Ramble through limestone villages with historic churches. Head down wild dales, through woodlands and across upland meadows. Ramble through the more manicured Chatsworth estate and finish at the heartbreaking plague village of Eyam.

Purchase the Peak Pilgrimage guidebook to add your church stamps and for detailed route instructions. This is a pilgrimage of exceptional loveliness.

READ MORE: Peak Pilgrimage walk: the Ilam to Hartington section

Hartington to Over Haddon

Great British Life: Highfield Lane above Hartington Photo: Helen MoatHighfield Lane above Hartington Photo: Helen Moat

From Hartington, head up Hall Bank past the youth hostel, veering right onto Highfield Lane, a farm track.

Before reaching its end at Dale End, turn left onto another grassy lane, leading to Heathcote. Views open out, the Staffordshire Moors behind you, the White Peak uplands unfolding in front.

Turn right, then almost immediately left to follow the fingerpost up through a field into Chapel Farm Campsite. Heading through the farmyard, you’ll emerge at a road. Turn left to reach the triangle of roads at Heathcote.

Cross over onto farm track and follow as it curves uphill. The track turns to field before emerging at the Tissington Trail and Hartington Station. The little kiosk below the signal box opens weekends and holidays (weather permitting).

From here, head north along the trail. You’ll appreciate the flat walking after the climb out of Hartington.

Soon you’ll reach the junction where the Tissington Trail meets the High Peak Trail. Continue north to Parsley Hay. Parsley Hay kiosk opens weekends and holidays (on weather-friendly days).

As the path continues northeast, you’ll come to The Istrian kažun, a gift to the Peak District from Croatia on gaining EU membership.

In recognition of our shared drystone building tradition, the kažun - an agricultural shelter - is an impressive piece of engineering, entirely constructed with drystone, including its beautiful, corbelled roof.

Continue to Hurdlow Car Park (the Royal Oak a good eating option) and along the path for a short distance after going through the gate. Look out for a grassy path running alongside the trail (easily missed).

Go through a gate to climb fields to the A515, crossing the busy Buxton to Ashbourne road carefully. Head down the lane that runs along the side of The Bull l’ th’ Thorn Pub & Pizzeria (a fabulous name), open Wednesday to Saturday from midday.

Hutmoor Butts farm track takes you past a donkey sanctuary. Turn right onto Cross Lane, another grassy farm track, leaving it after farm buildings to cross fields on the left. You’ll cross another lane to follow paths into the village.

Turn right into the main street. You’ll soon see St Leonard’s Church on your right. Head inside and enjoy a rest in this peaceful church. Collect your pilgrimage stamp before continuing through the village to Lathkill Dale.

Great British Life: Lathkill Dale Photo: Helen MoatLathkill Dale Photo: Helen Moat

The dale starts out easily, taking the pilgrim down a wide grassy path to the valley. The terrain becomes more challenging as the narrow stony path drops through a gorge.

The dale is scattered with caves at this point. In winter you’ll see the underground river gush out Lathkill Head Cave. It’s strange to hear but not see it in summer, where it remains underground.

As the river rises to the surface and tumbles down the dale, it pushes you onto higher ground on the hillside. This is a magical part of the dale, thick with woodland. Stop and rest at the side of a waterfall trio.

Towards the bottom, the gate to the easy concessionary path at Palmerston Wood is a relief (even if you happen to walk through on the Thursday of Easter week when you’re charged a penny).

Head over the footbridge to Bateman’s House and climb down the steps of the mineshaft, cranking the lever to light up its murky depths.

At the end of the path, turn left to ascend the short but steep lane to Over Haddon. St Anne’s church, close to the top of the incline, is a welcome sight. Collect your stamp and catch your breath before continuing up hill, veering right onto Main Street.

Take a right onto Wellgate Lane, leading to Lathkil Hotel. Grab a pint and enjoy one of the best pub views in the country.

Drink in the views of Lathkill Dale, Youlgreave, Stanton-in-the-Peak and Minninglow on the skyline with its distinctive double ring of trees. Your 14-mile marathon is over.

Spend the night at Lathkil Hotel if on a multi-day continuous walk. Otherwise, rest at home and regroup for part three of this wonderful pilgrimage route.

Over Haddon to Baslow

Great British Life: Calton Pastures Photo: Helen MoatCalton Pastures Photo: Helen Moat

From Over Haddon, a squeeze style next to the Lathkil Hotel takes the pilgrim across fields (keeping the height) to New Close Lane. Turn right onto it and descend to Youlgreave Road.

After turning left onto the wider country lane, you’ll see a fingerpost on your right. Follow the path trending left, crossing fields to a dale, and climb the other side to follow a grassy path, then track to Bakewell Cemetery.

Deviating from the Peak Pilgrimage walk for a more pleasant route, follow the graveyard north to its end, turn immediately right onto a wide surfaced pedestrianised path. It descends to Bakewell through a leafy dale.

Look for steps on the left leading to a narrow path, leading directly to All Saints. Cross South Church Street and climb steps to the south entrance of the church.

There can’t be another church entrance in the country so casually stacked with ancient masonry: sculpted creatures typical of Mercia, vine scrolls from Anglian Northumbrians, Celtic interplay from Norse Vikings and weave patterns from Danish Vikings.

Symbols of medieval trades are carved into other columns: wool shears, a bow and arrow and bailiff keys, perhaps.

Inside, don’t miss the Vernon Chapel, where effigies to the Romeo and Juliet of Derbyshire lie: Dorothy Vernon from a staunch Catholic family, her lover, John Manners, Protestant.

The pair eloped, their families opposing the union. But this romantic tryst has a happy ending as Dorothy reconciles with her father, the couple inheriting his considerable estate.

With all the wonderful ecclesiastic history of All Saints, don’t forget to stamp your pilgrimage book.

Continuing, cross town and Lovelock Bridge to the Agricultural Centre. Take the path on your left leading to Coombs Road. Turn right onto it, then left at a gated road. It leads to Bakewell Golf Club before winding upwards through Manners Wood.

Take extreme care here as the ascent is steep and rough with cascading streamlets. At least the gritstone has more grip than the polished limestone of Lathkill Dale.

With relief, you’ll reach the gate at the top of the woods. Continue up the meadow to the highest point of the escarpment. At a crossroad of paths, skirt the edge of a pond before descending through Calton Pastures.

Turn left onto a farm track at another crossroads and traverse New Piece Wood to Chatsworth Park. Grab a bench and take in one of the most glorious views in Derbyshire: Chatsworth House backed by Beeley Edge, the Emperor’s Fountain, Cascades, Hunting Tower and the Derwent meandering through a parkland of mature trees.

Great British Life: Chatsworth parkland Photo: Helen MoatChatsworth parkland Photo: Helen Moat

Keep the line to drop to the village of Edensor, heading towards the Spire of St Peter’s Church.

Steps lead down to the village. Turn right, passing delightfully ornate cottages – a hotch-potch of architectural styles influenced by Norman, Jacobean and Gothic architecture.

Inside the church, collect your stamp and head for the Cavendish Chapel with its great monument to Bess of Hardwick’s sons, William (first Earl of Chatsworth) and Henry Cavendish.

The skeletal bones of Henry are laid next to his brother, regally robed. Death is a great leveller: we all end up the same way no matter how privileged we are.

After collecting your stamp, head into the graveyard to pay homage to Sir Joseph Paxton, Chatsworth’s landscape gardener, engineer extraordinaire and creator of the Crystal Palace. Above him are the surprisingly modest gravestones of the Cavendish family, including Katherine Cavendish née Kennedy.

She married William Cavendish in 1944, but they only spent a few weeks together before he was killed at war. Katherine tragically died in a plane accident a few years later in 1948.

A small plaque commemorates a visit from her brother, John F Kennedy, just months before he was assassinated. It’s a poignant part of the graveyard.

Great British Life: Edensor Photo: Helen MoatEdensor Photo: Helen Moat

Leaving Edensor by the gated entrance, cross the road and climb up and over the hill to the ornate bridge leading to Chatsworth House. Turn left after (look out for the Tudor ruins of Queen Mary’s Bower) and follow the riverside pathway through the estate.

Go through the kissing gates and take the path through a field on the left, passing the back of Cavendish Hotel. Turn left again onto the main road. At the roundabout, keep right to follow Church Lane.

For spiritual nourishment (and your next stamp), head into St Anne’s Church. There are three interesting oddities: The clockface with VICTORIA 1897 instead of numerals commemorating Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee; the sanctuary knocker at the entrance protecting fugitives from the law and the dog whip inside the church door, used to keep unwanted canines at bay.

After a seven-mile walk, stay overnight in Baslow (or pick up your cars to return home) before completing the last lap of the Peak Pilgrimage to Eyam.

Baslow to Eyam

Great British Life: The Lydgate graves, Eyam Photo: Helen MoatThe Lydgate graves, Eyam Photo: Helen Moat

This 9.5-mile ramble brings you to the end of your pilgrimage.

Cross the bridge next to St Anne’s Church. Notice the little tollhouse at its entrance, grandly known as Mary Brady’s House, a local tramp who somehow managed to kip in the diminutive space.

On the other side of the bridge turn right onto Bubnell Lane, a quiet road of pretty cottages on one side and the burbling river on the other.

Where the road sweeps left at the bottom of a hill, go through the wooden gate and cross the field diagonally. Soon you reach the river again, accompanying you through fields to an underpass, then Curbar.

Turn left for coffee at the Eating House, otherwise turn right for All Saints Church and your next stamp.

From the church retrace your steps over the bridge and turn right at Calver Mill Gallery. You’ll pass the mill complex before arriving at Stocking Farm with its lovely stone building and bell tower (once a Sunday school then day school for children of the mill workers).

Go through the gate and follow The Goit, then the river. Just before New Bridge, admire the S-shaped weir and lovely Shuttle House, once used to house the sluice machinery that controlled the flow of water.

Cross the A515 to continue along the Derwent, keeping the river on your right. At Froggatt bridge turn right onto Froggatt Lane (locally known as Millionaire’s Row), looking for a fingerpost on your left - I deviate from the guidebook here so you’re not retracing a longer section of the walk.

Great British Life: Pavement to Froggatt Photo: Helen MoatPavement to Froggatt Photo: Helen Moat

Take the path through woodland to Froggatt Edge. At the top, head north to the A625. Follow for a short distance, then go through the gate on the left of the road where the pavement runs out to drop through Hay Wood, before joining a lane leading to St Helen’s Church, the cosiest, most welcoming of the pilgrimage churches. You’re even invited to try the organ.

Even better, the vestry serves food and drink with a lovely outdoor setting in the leafy churchyard. Don’t forget your stamp.

From the church, retrace your steps along Main Street, this time walking a few yards further through a gap in the wall before the bridge.

Head up the grassy path to Horse Hay Coppice, following the Derwent Valley Heritage Way to Froggatt. This is a lovely section through woodlands of pools and streams before emerging onto open land.

Cross the bridge you crossed in the opposite direction earlier in the day and along the Derwent. You’re retracing your steps along the river, but only for a short section.

Look for a path that leads steeply uphill on your right to the B6521. Cross the road carefully and continue up the farm track, then across the hillside to Stony Middleton.

Emerging at The Nook, turn left to drop past the Roman Bath House (a misnomer as the baths came into existence much later). Peer through the windows to see the separated baths, one for men, one for women. It’s thought the local water was healing.

A little further on, you’ll come to St Martin’s Church, perhaps the prettiest of the pilgrimage churches. Built in 1415 by Joan Eyre of Padley in thanksgiving for the safe return of her husband from Agincourt, this beautiful octagonal church is filled with lovely detail.

Having collected your stamp, you’re on the home run. Climb up Bottom Cliff, leaving it to follow the green fingerpost signposted for Eyam. There’s a steep ascent up over the grassy ridge.

Look for the boundary stone, where residents of the plague village left money soaked in vinegar in the drilled holes in exchange for medicine and food. Neither Stony Middleton nor Eyam villagers could go further.

Soon you’ll reach a track. Pass the Lydgate graves and drop down the lane to the centre of the village.

Turn up Church Street to St Lawrence’s and your final church. Take a pew and look at the wonderful stained-glass window telling the story of the plague.

Great British Life: Plague stained-glass window in Eyam Photo: Helen MoatPlague stained-glass window in Eyam Photo: Helen Moat

Almost a third of villagers died in the plague of 1665-66 – a story of huge sacrifice that meant the rest of Derbyshire was unaffected.

At the end, collect your final stamp – and a small reward for completing the pilgrimage.

You’ll feel gratitude for the walk you’ve completed, for good health and the beauty of the White Peak you had the privilege of walking day after day.