12 things to do with your dog in the Peaks

Here’s some ideas for what to do today with your dog!

1. Take a walk in Grinlow Woods, Buxton, where your dog can run around the woodlands and burn off some energy. Later you can visit the Pooles Cavern coffee shop, which is a dog friendly cafe, and have a nice warm drink – with your dog by your side. Please note that the cavern itself is not dog friendly, but you are more than welcome to walk through into the coffee shop and enjoy refreshments for you and your dog!

2. Explore the Monsal Trail, and discover one of the many dog friendly pubs nearby. Check our Dogs Welcome in the Peak District guide for more details of which pubs are dog friendly.

3. Visit Bakewell on a Monday, and walk around the market. You can follow this with a drink at a dog friendly cafe or one of the dog friendly pubs in Bakewell. Check our Dog Friendly Bakewell guide for more information.

4. Make a trip to Monyash and take a walk down Lathkill Dale, or try our Monyash Meander walk in our Dog Friendly Bakewell guide. You can finish your day with a visit to the Old Smithy tearooms, who welcome dogs.

5. Visit Monsal Head and walk down into Monsal Dale. Your dog will enjoy running free in Monsal Dale. You can enjoy a drink or a meal in The Stables Bar, back up at Monsal Head, when you’ve both tired from all the fresh air and exercise.

6. Go and see the Crich Tramway Museum. Dogs are welcome to enjoy a ride on a tram. Please check their website for opening times, there are sometimes restrictions on services during the winter months.

7. Enjoy a walk from the picturesque Ashford in the Water and enjoy either a dog friendly cafe or a dog friendly pub. Check our Dog Friendly Bakewell guide for more details.

8. Spend an afternoon wandering around Chatsworth House grounds, you will be pleased to know they allow dogs in the Gardens as long as they are on a lead.

9. Travel to the Eastern Moors near to Sheffield and experience the open spaces of the moors and heather. Enjoy a National Trust walk and stop off at The Grouse inn, which is dog friendly. You can eat with your dog in the conservatory area at the back (limited seating) or there are several benches and tables outside.

10. Visit Black Rocks at Cromford and enjoy a varied walk with your dog through woodlands and open spaces. There are way marked trails, but also plenty of footpaths for those with a local map.

11. If you fancy a woodland walk, check out dog walk section at the top of the page.

Girls in the Goyt Valley

Dog walk in the Goyt ValleyTilly and her daughter have just enjoyed the morning having a great dog walk around the Goyt Valley. They started at the Errwood Car Park and raced up the hill towards Shining Tor, enjoying a pit stop at the trig point.

They then carried along the path towards Cats Tor before turning right and trotting down the hillside onto Foxlow Edge, past Errwood Hall before returning back to the carpark.

Dogs enjoying a walk around Goyt Valley

A good time was had by all!

For more walks around the Peak District try Derbyshire & the Peak District – A Dog Walker’s Guide


Visiting the Peak District from London – Motorway walks

Salcey forestWe’ve just spent a  long weekend in London, visiting family and of course the dog came too! It usually takes us about 4 hours to make the drive down to Bromley which is South East of London. It’s a pretty straight forward drive, basically get onto the M1 and then head down to the M25 and round.  However, everyone needs to have a stretch of the legs, including the dog, so we always have to find a good place to stop. Motorway services don’t quite fit the bill, as very few of them have any decent places to take the dog, so instead, I always refer to my trusty little book, Walking the Dog – Motorway walks for drivers and dogs which I keep in the glove compartment of the car. This time, we found a particularly good walk, which I wanted to share with you. It is almost exactly halfway to London from the Peak District and can be found a few minutes off Junction 15 of the M1. The walk is in Salcey Forest and there are wonderful tracks and trails for both you and the dogs to wander along. We took a picnic and sat on logs in the woodland, while the dog happily raced around the woods, leaping over ditches and felled trees, constantly circling around us to make sure she knew where we were.

Salcey Forest also has a cafe and toilets, so it is a great countryside alternative to the usual motorway service station. There is a pay and display car park, which cost £1 for an hour, we found this was the perfect length of time to have a quick walk, picnic and use the facilities, before carrying on with our journey.

I would throughly recommend getting a copy of this book and keeping it in your car, as it gives lots of useful places where you can stop with your dog along many of the motorways in our country.


Choose a dog walk

Black Rocks Cromford

Black Rocks Cromford

Here are a few lovely dog walks that we have put together when you come up to the Peak District with your 4 legged friend!

Monyash Meander – a short 2 mile walk around the village of Monyash and surrounding dales. Finishing with a visit to either a dog friendly pub or cafe.

The Wild Rhubarb Walk – try some of the Monsal Trail, but then drop down to the riverside and enjoy the peace and tranquility and nature.

The Bakewell Loop – a fairly flat circular walk of about 3 miles, along parts of the Monsal Trail from Bakewell. Along the way you will pass Hassop Station which houses a coffee shop. There is space outside to sit undercover with your dog. Otherwise you need to find the dog friendly pubs and coffee shops in Bakewell itself.

The Cromford Canal and High Peak Incline  – a pleasant walk along the canal followed by an uphill climb along the High Peak trail and then drop back down into Cromford, where there are dog friendly pubs.

Black Rocks – is close to Cromford and is a great place to let your dog off lead. There are a choice of way marked paths you can follow.

All of the above walks allow your dog to be off the lead, there are other places that you can try some of which may require your dogs to be on the lead – particularly the National Trust walks - although some places are more lenient than others.

Finally there are Woodland walks which are usually offlead and offer your dog plenty of fun.

Hopefully one of these will take your fancy! Enjoy your walks.



Little Happy Hounds Favourite Dog Walk

Little Happy Hounds

Little Happy Hounds favourite dog walk

One of our favourite dog walks in Fernilee Reservoir, part of the Goyt Valley and just in the beginnings of the national park.

Just after Whaley Bridge Derbyshire you head through the village of Fernilee and into Peak District National Park, eventually on the right is a track that leads to reservoir and car park.

Then there are so many dog friendly options, an easy circuit around the reservoir and back, or you could branch of to Errwood Reservoir and higher Goyt Valley, or if you branched off right  it takes towards the village of Taxal.

One side the reservoir is wooded and you can explore the many paths and eventually at the top there is a quiet logging road.

Fernilee reservoir

Fernilee reservoir

I have never had any issues with any of my dogs running off or anything at all.

So many options, your rarely have to keep your dogs on leads, except when going through farm yards, it so dog friendly, very scenic, beautiful blue water against the back drop the trees… stunning place I have lots more pics!

Cromford & The High Peak Incline – a walk review

A dog walk along Cromford Canal

A dog walk along Cromford Canal

Distance: 3.5 miles
Time taken: 1.75 hours
Terrain: Towpaths, trails, woodland paths and footpaths alongside busy road.

I’ve just completed one of the walks shown in the Collins “Short Walks in the Peak District.”  Here is my review of it’s suitability for dog walkers.

The walk begins from the Cromford Canal car park, which is opposite Cromford Mill and is a pay and display car park. There are handy toilets at the start and also a cafe across the way.

1. Following the towpath from Cromford Wharf, walk a mile along the towpath to High Peak Junction.

Warnings for dog walkers:

  • There is a low barbed wire fence which is almost hidden behind the stone wall on your left as you wall along the towpath. Whilst it might not present a danger to most dogs, those with an inquisitive nature and a strong sense of smell, might be tempted to jump the wall into the field beyond, and could quite easily hurt themselves on the barbed wire. Just be careful.
  •  There is a train track that runs alongside the towpath, before you get to High Peak Junction. There is only three strands of wire that would prevent a dog from straying towards the line. Once again, just be prepared for this and keep a close eye on your dog.

2. From High Peak Junction, cross the canal at the swing bridge and go to the right behind the building.

Warning for dog walkers: You will pass under a road bridge, and the path climbs uphill quite close to the road. It would be possible for the dog to access the road if not carefully supervised.

Note: There are toilets and handy poo bins at this part of the walk.

3. Walk up the High Peak incline (which is quite steep and will raise your heart beat!) There are some interesting placques and notices to read on the way.

4. When you reach the High Peak trail carpark, go through a gate at the side of the car park and immediately turn right – almost doubling back on yourself. Follow the waymarked path down through the wooded area.  Plenty of rabbit smells for dogs down here.

5. When you reach the bottom of the path and it opens out into a clearing, turn right and find the gap in the wall. Follow the field path, alongside the boundary wall.

6. Go through a narrow gate (with cottages to your right) and turn left and head down the access lane. This seems as though it is a driveway to the cottages.

Warning for dog walkers: There is a cattle grid on this lane. You can bypass this by walking around it and through a metal gate.

The access lane drops downhill towards some more houses. You will see a footpath sign to the right, but do not take this and continue along the road as it bends to the left.

7. You are looking for a stone squeezer stile on your right which leads into a narrow hedge-lined path which leads down into Cromford.

Narrow stone squeezer stile to negotiate

Narrow stone squeezer stile to negotiate

8. Follow this path until it links with Cromford Hill. Turn right and walk down the main road into Cromford.

9. Cross the busy A6 and walk past Cromford Mills back to the car park.

The book I used to do this dog walk is shown below and has 20 different “easy” walks which are all less than five miles. All walks are suitable for beginners and families.



The Bakewell Loop

Tilly on the topDistance:     Approx 3.25 miles
Time:            Approx 1.5 hours
Grid Ref:      SK218685
Post Code:   DE45 1DS
Terrain:         Easy, flat, along the trail and paths.

This is a pleasant circular walk which follows part of the Monsal Trail and includes a public bridleway and some roads. There are some spectacular views of Bakewell as you make the return journey across the fields. Apart from the initial walk up the hill towards Bakewell Station, the rest of the walk is relatively flat and easy going.

Toilets: There are public toilets in Bakewell, next to Boots the Chemist.

Refreshments: There are plenty of coffee shops and tea rooms in Bakewell, but you will also pass Hassop Station Café on this walk, where you can sit outside in the covered seating area.


  1. Starting from the pay and display car park behind the Tourist Information Centre, follow the road North East out of town and over the historical five arch stone bridge.
  2. Take a right turn and walk up Station Road signed towards the Industrial Estate. This leads to the old Bakewell Station. (You can start the walk here if you wish to, as there is a small pay and display car park outside the station). The Peak District National Park now owns the disused railway line and it forms part of the Monsal Trail.
  3. Walk down the left side of the station building and, turn left onto the Monsal Trail (signed Wye Dale). Walk along the trail for approximately 1 mile. As you approach Hassop Station, you will see several picnic tables and benches, ideal for a quick snack if you have your own food. Alternatively, there is a lovely café at Hassop Station, where you can stop off for refreshments if you wish. There are tables outside with a large outdoor covered seating area at the front of the building where you can take shelter with your dog if the weather is not so forgiving.
  4. Continue past Hassop Station walking under the bridge and staying on the trail. After about another ¼ mile turn left off the Monsal Trail onto a track (signposted Public Bridleway- a blue arrow on a black background) opposite the old Toll Bar House. The track is walled on either side, so your dog can stay off the lead. Just be aware, that there are several gates to pass through which have access to farmers’ fields, where livestock could be grazing. Please remain vigilant and put your dog on the lead if necessary.
  5. The stoned track eventually becomes a grassy track, and in wet weather can become a little muddy, but continue along it for approx 0.75 miles. There are fine views across the fields on either side of the track. The track is rather undulating, but as you reach the top of the last uphill section, you will be rewarded with lovely views of Bakewell and it’s church spire.
  6. When you reach the end of the track, you will pass through a gate into a field (ignore the signs to Great Longstone, which will be on your right). Please be aware, that there are often cattle and sheep in this field, so make sure your dog is on the lead.
  7. Follow the well trodden path down through the field, following the blue arrowed bridleway sign. At the bottom of the field, pass through the gate and continue to the bottom of the track, bearing right as you walk past Holme Hall which will be on your left. The track will join up with a minor road.
  8. Once you reach the road (where the entrance to the Riverside Business Park is on your right,) turn left and follow the road until you reach a footpath (accessed by a gate) on your right. Note: There is a poop bin, just by the entrance to the Riverside Business Park. You can now walk across the meadow to the next set of gates.
  9. At the corner of the meadow, there are two gates, one takes you up onto the road and the other continues into the next meadow, along a narrow stone path. Follow the path which takes you to another gate and into the field beyond. From here, follow the footpath across the field and towards the stone bridge.
  10. Once at the bridge, turn right and walk across the bridge back into Bakewell.

The Monyash Meander

Fere Mere MonyashDistance:  2 miles approx

Time: 50 minutes

Grid Ref: SK149666

Post Code: DE45 1JJ

Terrain: Easy/Moderate (Mainly flat, with rocky outcrops in places)

This walk starts off from Jack Mere car park in Monyash and follows the Limestone Way for a short distance before dropping down into Fern Dale and then walking back up through a short part of Lathkill Dale, before heading back through the village of Monyash. There are several handy poop bins to be found dotted all around the village.

Toilets: Public toilets (Seasonal closures October to Easter) at the head of Lathkill Dale in Monyash, where the dale meets the B5055 road.

Refreshments: the Old Smithy Tea Rooms and the Bulls Head pub in Monyash.


  1. Park in Monyash village car park, also known as the Jack Mere car park. With your back to the car park turn right into Chapel Street and walk towards the village crossroads (next to the village green).
  2. Cross the crossroads signposted Newhaven, Youlgreave and the Limestone Way.
  3. Continue up Rakes Road, past the village mere. (Poop bin located here if required).
  4. As you get to the end of Rakes Road, keep Manor House Farm on your left, and turn left up a road, signposted the Limestone Way (also known as Milkings Lane).
  5. Continue along Milkings Lane, where you can now let your dog off the lead as it has become a walled track.
  6. The path will eventually narrow and you will reach a gate which leads into a small meadow. You may well need to put your dog on a lead at this stage as stock often graze in the surrounding fields.
  7. Walk along the path with the stone wall on your right until you reach a sign where the Limestone Way diverts to your right. Ignore the Limestone Way and continue straight on (you will see a National Trust sign for Fern Dale). Follow the white arrow which continues across the field. You will walk along a well marked path as it curves down to the left and into a little dale called Fern Dale.
  8. Walk through the dale towards a gap in a small stone wall which you follow the path through. You will arrive at another gate, walk through and continue down through the dale.
  9. Eventually you will come to the end of the dale (effectively a T Junction). Turn left and walk up through Lathkill Dale passing through the gate and following the yellow public footpath arrows. Please be aware of cattle grazing in these fields.
  10.  Head up through the dale towards the next gate, walking towards the road. Public toilets are on your left, (seasonal closure from Oct – Easter each year).
  11. Turn left onto the road and walk back up Church Street through the village towards the car park, stopping off at the Bulls Head or the Old Smithy Tearooms for refreshments if you wish.

To Extend your walk (with the aid of OS Map OL24 for the White Peak):

When you arrive a point 9 in the walk, instead of turning left and heading out of Lathkill Dale, you can turn right and walk deeper into the dale. The terrain becomes much rockier and difficult in places – take care when wet – however the scenery is spectacular. If you wish, you can walk the full length of the dale through to the small hamlet of Alport. With the aid of an OS Map OL24 for the White Peak, you would be able to navigate back through Bradford Dale (perhaps stopping off at Youlgreave for lunch) and then linking back with the Limestone Way to head back towards Monyash. This walk would not be for the faint hearted, but if you like putting some miles under your belt, then this could be for you.



The Wild Rhubarb Walk

Walk : The Wild Rhubarb WalkThe Wild Rhubarb Walk

Distance:  3.2 miles approx    

Time: 1 hour approx

Grid ref:  SK135733                 

Terrain:  This walk uses sections of the Monsal trail which are flat and easy to walk on. However to access the riverside path, there are several steep steps and some rocky sections of path next to the river. The path would be prone to flooding during periods of heavy rain, so best avoided at those times. This walk is not advisable in the winter time when there are chances of ice. There is one stile to negotiate.  (Not a problem for dogs as they can go underneath).

Monsal Trail Code of Conduct: Dogs must be kept under close control and on short leads through the tunnels.

Description: This walk starts off from Millers Dale car park and follows the Monsal trail towards Buxton, before diverting down to Chee Dale via the riverside path to Blackwell Cottages and then returning along the Monsal Trail back to Millers Dale car park.

Toilets: Public toilets can be found at Millers Dale.

Refreshments: There is a refreshment stop at Blackwell Cottages at the Cycle hire centre (Seasonal opening times apply).


  1. From the Millers Dale car park, begin walking along the Monsal Trail towards Wye Dale.  You will pass through three tunnels, Chee Tor, Chee Tor 2 and the last one being, Rusher Cutting.
  2.  After the Rusher Cutting tunnel take the footpath on right hand side sign posted to Chee Dale.  (At this point, you will have walked approx 1.8 Km). Walk down the steep steps to the river.  Warning! Take great care when wet as the steps can be extremely slippery. Turn right onto the riverside path. Follow the path round the corner and climb over the stile (dogs have a convenient gap to walk under)!
  3. Carry on along the path (which is very rocky in places), through a gate, then continue along the rocky path until you reach stone steps and a bridge.  Walk up the steps and continue walking along riverside.  (Ignore the bridge).
  4. You will approach a stone stile, you can walk around this, using the path to the left.  The path will then merge with a bridleway (The Pennine Bridleway). You should continue along the riverside path until you reach Blackwell cottages.  Warning! There are often ducks outside Blackwell cottages, so please be a responsible dog owner and keep your dog on the lead at this point.
  5. Turn left over bridge, and you will arrive at the cycle hire centre, where there is a Tuck shop you may wish to use for refreshments. (Seasonal opening hours).
  6. Finally, climb back up onto the Monsal trail  and follow the signs back towards Bakewell, arriving back at Millers Dale  car park.

Canal walk – King Fishers & Crooked Spires

This weekend has been a little different regarding dog walks, as Tilly has got a sore shoulder and has been restricted to “on lead” walks much to her annoyance!

So yesterday, we decided to do something a little different and took a walk along the canalside in Chesterfield – just because that’s where we happened to be.

We parked up at Tapton Lock and walked down onto the canalside past the visitors centre and turned left signposted towards Chesterfield.  A joke sign suggested Istanbul was a right turn, but being as we were a bit short of time, we opted for Chesterfield.

It was dusk, so beginning to get a little dark, and almost immediately my attention was grabbed by a luminous blue streak zooming just above the water level of the canal. Now, I’m no bird enthusiast so I didn’t have a clue what I had just witnessed, but my husband is pretty good with birds (ho ho) and he knew it was a Kingfisher! In fact we followed this pretty creature down the canal as it stopped to catch it’s breath on any available branch it could find. Once we had a good view, I could see that it was indeed a Kingfisher with it’s orangey coloured chest. Having never experienced this before it seemed ironic that whilst we appeared to be at one with nature I could hear the constant hum of traffic and the silhouette of the Chesterfield’s Crooked Spire in the foreground.

Needless to say, the walk was cut short by the daylight disappearing, but I certainly would get the map out and have a look to see what longer walks could be done around this area. It’s quite handy as it’s very close to the big Tesco and easy to get to, although parking is a bit rubbish….