverside the path, just beyond Pike Pool is a fallen tree into the face of which coins have been hammered. Continue along the path until a second footbridge is reached just beyond a weir, Dippers are often seen near this weir so keep an eye open for them. Cross the bridge and return to Derbyshire. Turn right and follow the well worn path across the meadow to the far side where there is a stock gate, on entering the meadow next to what looks like a disused ford there is a wooden sign stating no motorcars or camping.
Go through the gate and walk the short distance to a third footbridge, this bridge marks the end of Beresford Dale and the start of Wolfescote Dale. Walk up the gate in the drystone wall ahead, to the left the route of the three mile Beresford Dale walk (should you choose to go back to Hartington this is the route to take), through the gate ahead is a cave in the white rock face, and to the left a clear path besides the River Dove into Wolfescote Dale. The shallow waters that flow over the rocky river bed
Wolfescote Derbyshire 
Path Into Wolfescote Dale

make the River Dove a different habitat to that of it's earlier passage through Beresford Dale. Here Dippers seem common as are Herons standing like statues waiting for the moment to grab at a fish. The well maintained path continues to track the river until a farm gate is reached, beyond this gate the easy underfoot path is replaced by a grassy track. Here the river slows and becomes a little deeper, on the opposite side of the river the Dale sides become almost vertical with the pinnacles of Dabbler Tor and Peasland Rocks sanding out against the skyline. Soon the path approaches a stone wall with a squeeze stile, to the left is a sign post, it is here we leave Wolfescote Dale and enter into the third dale of the walk; Biggin Dale.

Biggin Dale is a dry dale; this is because it has no river flowing through it, although in particularly wet winters a spring is known to flow giving rise to a stream that

Heron Wolfescote Dale Derbyshire 
Heron Wolfescotedale Dale

flows for almost half the length of the dale down into the River Dove in Wolfescote Dale. Having turned left out of Wolfescote dale look for a second sign post on the left a short distance ahead, follow this sign left into Biggin Dale Proper. With a drystone wall to the right follow the grassy track into the Dale. The path soon becomes rocky and uneven, the upward slope is fairly constant but not too demanding, keeping the low wall to the right continue up the dale. Watch out to a cave on the other side of the wall part way up the dale, there is a stile to access the cave should you choose to take a look. Further up the dale there is a wooden five-bar gate, pass over the collapsed wall to it's left and continue on up the dale.
Cave Biggin Dale, Derbyshire 
Cave, Biggin Dale

Go through the second gate a bit further up the dale, the wall that has until now remained to the right of the path now switches to the left. Continue along the path as the dale curves almost 90 degrees to the left. Once the dale has completed it's left turn, the then begins to swing right to resume it's previous direction. Staying on the path follow it up the dale until a sign post is reached, this signpost has has three direction indicators; Wolfescote Dale, Dale Head, and Hartington. Here we turn left as indicated by the Hartington pointer. Walk forward for a short distance to a gate in a drystone wall on the left, go through the gate then right as indicated by a marker post in the grass ahead. Continue along the path up this side dale until you come to another sign post by the wall to the right of the path, this is the point at which we exit Biggin Dale. To the left is a shallow depression between two hills, it rises quite steeply to a ridge. At the top of this ridge is a gate, this is where the walk is going next.
Although quite a short climb it is rather steep, from the gate at the top it's worth turning around to look back down into the dale below. Go through the gate and onto a farm track, follow this track as it continues to climb away from the floor of the dale. This more gentle ascent continues until a derelict barn is reached on the right of the track, this point marks the peak of the ascent out of the dales and the highest point of this walk. From the barn continue down the track until it reaches a junction, to the right is another farm track, to the left and ahead is Reynard's Lane, the route we want is ahead towards Hartington. Walk down Reynard's Lane for a short distance until you come to a footpath on the right with large stepping stones built into the wall to form a stile.
Biggin Dale Exit, Derbyshire 
Exit From Biggin Dale

Here there are two choices, continue down Reynard's Lane back into Hartington, or take the path over the wall to Hartington Hall. I give these options at the route to Hartington has a bit of an obstacle, a small lagoon of slurry! Assuming that you choose to take the path to Hartington Hall use the stile to climb over the wall, then follow the path at diagonally right across the hill, the point the route is aiming for is the junction of a collection of walls in the opposite corner of the large field ahead. From the junction of walls take the track between the parallel walks that heads off the the north west (roughly the same direction as before but slightly left). The walk now continues down this lane until it drops down to Hartington Hall, however there is one obstacle to pass before the hall is reached; "The slurry pool"! After a fair distance a large metal cattle feeder can be seen in the middle of the track, near an exit into a field to the left, surrounding this is a large pool of slurry and mud that covers the width of the track from wall to wall, at first look it looks impassible, however it is possible to get past on the left with care, hopefully in the summer months this pool may be less of an issue. Once past the the slurry continue down the track to Hartington Hall. On reaching the Hall turn left and walk down Hall Bank back into Hartington. Hartington Hall is now a YMCA Hostel and also the site of one on the tea romms along this walk. At the bottom of Hall Bank turn left once again to walk back into the center of Hartington and the end of the walk.
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