Walking around Hartington Cottages
A short local walk
This is a circuit from Hartington to Biggin and then down Biggin Dale, returning via Wolfscote Dale and Beresford Dale to Hartington. It is fairly gentle and the surfaces underfoot are mostly good. Distance about 8km / 5 miles, time around 2 hours - 2½ hours.
From Hartington Market Place, take the small road signposted to Heathcote, which leads past the Youth Hostel. Go past the turning called 'Leisure Lane' and take the next bridleway on the right, which leads you easily to the head of Biggin Dale.
Follow the dale down. Biggin Dale is a large, imposing valley which would probably be better known were it not for its proximity to Wolfscote Dale and Dovedale. It is also a Nature Reserve and in spring is full of wild flowers. The banner picture at the top of this and all the other pages of this web-site was taken from the Open Access Land above Biggin Dale and just to the right of the centre of the picture can be seen the 'Buttresses' that tower above the meeting point between Biggin Dale and the River Dove.
After 2 km of rather rough walking you reach the junction with the River Dove in Wolfscote Dale, and the paved path along that valley.
Turn right and after stopping to admire Drabber Tor opposite, follow the path upstream. Wolfscote Dale is very imposing and there may also be dippers and herons on the river.
After a while you reach Beresford Dale, marked by the cliffs of the 'Celestial Twins', and the valley narrows until eventually it becomes a gorge. You cross the river by a footbridge, then re-cross before the valley starts to widen out and the path climbs away from the river.
At this point you may be able to catch a glimpse of Charles Cotton's fishing lodge, a tower-like structure on the opposite bank, almost hidden by trees. This is where the literary classic and the Fisherman's bible 'The Compleat Angler' was conceived.
The path ambles across the fields to return you to the centre of Hartington.