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Pilsbury Castle Walk from Hartington

This easy-going walk from the picturesque village of Hartington to the site of the Norman Pilsbury Castle follows a quiet lane out to the historical landmark, returning via footpaths a little higher, passing below the summit of Carder Low before dropping back into Hartington.

Hartington to Pilsbury Castle Walk Overview

Distance: 5.5 Miles (8.9km)
Total Ascent: 705ft / 214m
Time: 2hr 39m
Map: Ordnance Survey OL24 (White Peak)
Get this route on the OS maps website & app
The time is loosely based on Naismith’s Rule and will vary depending on the walker.

Getting There

By Car:

Parson’s Field pay & display car park south of the village centre on the B5054 (SK17 0BE) or limited free parking in the centre of the marketplace, roughly in front of the Charles Cotton public house

Public Transport:

Hartington is served by the 442 bus service (Ashbourne – Buxton) stopping at the marketplace in the village centre

Hartington to Pilsbury Castle

The Cheese Shop in Hartington village
Peter Tarleton / The Old Cheese Shop at Hartington, Derbyshire

From the marketplace in the centre of Hartington, begin your walk to Pilsbury Castle heading north up Dig Street, passing The Old Cheese Shop on your left and an old-fashioned garage/filling station. Continue past stone-built houses and past Bank Side on your right, keeping straight ahead.

Shortly after the Bank Side junction the lane curves right and climbs gently, past signs warning of a Cattle Grid and gates. Continue along this lane, over the cattle grid and follow it to the hamlet of Pilsbury, approximately 2 miles from Hartington.

Pass a few houses in Pilsbury; a little after them the road turns sharply right to double back uphill

Instead of turning right up the lane, keep roughly straight on along a track, following beside a drystone wall to reach the mounds where the motte & bailey castle once stood overlooking the River Dove

A small rock outcrop stands at the site of Pilsbury Castle
Site of Pilsbury Castle, once home to a Norman Motte & Bailey castle

Pilsbury Castle to Below Carder Low

After exploring the site of the castle, at a wall corner take the path southeast which climbs slightly, with the path that you arrived at the castle via, below to your right. Follow the footpath passing through a gap in a stone wall then a stile, heading half-left up a field to reach a gate beside a barn.

Cross over the road and climb the stile over a fence, signposted “Hartington”. Head half-left up a field to a gap in a wall with a guidepost beside it. Pass through the gap and follow the path through the field, to reach a drystone wall at the far side.

Turn right beside the wall, signed “Hartington” and climb alongside the wall to a junction with another wall adjoining. Keep roughly straight ahead (south). The terrain levels off here as the wall heads off to your left.

Follow the faint path which passes two wall corners on your left, bearing marginally left after the second wall corner to arrive at a gate. Cross the next field, pass through a gap in the stone wall then head slightly right to another gate into access land.

Below Carder Low to Hartington

The path becomes more defined after this gate as it heads over another wall, leaving the access land area again. Two further walls are crossed to reach a rough field with the path waymarked by guide posts. Towards the far end of this rough field, a drystone wall joins the path from your left, above Bank Top Farm below to your right.

The path meets a driveway on a sharp bend. Head slightly left, keeping the same height to shortly reach a gate on your right into a field. Go right through this gate then pass through a hand gate. Cross a stile to your right then follow marker posts with yellow direction arrows through fields. After you pass left of a barn, reach a minor road (Hide Lane).

Continue along Hide Lane as it drops down back into Hartington. Turn right opposite the church (along Church Lane) to return to the centre of the village and the marketplace.

St. Giles' Church in Hartington
St Giles’ church, Hartington by Andy Stephenson, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons