Introduction To Padley Gorge
Winter is upon us; Autumn has almost ended. The trees are clinging onto the last of their leaves while the ones they have dropped spread far and wide covering wooded areas in an orange blanket. The last few mushrooms are fighting for life before the first frost sets in, kicking off winter in style and killing off all remaining perennials. Although it’s turning bitter, I still find hiking a beautiful escape. We caught a train to Padley Gorge in Grindleford, part of the Peak District National Park. There is a circular walk starting by the train station in Upper Padley.
As we left the platform one of the first things we noticed was the Grindleford Station Café which sells some nice food and drinks, even a few books, one of which I purchased for future dog-friendly walks around the North Peak District, called Countryside Dog Walks by Seddon Neudorfer. We actually stopped there at the end of the trip, because when we arrived at 9 am the café wasn’t yet open. Upon exiting the train station, we headed North following the road over the bottom of Burbage Brook where it becomes a gravel track heading West, this is where another gravel track intersects and the hike loops back to. We followed this track round, crossing the A6187 at the end and heading through the Whim Plantation.
Food & Drink In Padley Gorge
On the other side was Over Owler Tor and Mother Cap, skirting these two, we did however manage to climb Owler Tor, much smaller than the other two but closer to our route. Had we had a little more time we could have investigated. After passing the Owler Tor we headed down the side of the moorland to Burbage Brook and around Longshaw estate. The Longshaw estate was once owned by a Duke, but it has since fallen into the hands of the National Trust.
They now maintain and keep the estate open to the public. The estate encompasses a vast area of land including Padley Gorge, Lawrence Field, White Edge Moor, and Haywood. Halfway around the walk, we found toilets and a café where we warmed up with fresh coffee and a bun before heading back out on our hike. Continuing our journey Southwards, we walked down a beautifully maintained pathway edged with Yew trees and Rhododendrons.
The path led to a small but beautiful lake, which had about twenty or so ducks paddling about, all of them overly friendly, coming as close as they possibly could to see what was on offer. After a long photoshoot starring the ducks, we walked further along the same path where we came to a small stone building named the Granby Discovery Barn. The barn was full of information boards about the Longshaw Estate. After our brief visit to the barn, we crossed the B6521 and returned to the moorland by the Burbage Brook. From there, we headed south through Padley Gorge itself.
Summary Of Padley Gorge
Padley Gorge is a mystical ancient woodland gorge. The woodland floor has thousands of moss-covered rocks, like something from a movie. Burbage Brook runs in the bottom of the gorge. Indeed, the water cascades over heaps of rocks in a series of mini waterfalls down the stream. I find this hike is very easily accessible and perfect for dog walking. It had some inclines and declines but I would say was an overall easy hike without much climbing. The moorland is wet around this time of year so appropriate boots are advised.
Furthermore, the whole circular is dog-friendly. Note that there are a few places which require dogs to be kept on a lead. I should add that the station café serves big portions of food for the price. We ordered one cheese and one tuna bun. Both were ram-packed with filling and salad!
On the whole, I would highly recommend visiting Padley Gorge; click here for further information about the area.