Blacka Moor misleads somewhat with its name. If you’ve never walked there, it’s likely to conjure up open moorland, whereas, in reality, the nature reserve is made up of woodland for the most part.

This 3.8-mile ramble is one of pleasing variety. Over the second part of the walk, the rambler gets a bird’s-eye view of Sheffield city and the surrounding conurbations.

It’s a surreal sight from the emptiness of the National Park. You’ll have to nip a short way over the border into Yorkshire from Derbyshire to do this circular, but the walk remains entirely inside the Peak District National Park.

1. Park up on Stony Ridge Car Park on Hathersage Road (northeast of The Fox House). Follow the wall boundary beside Hathersage Road through beech, oak, birch and rhododendron woodlands (the invasive non-native imports are being removed bit by bit by the Wildlife Trust).

Eventually, the path veers away from the road, dropping down through the woodland to a point where paths converge.

2. Turn right to follow the signed Shorts Lane, backtracking at an angle to drop down a valley.

At the bottom, turn left, following the signed fingerpost for Shorts Lane again. You’ll come to some stepping stones - it’s a good place to stop for a coffee and tune into the sound of water tumbling over stones in the brook.

Continue down the valley, rather than crossing the stepping stones, leaving the nature reserve to walk a short section of Shorts Lane.

Great British Life: Woven willow animals jump out of the landscape near Hallfield Farm Photo: Helen MoatWoven willow animals jump out of the landscape near Hallfield Farm Photo: Helen Moat

3. Where it turns a bend, take the path on the right funnelling you between drystone walls and past Hallfield Farm. There are plenty of woven willow animals on the farmland and paddocks to spot: horses, red deer, even a bear. The path emerges at Strawberry Lee Lane. Turn right and follow it to its end.

4. Continue along the green public byway (signed) where the road gives way to broad, stony track. It ascends between more stone walls. The higher you walk, the more the views open out to Sheffield behind and the moorland edge settlements.

Pause to catch your breath and take in the views before continuing upwards, looking out for a wicket gate on your right (ignoring the stile just before it).

5. Go through and follow the narrow path around Wimble Holme Hill where new trees have been planted. Go through a second wicket gate and follow the desire line alongside the stone field boundary.

Cross the field boundary through the gate. Here you can follow the stone wall on the open access land to avoid losing height and continue straight on where the wall curves away. You’ll eventually meet a public footpath again.

6. Turn left here to climb up over the open moorland of Blacka Hill. It can be very wet in rainy periods but should be fine in the summer months.

Towards the end of August, the surrounding moorland will be a carpet of purple heather. In the marshiest parts stone slabs have been laid. Soon you will see the woodland ahead of you beside the car park where you began.

7. Instead of entering the woods by the metal kissing gate, turn left, keeping the stone boundary with the woodland behind it on your right. By a bench, turn right onto a track.

If you want to avoid the wet moorland, you can follow this track almost from the bottom of Wimble Holme Hill). Before long you’ll be back at Stony Ridge Car Park.

Great British Life: Blacka Plantation signageBlacka Plantation signage


Start Point: SK 277 806

Parking: Stony Ridge Car Park, Hathersage Road

Map: The Peak District Dark Peak Leisure Map, OL 1.

Terrain: Moderately easy. Some descents and ascents. The open moorland can be wet underfoot.

Distance: 3.8 miles

Refreshments: None on the route, but The Fox House pub is a short drive away at the end of your walk.