The Peak Pilgrimage: Ilam to Eyam Grade: Low Moderate Plus
The Peak Pilgrimage is a long distance footpath designed to link some of the most idyllic villages of the Peak District. It begins in the White Peak and follows some of the most spectacular limestone dales before entering the Dark Peak where moorland prevails.
We start in the pretty village of Ilam, itself a centre of pilgrimage for a 1000 years. From here, we enter Dove Dale, perhaps the best known of the Peak District dales with its iconic stepping stones. And after a visit to Alstonefield,, we continue north to Hartington.
From Hartington, the trail continues and we visit Monyash, Lathkill Dale and then on to Bakewell,famed for its pudding. From here highlights include the unique village of Edensor, part of the Chatsworth Estate, Chatsworth Park, the River Derwent and finally Eyam. Eyam, aka the “plague village” is a wonderful place to end our walk, full of interest and with an astonishing history.
We will stay at the lovely Hartington Hall Youth Hostel throughout our walking break. This 17th Century manor house has some wonderful original features and a tranquil location.
The 35 mile guided walk takes 3.5 days with the longest day being 11 miles and the last day being 6 miles so that we can travel home in the afternoon.
Itinerary (subject to change)
Day 1 Arrival: Arrive at Hartington Youth Hostel and settle in. Holiday briefing followed by dinner.
Day 2: Ilam to Hartington Our pilgrimage begins in pretty Ilam with its quaint architecture and imposing hall, now a youth hostel. From here, we walk through popular Dove Dale, crossing the iconic stepping stones en route to Alstonefield and then Wolfscote Dale. We finish our journey today back in Hartington. 11 miles / 390m ascent
Day 3: Hartington to Monyash Today, we walk from the door and soon hit the Pennine Bridleway and the Tissington Trail with some great views of the surrounding limestone scenery. We turn off the Trail at Hurdlow and head to the pretty village of Monyash where we finish today’s journey. 10 miles / 240m
Day 4: Monyash to Chatsworth House Leaving the village, we soon find ourselves walking through the impressive Lathkill Dale which leads us to Over Haddon. From here, it is on to Bakewell, the largest town in the Peak District and best known for its pudding. Next, it is over the hill to gain magnificent views of Chatsworth House before descending to Edensor, a unique village with plenty to catch the eye. From here, we cross over to Chatsworth House which lies on the bank of the river and is a sight to behold. 10 miles / 340m ascent
Day 5: Chatsworth House to Eyam From Chatsworth, we head into the village of Baslow where we pick up the pretty trail along the River Derwent. Heading away from the river, we start our ascent to Stoney Middleton and then on to Eyam, passing the boundary stone, an important piece of social history linked to the plague. In Eyam, we end at the parish church with its stained glass window portraying the story of the plague which decimated the village in 1665/6. After taking some time to explore Eyam, we head back to Hartington for our journeys home. 6 miles / 250m ascent
Feedback from a previous trip:“Enjoyed it enormously. Loveliest countryside imaginable…And being by the streams, especially in Dovedale. The guiding was perfect. All the necessary info given and a fount of knowledge when asked about the extra bits.” Ros
“Thank you for a great few days walking in the Peak District. It really is a beautiful area. The holiday was good value, your local knowledge excellent and, as always, it was a pleasure to walk with you and I hope to do so again before too long.” Maria
- 4 nights full board accommodation
- Transport to walks each day
- Pilgrimage handbook for stamps
- Transport to Hartington
- Drinks and Personal Expenses
- Travel Insurance