Limestone Way: Matlock to Bonsall

MODERATE 4 reviews

Limestone Way: Matlock to Bonsall is a 6.8 kilometer loop trail located near Matlock, Derbyshire, England that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching.

Distance: 6.8 km Elevation Gain: 375 m Route Type: Loop


nature trips


bird watching



This walk follows the Limestone Way from Matlock to Bonsall. In this direction it is a good climb out of Matlock and onto the Limestone Way and fields surrounding Masson Hill. The views of Matlock grow greater as you climb up the hill and soon get broader to see across Stanton Moor and towards Chatsworth and beyond to the gritstone edges and High Peak. Although a good climb out of Matlock the gradient eases off once past Geoff's Seat to become a gentle amble across fields until the village of Bonsall comes into view. The path drops down into the village where you get a chance to see just a small part of it - although the most important part (church, well, cross and pub). The route then climbs out of Bonsall to Ember Farm before following the path through the glorious woods and above the Heights of Abraham and Matlock Bath before rejoining the path out of Matlock once again. This walk takes you right past the entrance for the Heights of Abraham. There is no right of way through here so you will need to purchase an entrance ticket if you want to go in before continuing with the walk. This is a country park first opened in 1780 and has a variety of attractions for visitors including refreshments and of course the cable cars that can transport you from just adjacent to the railway station in Matlock Bath to the top and back again. The first part of this walk follows the Limestone Way. This is a long distance route from Castleton in the Hope Valley to Rocester in the more gently rolling countryside on the River Dove. The whole route is waymarked and can be completed in 4 or 5 days. The section from Bonsall to Matlock is an extension or spur - you will need to return from Matlock to Bonsall again if walking the full Limestone Way. The hillsides around Matlock and Bonsall are littered with old mine shafts; the area was once a haven for lead mining and the workings remain under the hillside. You will probably spot one or two shafts covered up. Under no circumstances be tempted to explore these!

3 months ago

We started from Matlock Bath having parked the car by mistake there. We walked to Matlock and picked up the trail. We loved the views, but what a climb! Coming back we detoured from the route towards the end. Taking a steep path back down to Matlock Bath. Which in parts we had to scramble down as it was very challenging. May 2019

8 months ago

Had a lovely walk but got a bit lost at times! considering there is no GPS map I think the instructions could be a bit more detailed as there a lots of footpaths crossing each other. Also, sadly there has been significant deforestation of the woods above Ember Farm which meant the path had been completely obliterated but we found our way back to it eventually. ADMIN RESPONSE: Thank you for the feedback, we have now added a GPS map for this walk

10 months ago

Stunning views over Matlock and beyond. We found a fantastic Tea Garden near St John�s Chapel towards the end which was very welcome.

3 months ago

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