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Nestled in the Hope Valley in the beautiful Peak District, Hathersage is an excellent base for hiking in the Dark Peak region of the national park. Walks in Hathersage include a variety of trails from exposed ridge routes to rambles along the burbling Derwent.
You’ll find the village itself a welcome sight whether you’ve been on a full day’s hike or a gentle afternoon stroll. It’s absurdly pretty, with classic stone buildings and more than enough cafes and pubs to fill the stomach.
Each of Hathersage’s hikes gives you an opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of this area, especially with Stanage Edge overlooking the village. This phenomenal gritstone ridge runs for miles and brings outdoor adventurers from far and wide.
No matter if you’re here for the serene valley strolls or the ridge walks, Hathersage is a hiking spot for everyone. Take a look at the trails and lace up those boots.
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Hathersage and dramatic landscapes go hand-in-hand thanks to the village’s valley position and its towering neighbours. Stanage Edge, perhaps the most well known, is the vast escarpment that runs along the top of the valley’s northern edge here.
Exposed and offering incredible views, Stanage Edge is a perfect example of the Dark Peak’s rugged plateau landscape. Walks in Hathersage often revolve around the ridge as you’re either on it or admiring it from a distance.
Robin Hood’s Cave is another of Hathersage’s intriguing natural features, hidden in Stanage Edge. Rocky outcrops like Mother Cap and Owler Tor are also good points to plot your Hathersage hikes around.
The River Derwent runs along the south-western edge of the village and a tributary, Hood Brook, twists right through the centre. You can stick to the beautiful valley for flat hikes and enjoy the river’s company as it wanders south. Sections of the river wind through forest too, a change from the moorland above.
Robin Hood’s Cave wasn’t named for the 1991 Kevin Costner classic. Instead, Hathersage has a long history of associations with the legendary lovable rogue. He’s said to have hidden in the eponymous cave and his lieutenant, Little John, is supposedly buried in Hathersage’s churchyard.
Charlotte Brontë also has strong links to the village and its stunning surroundings. She spent a summer here and, if you choose ‘Jane Eyre’ as your post-hiking novel, you’ll soon start recognising the descriptions of fictional Morton as Hathersage itself.
Even if you head off on the best hiking trails around Hathersage on a quiet day, you’ll never be alone. This area is rich in wildlife with buzzards overhead and common lizards sunning themselves on rocks.
Blackface sheep are easy to spot on hikes in this region as they graze the moorland. If you keep a sharp lookout, you might see red grouse too. If you’re here in autumn, watch for fieldfares in the hedgerows. Part of the thrush family, these little Scandanavian visitors are known for their grey heads and speckled chests.
Explore more of Derbyshire Dales: Browse the best Hikes in other regions.