Interesting Walks – With Pub Stops

What’s a walk without a little liquid refreshment?  From a nice ale, a wine spritzer or even a Sunday roast before you pop your waterproofs back on and head back home, a nice long walk is a great way to spend any day. (A walk with pub grub or a beer en route  is also a great bit of bait for any reticent walkers in the family!)

We asked our team as well as our Facebook and Twitter fans for their favourites.

Some people will cross hell and high water for a pale ale...

1.      Padley Gorge near Grindleford– Under 4 Miles- Mostly Flat – The Peak District

Just outside of the South of Sheffield at Grindleford station lies the walk to Padley Gorge. Starting at the station keep left and opposite the Totley tunnel. There are plenty of woodland birds such as Redstarts and Coal Tits to be seen if you know what you are looking for at the right time of year and the walk is relatively flat.

On seeing the gorge you can walk along the river or you can go across the more to door and back through to Grindleford. The route is signposted so you can find your way!

Pubs are the Fox House, or the local café where you can meet some interesting people! At the Fox you ccan get some great ales, as well as the delicious slow cooked beef, mushroom and ale pie followed by a portion of gypsy tart- a caramel pudding with whipped cream.

2.     Dunham Massey via the Brewery – 4 miles- Flat – Cheshire

If you’re near Manchester or Cheshire, you can do a lot worse then heading out for the day  to Dunham Massey Hall in Altricham to experience a day out, a circular walk and the grounds of this stately home first created in the time of William the Conqueror.

The gardens themselves are of interest, and are a great warm up preamble to the 4 mile walk (you can even get a chocolate shortbread biscuit or two in the café and a coffee to get your fired up – but we say go at lunch time and do the pub first!)

If you go to Woodhouse Lane you will find The Axe and Cleaver for amazing Boozy Mocha Ice Cream Cake to replace all the energy you have expended, as well as an amazing Sunday roast with decent portions- you can even get a meat trio if you can’t pick!

Full and happy you can follow signs to Dunham Tow via  a stop at the Dunham Massey Brewery where you can pick up a chocolate cherry or treacle flavoured beer, amongst others.

Then it’s back from your detour and onto the bridge and the footpath to the left of it you can head to little Bollington, following the route all the way through until you reach your start point.

3.      Aonach Eagach Ridge (Glencoe) and the Curved Ridge – Extreme Munro Route – 9 hours – Scotland

A great place to scramble, this is a more advanced route that will take a whole day (allow 10 hour) to complete, so make sure you are in peak condition! Stretching over 9km with and ascent of over 100m this is very close to the Curved ridge at Buchaille. Stick to Aonach for a grade 2 scramble, or go for gold with the grade 3 rock climb on the curved ridhe.

Whatever you choose, we recommend a stop off at Crowberry tower, here you can enjoy soups, sandwiches and sweets before you head down the ascent or if you just want some liquid refreshment, we can vouch for a strong pint and some crisps in the Clachaig Inn. In fact,  it’s worth stopping the night and having the Clachaig Big Breakfast – locally dry cured bacon, pork sausages with natural skins, and Stornoway black pudding!

If you just want a drink then the Boots Bar is great, a row of barrels, a real fire and ales and malts are all lined up for the drinking!

4.      Castleton Ridge Circular -14km – 5 hours- Mostly flat – The Peak District

Castelton is near to Hope Vally and Edale and is so named after the Peveril Castle that was built in 1086.

Home to the peak cavern, there is a good, circular route that can be taken on a ridge that leads you from the white peaks (low, rolling hills) to the dark, gritstone peaks.

Starting up at one end of the ridge between Hope and Edale, along Mam Tor with a height of 1700, Lose Hill, along the ridge to Mam Tor, back to Castleton.

You could also extend your walk if this to too short by taking  the Carl Walk on Hathersage Moo which is next to Higgar Tor between Stanage and Burbage Edges.  A few hundred metres away from the route on your way back to Mam Tor before you reach Castleton you will see an old fort. This  has great views and is local to some great pubs too, from the Fox House Inn,  or the the Rising Sun in Bamford for  Mrs. Walker’s Home-made Apple Pie with custard. We also got plenty of fans for  The Millstone in Hathersage for an incredible carvery!

If you’re near Castleton then you have to stop in at the Castleton Caverns after your meal – The Blue John Cavern, Treak Cliff Cavern, Speedwell Cavern near the Winnats pass allow you to get a boat into the caves and explore the underground world. A great day out, but at 12dgrees underground- take a warm coat and don’t forget to duck in the low tunnels- It’s not one for the claustrophobic!

 5.      Great Gable – 5 hours- 7 miles- A tough scrambling route- The Lake District

In the North West of The Lakes near Seathwaite, Allerdale  and 13 kilometres south of Keswick is access (via the romantically named Windy Gap’)  to the Great Gable Mountains.

Looking into the views of the Scafells, this is a walk that you need to scramble, haul and pull yourself up working through Windy Gap, Great Gable, Beck Head, Gavel Neese, Moses Trod and Wasdale Head.After the walk we like the Drunken Duck where you can get a hearty pick of sandwiches, chunky chips and a pudding like the yummy ginger beer sorbet for your troubles.

6.      Lydford Gorge Walk- 3 miles- 2.5 hours – Devon

A mix of mud, woodland and hills, the Lydfordf Gorge walk in Devon is one that White Lady Waterfall and Devil’s Cauldron feature on, making this an interesting day out.

Starting at the Lydford George, you head via Lambhole Wood, walking for a few kms downhill before you see the White Lady Waterfall. You won’t miss it! 100ft in height this cascades out water and offers a place to watch it until it’s time to move on. Next it’s upwards through Tunnel Falls to the river. You will need your proper walking shoes on for this bit as then comes the Devil’s Cauldron. So called because of the bubbling, frothy waters and the look of a pot, this is well worth the walk.

The Castle Inn is based in School Rd in Lydford and is a great stop off and respite for walkers.

7.      Oundle Nene Walk –  6.8 miles -3hrs 30mim – Medium – Northampton

My favourite as it’s in my home town. If you’re near Northampton or Peterborough or even Kettering then a walk around the town of Oundle and a day exploring what this quaint area has to offer is ideal. With Rowan Atkinson a regular visitor to the area as well as coffee shops and other small boutique stores, this is an unspoilt town.

Starting at the Market place of the town you can walk around St Osyths lane to Bassett Ford Road. To a gate. Following this, go downstream, and take this riverside route instead of the footbridge route, which allows you to walk the Nene as a loop through the meadows to cross to Ashton.

If you do, make sure you stop at the Chequered Skipper, a gorgeous restaurant pun with an outdoor area and great food as well as some impressive conker trees (the conker festival takes place yearly on this very green in October!)

Keep walking to Cotterstock bank downstream (not over the footbridge ahead) before being led back in a circle to North Street in Oundle and to the town.

Before you head off, have a look at some of the local delis and the local butcher who can rustle up some great local meat for your tea (if you can wait that long…)

Enjoy walking- and drinking responsibly!



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