Bugsworth Basin, at the end of the Peak Forest Canal, was once a busy inland port at the heart of Derbyshire’s quarrying industry.

It was constructed to deliver lime along the canal to Ashton Junction, then Mersey Canal and beyond.

The 3D model on the waterside reveals how busy the Bugsworth hub was in its hey-day with its canal-side cottages, manager’s house, wharfs, warehouses, lime kilns and inn.

Reading the information boards, you’ll appreciate how enterprising the engineers were in creating the canal and basin.

Great British Life: The Peak Forest CanalThe Peak Forest Canal (Image: Credit: Andrew Kearton / Alamy Stock Photo)

This is a walk of two parts: firstly, a fascinating exploration of canal heritage at the beginning or end of your walk at the basin, and secondly, a superb ramble through the surrounding countryside – the high point, metaphorically and literally, Eccles Pike.

The route:

1. Leaving the canal basin behind, head east past the Navigation Inn. At the signed junction follow the Peak Forest Tramway Trail with an easy start along an asphalt lane through trees and meadow.

The horse-drawn tramway delivered limestone from the quarries at Dove Holes until 1926. Passing a footbridge where the path narrows, continue straight on until you meet a road.

2. Turn right to climb the road to the pretty village of Whitehough, passing the Old Hall Inn – a good lunch option with its lovely beer garden. Adjoining the inn is a beautiful Grade II-listed Elizabethan manor house.

3. Veer right at the junction with the Paper Mill Inn (under the same ownership as the Old Hall Inn), passing over the A6. At Eccles Terrace, turn right again into the cul-de-sac. At the end, take the track then footpath on the left to ascend up through fields to Back Eccles Lane.

Turn left onto the road and follow it downhill a short distance. Where the lane bends and meets a signed dead-end lane, go right to follow a stony farm track uphill.

4. On reaching a gateway at the top, don’t go through it onto the road; instead follow the grassy track up onto Eccles Pike. While ‘Pike’ means rounded hill, the origin of Eccles is not certain.

Great British Life: Gritstone rocks on the summit of Eccles PikeGritstone rocks on the summit of Eccles Pike (Image: Credit: NorthScape / Alamy Stock Photo)

The gritstone Peak, just over 1,000 feet above sea level, affords great views of Manchester, Kinder Scout, Chinley Churn and Cracken Edge on clear days.

There’s a memorial to George Highley Sugden, first chairman of the Peak District National Trust, owners of this viewpoint. Having taken in the wide-reaching vistas – and caught your breath – drop straight down off the peak to Eccles Road and drop downhill.

5. Go past Top Eccles Farm to the next set of farm buildings, taking the entrance on the right past some metal containers, to climb up the footpath behind Hilltop Farm and across a field.

6. Turn right at the lane. After walking a short distance, take the signed footpath on your left and follow the grassy path contouring left round the hill roughly following power lines.

Beyond oak trees lining a broken wall, turn right and drop down through more fields.

7. Cross a tree-lined farm track and continue down until the footpath meets Western Lane. Turn left. Where the road meets Silk Hill go right back over the A6 and down to Bugsworth Basin.

Finish your walk by doing a loop of the basin. The information boards dotted around the site tell the impressive story of the Peak Forest Canal and Bugsworth Basin.

Great British Life: Stunning Eccles PikeStunning Eccles Pike (Image: Helen Moat)

At a glance:

Distance: 3.5 miles

Map: OS Dark Peak Explorer Map OL1

Grid reference: SK 0221 8204

Difficulty: moderate

Parking: There is some parking by the canal. Note the car park at the Navigation Inn is for customer use only.

Refreshments: The Navigation Inn at Bugsworth Basin; the Old Hall Inn and Paper Mill Inn at Whitehough.

Easy alternative: From Bugsworth Basin head west along the Peak Forest Canal. Cross the canal onto the Goyt Way and follow the river to Whaley Bridge before returning over fields to the canal terminus.