A Pictorial and Descriptive
Guide to Buxton, The Peak, Dovedale, Etc.

Ward, Lock & Co.'s

Illustrated Guide Books
Series 1939-40

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2013



WHILE it would be an exaggeration to say that the motor is an essential part of a holiday at Buxton, it cannot be denied that the car and the coach have made it possible for those who either cannot or will not walk long distances to visit quickly and in comfort many delightful places which otherwise would have to go unvisited. There are those who quite frankly admit that they take their cars to Buxton in order to save the effort of climbing hills; others use their cars in order to reach out-of-the-way spots known to the angler or the archaeologist or the lover of beauty; others, again, no less frankly boast of the delights of driving far through this richly diversified country. For miles, maybe, the road runs beside a rippling stream at the bottom of a valley, the view is circumscribed by rocks and trees and only a small patch of sky is visible overhead. Then, suddenly, gears are changed, the road rises, the trees and rocks are left below and in a few moments one is in the centre of a wide-sweeping moorland landscape, with a horizon too distant to define. It is not claimed that such transitions are experienced by motorists alone - they also form one of the joys of walking in hilly districts - but only a car can bring the transition about with the speed that makes it dramatic. Other pages in this Guide afford ample proof that such transitions form but a small proportion of the delights of this beautiful countryside.

Before visiting the district it is wise to see that brakes, gears, tyres, etc., are in good order; but the hills are on the whole far less fearful than those of Devon and the motorist who keeps to the main roads is not likely to experience difficulty. Of the lanes and bye-roads it is not so easy to speak in general terms: such places as Litton Slack and the Jenkin Chapel road are almost notorious in certain motoring circles; but they are for the specialist only and not on ordinary motor routes. Our maps will give useful hints to



those contemplating cross-country runs and short cuts off the recognized routes.


Viâ Matlock, 165 miles; viâ Ashbourne, 159½ miles.
These routes are identical to Derby, 125¾ miles.

By way of Barnet (11½ miles), St. Albans, Dunstable, and Fenny Stratford, to Stony Stratford (53 miles). Then by road A508 to Northampton (65¾ miles). Thence the best road to Leicester (97 miles) is by way of Market Harborough. No useful purpose will be served by describing here the way through Leicester, the Derby road being well signposted. Some 5 miles beyond Leicester the curiously outstanding Mount Sorrel begins to dominate the view; and 5 miles beyond the village gathered under the hill comes Loughborough, famed for its bells. Keep straight forward, and another 16 miles brings us to the outskirts of Derby. Unless there is good reason for passing through Derby, motorists bound for Buxton should use the bypass which carries one round the west side of the busy city and to either the Ashbourn or the Matlock road. The former is the faster; the latter the prettier.

Viâ Matlock. The route (A6) is near the River Derwent the greater part of the way, and is easily found through Belper, Ambergate and Cromford to Matlock Bath (1421 miles), and Matlock Bridge (144¼ miles). Cross the Derwent and turn to left. At Rowsley Station (149¾ miles), turn left and re-cross the Derwent. Thence proceed along the valley of the Wye, with the river and Haddon Hall on the right, to Bakewell (153 miles). (If time is available, a recommended alternative is to keep straight on at Rowsley bridge, and by way of Beeley to the southern end of Chatsworth Park. Beyond the northern end of the Park turn off on left for Bakewell, thence as above). In Bakewell keep on across the Market Square (Rutland Hotel on left) and thence past Ashford (154¾ miles) and Monsal Dale. Thence ascend to Taddington (158¾ miles), and descend to Ashwood Dale, along which the road runs all the way to Buxton (165 miles). Viâ Ashbourne. Hilly road through Mackworth, Kirk Langley (on the right is the Kedleston estate, home of the Curzon family) and Brailsford (7 miles from Derby). Descend into Ashbourne and keep straight on till faced by a T-crossing. Here go to right, beneath the curious old Green Man sign, and then up to left. A mile or so on from Ashbourne the gates of Tissington are passed on right, and on left several lanes lead over to Dovedale, which lies parallel with our road. After a long steady climb the road (its straightness has by


now indicated its Roman origin) reaches its highest point (some 1,200 feet) on Great Low, between 4 and 5 miles from Buxton. A steep descent leads to the town, 20 miles from Ashbourne, 159½ miles from London.


By way of Sutton Coldfield (7¼ miles) to Lichfield (15¾ miles). Along Bore Street and Tamworth Street, and keep to main road through Alrewas to Burton-on-Trent (28½ miles). At end of High Street and Wetmoor Road turn left over railway, and then right into the main road to Derby (39½ miles). For Derby to Buxton (78¾ miles from Birmingham), see Route I.

A preferable route in several ways is that by way of Sutton Coldfield to Lichfield as above. At Alrewas, however, leave the Burton road by one on the left running by Yoxall to Sudbury and so to Ashbourne. Though slightly longer, the road is often quicker than the Burton - Derby road and is certainly more pleasant.


Leave Sheffield by road No. A621, which climbs through Dore and Totley to Owler Bar, about 1,000 feet above sea-level. Take the left-hand road at the Bar. Some 2 miles beyond, the road begins to descend to Baslow (12¾ miles), with Gardom Edge above on the left. Thence by Stoney Middleton (15¾ miles) and through Middleton Dale to Tideswell (19¾ miles), beyond which the road runs down to Miller's Dale Station. Cross the bridge just beyond the viaduct and climb the long ascent through Blackwell Dale, and on to the main road, where turn right to Topley Pike (25 miles). From this there is a steep descent followed by a nearly level run through Ashwood Dale into Buxton (28¾ miles). Among the many alternatives that by way of Fox House Inn, Hathersage and Castleton is deservedly popular on account of the fine views: in fact in many respects this is the best road by which to approach Buxton for the first time.


Leave Leeds by Briggate, cross Aire Bridge, and so to Hunslet, Outwood and Wakefield (9½ miles). By Kirkgate and Wakefield Bridge on to Barnsley (20 miles from Leeds). The road cannot be mistaken through Chapeltown and Pitsmoor to Sheffield (34 miles from Leeds). From Sheffield to Buxton (62¾ miles from Leeds) as in Route III.



By Route A6 through Ardwick Green and Longsight to Stockport (7 miles). Then on through Hazel Grove, Disley and Whaley Bridge to Buxton (24 miles from Manchester).


Each of the trips outlined in this chapter includes some scene of natural beauty or feature of special interest, and together the trips embrace practically every item in the Index to this Guide. To the Index (pp. 125-128) the motorist is referred for descriptions and further information relative to the places named.

I. HOPE VALLEY (viâ Miller's Dale).

Leave Buxton by way of Ashwood Dale (Valley of Wye). The road leaves the river at Topley Pike, climbs, and then we turn to the left and descend to Miller's Dale. Crossing the river pass under viaduct and ascend towards Tideswell. Bear right in town, leaving Church on left, and at Lane Head cross-roads, a mile on, go forward to the hamlet of Windmill. Here turn left (see map) and almost immediately right, down Bradwell Dale, passing first Hazlebadge Hall (right) and then (left) the Roman Camp near Brough (Anavio).

Crossing the river Noe, we are in the Hope Valley. In front is Win Hill (1,523 feet). Turn left and follow main road through Hope to Castleton.

Leave Castleton by main road (that through the Winnats is best left alone by ordinary motorists; but the Winnats road leads to the Speedwell Mine) and ascend towards Mam Tor (hairpin bend). Keep to right at fork beyond entrance to Blue John Mine and for sake of the fine “surprise” view over the Peak and Edale turn back sharp to right half a mile farther. The view-point is known as Mam Nick: on the right is Mam Tor, on the left Rushup Edge. After enjoying the view return to. main road and continue to Chapel-en-le-Frith. Hence the road to Buxton is that turning sharp back to left at entrance to town, and to the right at Clough Inn 2 miles farther.

IA. A variation of the foregoing route which is well worth while. At Hope Church turn to the right beside the Old Hall Hotel. In half a mile or so bear left beside th river and follow it through the lovely Vale of Edale. At the hamlet of Barber Booth, a mile beyond Edale Station, turn up to left and by a long climb reach Mam Nick (see above).


II. SURPRISE VIEW (viâ Middleton Dale and Froggatt Edge).

This is the Surprise View; but those who explore this end of the Pennines will find that each of the roads crossing the range from Sheffield provides a view which is hardly less surprising either in the suddenness with which it opens up or in its extent and beauty. The view as we reach the top of the hill from Calver, for instance, is of extraordinary loveliness. From Buxton to Tideswell and Lane Head as in Route I. At Lane Head turn right, pass through Wardlow Mires and down Middleton Dale as far as turning on left for Eyam. After visiting Eyam, return and descend Middleton Dale to cross-roads at Calver.

Here take left road, shortly turning to right off Grindleford Road, and crossing the Derwent; ascend Froggatt Edge (stiff climb) to Fox House Inn. (On left is Longshaw Estate, now happily in the care of the National Trust.) At the Inn bear left along Hathersage road, crossing Burbage Brook to Surprise View.

Continue the descent into Hathersage (for the church, by the way, bear off to right on entering village), thence follow river and railway to Hope. Thence viâ Castleton, Mam Tor and Chapel-en-le-Frith (as in Trip No. I); or viâ Hope and Edale as in IA;; or, if time is short, keep left at the fork beyond the climb up the face of Mam Tor and regain Buxton by way of Sparrowpit, Clough Inn (turn left) and Doveholes. (Full trip - 42 miles; alternative - 40 miles).


Leave Buxton by London Road (old Roman road) Between 2 and 3 miles out turn right, up hill, then descend through Glutton Dale, cross the Dove by Glutton Bridge, and ascend into Longnor (Staffs). Proceed south by the Cheadle road for A miles and turn left for Hulme End. From Hulme End follow the Alstonefield road for a few hundred yards and then turn off on right for Ecton. The road curves past the silent quarries, but on approaching Butterton the scenery improves. Do not cross river here, but turn up to the left. For the next few miles the road runs beside the river through some of the best scenery in th Manifold Valley. (Motorists should beware of gates.) Beyond the watersplash at Wetton Mill the road crosses the Manifold a few yards above the point where the river dives underground. Then the road rises rapidly and soon there is a fine view of Thor's Cave. From Wetton make for Alstonefield and round by Lode Mill and Milldale to Ilam, where bear left. A mile from Ilam the Dove is crossed (the way into Dovedale


is by the riverside lane entered through the hotel gates). The road we are on climbs to Thorpe village, whence we make for the main Ashbourne-Buxton road at the gates of Tissington “and so home”.

Those with limited time in the district may get a glimpse of the best part of Beresford Dale by following the Hartington road for half a mile from Hulme End and then turning right. In about a mile a left-hand turn leads down to the river at the foot of Beresford Dale.

To rejoin Manifold Valley route, return up lane, turn right and in a quarter of a mile fork to left. On reaching Alstonefield Road turn right for Hulme End.


Leave Buxton viâ Burbage Church and Leek Road. Proceed alongside Axe Edge, passing by the Dove Head (source of river Dove). At 4½ miles turn right for Flash ( Quarnford) and descend to Manor Farm (see p. 114) and Gradbach Mill. (Leave car to visit Ludchurch and Roaches.) On regaining car drive through Allgreave, and some way beyond it turn right for Macclesfield. From Macclesfield return by the main road, passing the Cat and Fiddle and entering Buxton through Burbage (28 miles).


Take the route over Axe Edge as in Trip No. IV, but continue by the main road to Leek (12 miles). From Leek take the Macclesfield road for Rudyard Lake and thence by Bosley into Macclesfield: with a left-hand detour in order to see Gawsworth. The return to Buxton is by the main road, passing the Cat and Fiddle. (37 miles.)


Leave Buxton by the Macclesfield road through Burbage. Between 3 and 4 miles from Buxton bear left on to the Congleton road and then take first turn to right down through the trees to Wildboarclough. In the village turn sharply to right. The road then follows a winding stream to the Stanley Arms Inn at road junction. Here turn to right, rejoin the Macclesfield road, and return to Buxton by the Cat and Fiddle. (15½ miles.)


Leave Buxton by London Road. Rather more than 8 miles out, near Parsley Hay Station, double back by left fork road and then immediately turn right. Enter straight


stretch called Long Rake (Arbor Low on right), and descend into Youlgreave. (Several roads, but easiest is second right turn.) Descend through Youlgreave to village of Alport. (Lathkil Dale on left.) Follow same road as far as main road at Picory Corner (glimpses of Haddon Hall across the way), where turn right into Rowsley. Crossing the river Derwent and the railway, turn left through Beeley to Beeley Lodge. Here cross the river again and proceed by the road through Chatsworth Park and finally to Baslow.

Begin return journey by road from Baslow to Hassop Station and thence to Ashford, where the main Buxton road is met. Follow this home, passing Monsal Dale (right), through Taddington and Ashwood Dale. (37 miles.)


Take the Bakewell road (viâ Ashwood Dale - Taddington). Between Taddington and Ashford is Monsal Dale (left of road). Proceed through Bakewell, following the river Wye (on left is seen Haddon Hall.) On through Rowsley and Darley Dale to Matlock and Cromford. In Cromford turn right just past Greyhound Hotel and follow the beautiful wooded Via Gellia to Lilies Inn. From here proceed through Winster to village of Birchover in order to visit Stanton Moor and Row Tor Rocks. Then descend to Alport and Youlgreave. From Youlgreave the return to Buxton is by Parsley Hay and London Road. (44 miles.)


Follow the Bakewell Road through Ashwood Dale, and up the ascent of Topley Pike and then (4¾ miles from Buxton) turn left and run down to Miller's Dale. Beyond the viaduct keep to the left, up the hill. In about a mile, avoid left turn for Tideswell and keep on to Litton, where turn sharp right and follow winding lane which finally descends to Monsal Dale by the beautifully wooded Cressbrook Dale. Beyond Monsal Dale village the road climbs steeply to Monsal Head, whence there is a lovely view of Monsal Dale. Continue to Ashford and thence back to Buxton by Taddington.


Take the London Road, which runs through open country with extensive views for some 20 miles into Ashbourne. (Tissington lies off main road on left at 16 miles - the Ford mentioned on signpost is beyond the village.) From Ashbourne


go by road past the Church, cross the Dove at Mayfield, and then bear sharp left for Ellastone (passing Calwich Abbey on left). Proceed to Denstone (crossing river Churnet) and leave by Cheadle Road for Alton and Alton Towers (lying off main road to right). Return to main road for Cheadle. From Cheadle strike due north for a long run home viâ lpstones and Longnor. The road then descends to Glutton Bridge (Staffordshire boundary) and rises through Glutton Dale to the main London Road into Buxton. (56 miles.)


Out of Buxton by Fairfield and Doveholes, turning left at Clough Inn for Chapel-en-le-Frith, where turn right for Hayfield and Glossop. Leave Glossop by Sheffield road, climbing for some 4 miles across wild moorland country, and then descend to the Snake Inn (on the right Kinder Scout is seen). The road now continues for 6 miles alongside the river Ashop into Ashopton, where the Ashop joins the Derwent. To visit the Reservoirs turn left and follow the road by the river through the village of Derwent (Derwent Hall). The road alongside the reservoirs, though a cul-de-sac, is well worth following: it extends for 7 or 8 miles beyond Derwent village. Returning to Ashopton cross the Sheffield road and take that passing the new Lady Bower Reservoir and through Bamford, just beyond which turn right into the Hope Valley. In about 1½ miles take turning on left through Brough and Bradwell Dale and thence home through Tideswell and Miller's Dale. (See Trips No. Id and II for alternatives.) [Ed: there does not appear to be a Id]

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in November 2013.

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