Below you will find the step-by-step guide for one of the many routes around the Chatsworth ground. This one takes in woodland, moorland, a lake, waterfall, paths, tracks, country lanes and grassy fields. This route can be viewed for free on the Ordnance Survey site HERE.
Parking at Carlton Lees take the road just above the garden centre and follow it up for a while, steadily steepening until the road changes to a track.
At the ‘island’ carry straight on up the track until the routes zig-zags below a couple of holiday cottages. Going through the courtyard of the cottages the track continues as a path.
If you head up at the right time of year you can see a sea of blue bells.
Once you enter the open again keep heading straight (don’t take the sharp left) keeping the dry stone wall on your right. You will shortly reach the top of the hill and be rewarded with great views over where you have just walked.
Go through the gate at the end of the field and walk through the woods until you reach a large gate with a stile in the wall. Head over this and you will be able to see the Chatsworth estate proper, maybe some deer as well if you are lucky.
Walk down the hill towards the picturesque village of Edensor. Just before you get to the village follow the dike around on your right and follow the obvious path over the road and up to the main path.
From here keep going towards the House itself and over Paine Bridge. Walk up the slope either cutting through the stables or going around toward the adventure playground (feel free to take a stop here if you have kids). Take the path on the right or follow the road as they meet up again after around 70m. Keep and eye of the left as the next path is here.
The only part of the day that is going to make you huff and puff.
The path, which is sign posted, starts flat but you will quickly discover that it turns into a slippery, stone staircase that goes all the way to the top of the hill and the Hunting Tower.
The views from here a magnificent in any weather with benches to take a well deserved snack and drink.
Take the path to the right and keep going until you hear the sound of running water. Turn a corner and you will see a man made waterfall that feeds the Ruined Aqueduct which in turn supplies the Cascade in the Gardens below.
Go up and around the waterfall and down the other side. You could also take a left at the top of the fall and have quick walk around the lake and back.
Keep following the zig-zagging path down to the Aqueduct where, if you are so inclined you can take a shower under it.
Follow the road left and back up looking out for a path on the left to save yourself having to walk on tarmac for any longer than necessary. At the top of this path you will see another faint path to the right.
Both will take you to the same place but the faint path first takes you to the Duke’s Seat where you can get more views of the valley below.
The paths converge again just before the wall that separates the woodland from the moorland. Over the stile and over the moor for quite a while.
About half way there is a possible detour to the left where you can visit Hob Hurst’s House. An ancient burial ground distinct for being rectangular and not round. Visiting this ancient site is part of the full circuit walk that can be found in another article.
If you decide not to take the detour then at the end of the moor you will find another large wall and stile.
Head straight down the road until you reach Beely Hilltop. It is here that the road goes from a White Lane to a proper tarmac road. Carry on going down until you reach the main road heading back into the Chatsworth grounds.
Turn right and hug the hedge as you have 200m of road before you hit the pavement going over the narrow bridge. From here its a short embankment up to Carlton Lees car park.
The route is 11km long and most people in a reasonably fit condition should take just under 3 hours to complete this hike.