Helen Moat takes us to some of Derbyshire’s most characterful pubs. 

Birchover to the Flying Childers, Stanton in Peak

Great British Life: Cork Stone, Stanton Moor Photo: Helen MoatCork Stone, Stanton Moor Photo: Helen Moat

A 4.5-mile walk combining quiet country lanes, moorland paths and superb views, along with an unspoilt village pub to spur you on before completing the last lap.

Parking at the free car park opposite Birchover Stone, drop down Birchover Road to Lees Road. The country lane is presently closed because of road subsidence and makes for a gorgeous traffic-free ramble as far as Stanton Lees.

Ferns line the leafy lane in summer with wonderful views out to the Derwent Valley and Matlock. At the bottom, the road has fallen away, for the moment leaving only a narrow section for pedestrians.

The last section is so overgrown it no longer looks like a road. Enjoy this pedestrian-only lane before it’s repaired.

At Stanton Lees Chapel, veer left and left again to keep on Lees Road. This wider section has little traffic, but be aware of occasional passing vehicles.

Where the road becomes Pilhough Road, turn left to continue on Lees Road. The road climbs, then drops to Stanton in Peak, one of the Peak District’s prettiest villages.

The cottages cascade down the hillside, many built by the Thornhill Family. Look for the initials WPT on buildings, standing for William Pole Thornhill, the 19th century reformist Whig and Liberal Party MP.

Lees Road becomes Main Road. You’ll pass the lovely Holy Trinity Church before coming to The Flying Childers at the junction of Main Road and Middle Street.

This charming pub – boasting numerous pub awards – is made up of a main bar (not much bigger than your average living-room) and cosy ‘Snug’.

Great British Life: Inside the main bar area at the Flying Childers Photo: Helen MoatInside the main bar area at the Flying Childers Photo: Helen Moat

It’s a welcoming pub with games and books, good ales and even a selection of teas, along with pub lunches.

The Flying Childers refers to a famous racehorse owned by the 4th Duke of Devonshire. Opening times: Weekdays from Wednesday 12-2pm, (evenings from 7pm); Weekends 12-3pm; Monday 7-11pm and closed Tuesday.

Having refuelled, retrace your steps back up through the village (notice the entrance to the Thornhill’s stately home on your right).

This time, continue up Birchover Road until you see a sign for Coastwood Garage. Turn left to follow the lane leading to the garage but go straight on through the woodland barrier to climb another track.

Cross a further track to continue uphill through woods (signed Stanton Moor). Veer right to take a smaller path. On the other side of the gate at its end, head left. You’ll meet a wider Stanton Moor footpath.

A left turn leads to The Nine Ladies, if you would like to make a detour to the stone circle. Otherwise, turn right to skirt the edge of the moorland, passing the dramatic ‘gorges’ of disused quarries.

Soon you’ll meet the Cork Stone, an imposing boulder. For the nimble it’s hard to resist the metal handholds that invite you to climb to the top with stunning views of the Derwent Valley, the White Peak and the Dark Peak’s eastern moors on the skyline.

Turn right at the Cork Stone, then left to take the little path that runs alongside Birchover Road. Emerging at the road, turn left. From here it’s just a short walk back to the car park.

Cuckoostone Lane to the Bentley Brook Brewing Co, Lumsdale

Great British Life: Top mill pond, Lumsdale Photo: Helen MoatTop mill pond, Lumsdale Photo: Helen Moat This almost five-mile ramble takes you across high land above Matlock, along country lanes, through an otherworldly woodland and into a gorge of tumbling waterfalls. With a stop at the combined Lumsdale micro-brewery and taproom, it’s a charming ramble.

Parking at the entrance of Cuckoostone Lane, head to Chesterfield Road, turn left and follow the roadside path uphill towards Wayside Farm.

Carefully cross the road at the farm (following the green fingerpost signed Tansley and Ashover) and drop through the yard, then through the metal gate to follow the path along the boundary of the field.

The path turns sharp right to skirt Packhorse Farm, skirting the campsite before emerging at Knabhall Lane. Cross the road and turn left onto the grassy runway running alongside the road.

At a crossroads of lanes, turn right onto Foxholes Lane. On this high ground, you can spot many local landmarks: Crich Stand, Riber Castle and Alport Heights.

Foxholes Lane drops downhill. Where the road bends sharp left, climb the steps in the drystone wall and continue straight, following the field boundary to the entrance of Lumsdale Quarry (disused) woodlands.

Veer left and left again before veering right. This is a place criss-crossed with paths that rise and fall. It skirts great slabs of rock with pines rising spectacularly to the sky.

The woodlands have an ethereal Tolkien-esque feel. Drop downhill to meet a wider path. Veer left, then sharp right to descend through the woods, ignoring side paths.

You’ll meet a junction where a wider path turns a corner. Keep right to continue downhill. The path is made up of uneven stone, so watch your step.

Eventually, the path reaches Bentley Brook. Cross the stepping stones and turn immediately left to follow the brook past the highest mill pond. Continue past the mill cottages and down to the entrance of Lumsdale gorge.

The waterfalls are spectacular, especially after heavy rain. The ruins of Arkwright’s original factory system, expanded by Watts, Lowes and Co in the dale are atmospheric, the mills now returning to nature.

While the Upper Bleach Works are sadly fenced off presently, you’ll pass by the Lower Bleach Works to meets Lumsdale road.

Drop to the Bentley Brook Brewing Co and Taproom, a wonderful place to refuel before completing your walk.

Great British Life: Locally-made beer at Bentley Brook Brewing Co Photo: Helen MoatLocally-made beer at Bentley Brook Brewing Co Photo: Helen Moat

Sit among sacks of malt grains, mash tun and fermentation tanks, play the games provided and enjoy an in-house brew along with a pie or pasty. There’s outside seating too.

The Taproom is open 4-8pm Friday and 12-6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Having recuperated, head up Lumsdale Road again, passing Highfields School. At the junction with Chesterfield Road, carefully cross and follow a footpath through fields to a farm track (Sandy Lane).

Looking out for a wicket gate on your right, go through and drop to the golf course. The path crosses the fairways (beware of flying golf balls), where you’ll see the slab of Cuckoo Stone in the middle of the course.

Continue up a track and follow the footpath sign left through a gate onto a surfaced road. Turn right, passing a vineyard, up to Cuckoostone Lane. Turn right again to ramble along this charming lane back to your starting point.

Carsington Water to the Red Lion, Hognaston

Great British Life: Hognaston Photo: Helen MoatHognaston Photo: Helen Moat

This 3.5-mile ramble showcases the beauty of Carsington Water surrounded by gentle hills, taking in one of Derbyshire’s loveliest villages, tucked into a quiet corner of the county.

With lunch and a good pint under your belt, you’ll have no problem completing the last lap through pastoral countryside. Just be aware the walk includes high stiles, hedge squeezes and wet sections.

Starting at Carsington Water (visitor centre: parking £6 for 2-4 hour; £7 all day), head along the dam head path.

You’ll pass the marina at one end and Draw-off Tower at the other, housing the controls that pump water out the reservoir.

Shortly after (before reaching Millfields Car Park) you’ll see a stile on your right. Climb it and cross Dam Road with care to the stile on the other side.

Follow the overgrown gravel path to the end, veering right to drop through meadows, passing through two field gates.

You’ll reach a stile at the bottom. Go through and cross the footbridge beside a ford. Climb to a lane where it meets the purple Dam TraiI. Ignoring it, continue across the track to head up a grassy path.

Follow as it veers right to follow a field boundary to another stile. Head over it and cross the field and a second stile.

Soon, you’ll meet Cockayne Lane with a half-shingled house coming into view. Cross into another field and immediately veer left to cut diagonally across a field, cutting out the bend of Cockayne Lane.

Go through the kissing gate onto the lane again, turn left, then right into Turlowfields Lane, becoming Stonepit Lane.

Continue up into the village, passing pretty cottages and the striking church of St. Bartholomew’s. Soon you’ll reach the whitewashed Red Lion, a fine traditional 17th century inn. It opens midday for lunch and again for evening meals at 6pm (all day Sundays).

Having rested up, drop down Stonepit Lane a short distance and turn left down Green Lane. At the bottom, where it turns a corner, take the little path leading to Rose and Green Cottages.

Go through the gate on the left to skirt the side of the cottages then up the field, turning right to reach a track.

Turn left onto it, then follow signs to skirt round Overtown Farm. Cross the field boundary and drop to Dam Road. Cross this busy road carefully and climb the stile on the other side. It leads to a narrow path skirting Carsington Water Visitor Centre Car Park and your end point.