Walking Holiday in Derbyshire

If you’re thinking about a walking holiday in Derbyshire this area is ideal and there are many fascinating walks to enjoy around the beautiful parish of Ashover in Derbyshire. Walkers are made very welcome in either of our four-star holiday cottages – Foxglove or Columbine. Walk from the doorstep or explore the many peaks, dales and trails around Derbyshire and the Peak District. We provide guests with maps, guidebooks and a selection of bespoke walks. In each cottage you will find drying rails and hangers for waterproofs, space to dry your boots and a tumble dryer for other clothes.

Ashover History and Geology

Ashover Parish covers a large area of about 10,000 acres and has a network of over 150 footpaths, stretching for about 45 kilometres in length. Its size and shape generally reflects the situation of the Parish Church in Ashover, which can be seen from most parts of the Amber Valley. In earlier times, few ventured to Matlock or Chesterfield but followed the west to east line of the River Amber instead.

The Parish is an area of great variety. The rock strata – limestone, gritstone, shale and volcanic tuff – underlays differing soils and mineral formations which brought early exploitation of lead, fluorspar and coal as well as the more obvious quarrying activities, which all now lie dormant and their traces disappearing from view. However, the stone walls and ancient tracks used for transporting materials still stand out, as well as the remains of The Ashover Light Railway built for similar purpose.

The special mineral content of the water spawned a thriving hydro in Ashover, with only buildings left to draw the link. Although ‘The Old Poets Corner’ does brew a beer called Hydro, which is more palatable than the original, to most people!

There is wild life aplenty ranging from buzzards and badgers to orchids and cotton grass and glow worms to crayfish. Land use is constantly changing and horses are now more evident than they have ever been. They have been joined more recently by alpacas and Belted Galloway cattle, to complement the more usual cattle, pigs, horses and sheep. The number of traditionally maintained meadows is now growing and spring and early summer can bring a real riot of colour.

The Walks

Roam Around Ashover – walk around the village and along the River Amber. See the Great Eastern Plantation and the remains of the Ashover Light Railway.

Ashover Rock – enjoy fabulous views across five counties from this much-loved local landmark, also known as The Fabrick. You are free to roam across the open access heathland around the rock.

Ashover to Overton Hall – walk along Coffin Road towards the home of the naturalist Joseph Banks, see the remains of lead smelting & look out for signs of the old Ashover Light Railway.

Hardwick Wood & Bluebells – a lovely walk any time of year with the added bonus of bluebells in Spring. Panoramic views and a good chance of spotting buzzards.

Many of our walks have been devised by Richard Felton, a local resident with an extensive knowledge of Ashover’s many footpaths. If you want to try more, a book of 6 detailed walks around the parish is available from local shops for £3. All sale proceeds go towards footpath improvement. More walks can be found on the Ashover Parish Council website.