A really nice, and simple walk in the Darley Dale, Matlock Area is the one over the Holt Rd. It’s a reasonably simple walk in terms of distance but it does have some steep ascents and descents.
We simply start by driving up Greenaway Lane.
Follow the road around until you see a small Methodist Chapel on the right. You can park in this area, but please be considerate and don’t block the road or pavement. The photo below Shows you where to park and how to walk up past the Christmas Tree Nursery onto the Hold Rd. * You can also get onto the Holt rd by approaching Hackney on Hackney Rd from the Matlock end. (down Smedley Street, then up Farley Hill, Turn immediate Left past the Laburnum inn)
Once on the Holt Rd, you have a short walk to the end of the road. Here the road becomes a track unsuitable for motors. follow the track through the woods. There are some great old trees to see, and you should be able to hear the sound of running water below you.
Beech Tree with fantastic exposed roots.
The woods are full of freshwater springs and they all flow into Sydnope Brook which runs down into Two Dales. Eventually you come to a fork in the path. Here in the Winter or after heavy rain a spring flows over the top of a drystone wall, and often down the path.
You can either carry on over the top of Fancy Dam and all the way up towards Darwin Lake or you can take the stream worn path down the hill. We chose the latter. Follow the path down the bank and you will be above the brook and the last of the three dams, where if you’re lucky a Heron can often be seen.
Just below this is a pretty Waterfall, worth a photo or two. From here you can walk down the path to the right which leads past a mill and down toward the road in Two Dales. Or you can swing left up a rather steep path. which will bring you right back where you started off on the Holt Rd.
There are several variations to this simple walk, and I should stress that this is the least adventurous of many versions we have done. Sometimes you just need a leg stretching walk that gets you out for a bit of fresh air.
If you have a walk in the local area and you’d like to share it with me, please leave a comment below and I’ll be in touch.