Eldon Hill from Peak Forest

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The White Peak area of the Derbyshire Peak District is a very popular walking area, and rightly so – limestone areas tend by their nature to be better drained than the neighbouring peat moors of the Dark Peak, making a dry-shod day more likely. Finding a walk in this area that was not already included in the Walking World database was always going to be a challenge, but surprisingly the delightful small peak of Eldon Hill was not on the website – this route rectifies that omission.

Starting near to the village of Peak Forest, the walk sets off across rough grazing land heading for Eldon Hill, but calling in first at Eldon Hole. This is the deepest pothole in the area at 55 metres, and in 1636 the philosopher Thomas Hobbes declared it to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Peak.

From there the route heads straight for the summit of Eldon Hill. At 470 metres it’s hardly the Alps, though it is said to be the highest limestone hill north of the River Wye. The hill's original name of Elvedon is Old English, meaning Elves Hill, as people believed that elves lived in the potholes and caves on the hill. However, Eldon Hill has been a significant site for several millennia, with a Bronze Age burial site at the summit – this has been excavated on several occasions with human skeletons and jewellery amongst the finds.

From the summit the route passes above a huge quarry, once known as the best-known eyesore in the Peak District, though mostly out of view on this route. The quarry, opened in 1950, was finally closed in 1999 following a refusal by the planning authority for further development.

The remainder of the route is along well established bridleways and paths, making for pleasant and undemanding walking. In fact ‘pleasant and undemanding’ describes the whole route precisely. It makes an ideal introduction to the area, a great family walk or a half day excursion when time is pressing. If this is your first time walking in the White Peak, one thing is certain – it won’t be the last.

England - Central England - Derbyshire - Peak District


Ancient Monument, Good for Kids, Great Views, Industrial Archaeology, Moor

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