The trail begins in sleepy Low Bradfield, a picturesque village just inside the Northeast boundary of the Peak District National Park. Starting on "Smithy Bridge" and passing the bowling green and village cricket pitch before winding up to the beautiful Church of St Nicholas at High Bradfield.
From there you'll go over Rocher, onto the Broomhead Moor and out towards to brooding moorland of Howden Edge and Bleaklow for a real taste of the Dark Peak.
The first section of the trail takes in what the Dark Peak is famed for; desolate tracts of heather moorland, cottongrass covered blanket peat, and open undulating high gritstone edges and outcrops. The route from Howden Edge out to Bleaklow exemplifies the Dark Peak.
The path will disappear even in the best conditions... whilst in poor conditions its traverse is probably one of the most navigationally challenging, and rewarding, in the Peak District.
Upper Derwent Valley
Derwent Reservoir is the middle of three reservoirs in the Upper Derwent Valley. On the trail these reservoirs mark the separation of the first remote moorland sections around Bleaklow and the middle Kinder Scout loop and Great Ridge walk. Here you follow the trail where the Howden reservoir meets the Derwent along their Western edges at the home of the Dambusters.
It is also the location of the Upper Derwent Visitor Centre at Fairholmes, which is a welcome place to get refreshments.
The central part of the trail takes in a full loop of the perimeter of the iconic Kinder Scout. This was the location of the mass trespass in 1932 - an act of civil disobedience that arguably led to the passage of the National Parks legislation in 1949.
From the gritstone cliffs, to the wind sculptured boulder fields, to the cotton grass dusted plateau - historically, ecologically, geologically - Kinder is a true jewel of the Peak District.
The beautiful village of Edale punctuates the Kinder Scout loop and the Great Ridge walk. It is also the official start of the Pennine Way The village has two popular pubs, a café, local shop, and railway station with links to Sheffield and Manchester.
Its a great place to stop for refreshments, dispose of any litter, and rest before heading back out.
The Great Ridge
The second feature of the middle section of the trail is the Great Ridge which separates the vales of Edale and Castleton, and also marks the separation of the gritstone of the Dark Peak from the limestone of the White Peak.
Although only around 3km in length, this is a spectacular walk when visibility is good. The extra climb to Win Hill at the end of this section also offers some of the best views in the entire Peak District.
This can be a very popular section of trail so timing your walk to avoid weekends and bank holidays - or setting off early morning - is advised for the best experience.
God's own rock
The final section of the trail follows the Eastern Grit edges that are much relished by rock climbers, among whom it has almost cult status as "God's own rock".
The route follows some of the more famous edges such as; Bamford, Millstone, Stanage, Burbage, Froggatt, Curbar, and Derwent. As well as visiting Dovestone Tor, Wheel Stones, Back Tor, Higger Tor, Carl Wark, Mother Cap, and many more famous bouldering and climbing locations.
The trail ends at Chatsworth House, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire it has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family.
You arrive via the woodland at the rear of the house and come down the steps by the hunting tower. You don't get the full majesty of the house until you reach the finish point in the middle of Paine's exquisite Three Arch bridge over the Derwent.
Chatsworth is an amazing place to explore, both inside and out!