The Wellfield Walk, Matlock
The Wellfield Walk explores many interesting parts of Matlock including Hall Leys Park, Denefields, Wellfield, Bailey's Tump, the Wishingstone, Bentley Brook and Matlock Green. There are fine views over Matlock, Tansley and Riber along the way.
From the Railway Station return to the main road (the A6) through Matlock. Cross the roadbridge on your left over the Derwent. Look out for Riber Castle to your right into Hall Leys Park. As you proceed between the trees with the river on your right look out for the footbridge showing the height of the floods in 1960 and 1965. Keep on through the park to a large weeping beech tree on your right where the river bends right. Near this tree a stone is erected in memory of P C Wright who lost his life nearby.
Leave the park and, with the petrol station on your left, walk forward into Knowleston Place. St Giles’ Church is above to the right. Look out for the first building on your left. There is a date on the gable end of 1621 – one of the oldest dated buildings in Matlock (partially hidden by ivy). Pass the bottom of Stoney Way and continue forward bearing slightly left uphill a few metres later towards a cul-de-sac sign. This bears left into Matlock Green.
Cross the road (you can use the Pelican Crossing to your right if you prefer) walk up the straight driveway opposite signposted ‘Denefields and Lime Tree Road’. This runs for 150 metres before narrowing. Cross the road leading into Denefields Court and continue straight ahead uphill. This takes you up the right side of Denefields Court and then, as you bear round to the left, behind the flats, a tarmac path brings you to and old oak know as Batchelor’s Oak or Footy Oak. Stay on the path and after the Denefields display board, ignoring a grassy track on the left, cross a cobbled path running downhill from your right. A few metres ahead is an ancient squeeze stile. On the far side is a date – 1772. Keep on past this and pass through two more stiles to reach Steep Turnpike. TAKE CARE as you come out onto the road-cars pass by only a metres or so the other side of the stile.
Cross Steep Turnpike and walk up the road for 10 metres and turn left off the road adjacent to the lamp post. Follow the path as it winds through the garages bearing slightly right over the road leading to the garages. You soon enter the area known as Happy Valley. The path takes you alongside some beech trees. After the tarmac gives way to cobbled stones the path leads steeply uphill to a pair of old stone posts and Henry Avenue beyond. The path you have walked, cutting across the hillside is hundreds of years old and a delightful way of getting from Matlock Green to Henry Avenue.
Continue up the road ahead and cross Smedley Street continuing up the wide tarmac path opposite. This takes you up the left hand side of a housing estate. At the top keep straight ahead up the narrow path to Wellfield Cottage on the left dated 1667. Once through the stile at the side of the cottage turn right along Wellfield itself to reach Chesterfield Road 300 metres later.
The view from Wellfield includes Riber Castle, High Tor and Masson Hill. Cross Chesterfield Road to a stile and continue along the uneven path to another stile with the Presentation Convent behind the tress on your right. Walk along the drive to your left and follow it round the corner keeping the convent on your right. The drive narrows just beyond the metal gates leading into the Care Centre. Walk on until the path forks 100 metres later. åAsker Lane and Bull Lane are the remains of a major World War II anti-aircraft defence site. Take the left fork up the stony path. At the stile turn right into Bull Lane for 20 metres then left alongside Wishingstone Cottage towards the three metal posts set in the path. Keep straight on to cross Wishingstone Way and pass between three more posts ahead.
Walk forward 10 metres and admire the view ahead – Tansley in the distance and Lumsdale down to the right in front of you. Lumsdale is one of the oldest industrial valleys in the country. The Arkwright Society are slowly preserving the ruins that are left in this lovely wooded area. Our route turns right here but if you want to see the Wishing Stone itself walk forward and bear left. It used to be known as the Block Stone but was renamed when Matlock was full of visitors to the Hydros – the Wishing Stone certainly sounds more romantic. Tradition has it that by walking round it three times and leaving some money on it your wishes would come true!
Return to the route and gently descend with the houses on your right. The view becomes more panoramic as you go. At the end of the wall on your right keep straight forward. A few metres away on your left you’ll see (or more likely hear) water coming out of the hillside. Continue past this until the ground in front drops away from you and gives a wide 180° view of Tansley, Riber and Matlock. Descend the path directly in front heading to the left of the brown roofed houses of Hurst Farm estate. Where you reach a path from the right turn leftward and descend. The path then bears right below the houses on the right. Continue along the narrow path with the houses on your right 30 or 40 metres away. The path bears round to the right and after 200 metres reaches a playground. Keep to the left of this pick up a path running below the playground and the playing fields beyond.
The path then runs behind a derelict old stone slated roofed building on the left. Walking on stone pavers you come to a crossroads of paths. Continue straight over a long narrow field to your left between you and Bentley Brook. On your left is Riber Hillside with the castle on top. 300 metres later you reach Butts Drive near the Scout Hut. Go straight on here for 20 metres to the road. Then turn right to pass the bottom of Mornington Rise then the new (2014) houses converted from the old Horse Shoe Public House buildings. Note the still in use Victorian letter box. Use the Pelican crossing to continue along the road to Tawney House, now office and apartments – ignore the sharp left turn immediately beyond. Walk along the wide path with the undertakers on your left. This takes you towards St. Giles Church on the hillside ahead. After passing through the iron posts you are back in Knowleston Place. Return to the start by retracing your steps past Stoney Way, through Knowleston Place (look out for the 1621 date) then along the Park to the town centre.
More Walks & Rides
Perri’s family tour from Duffield Station offers two short walks exploring history and nature.View
Perri’s family tour of Belper leads offers two short walking routes to either the River Gardens or Belper Parks.View
Perri’s family tour from Ambergate leads along the Cromford Canal to Whatstandwell.View
Perri’s family tour from Whatstandwell leads along the Cromford Canal through Gregory’s Tunnel to High Peak Junction.View
Perri’s family tour of Cromford includes climbing the steep steps to Scarthin Rock or the Cromford Canal to High Peak Junction.View
Perri’s family tour of Matlock Bath leads through Lovers’ Walks to Derwent Gardens.View
Perri’s family tour of Matlock follows the level riverside paths through Hall Leys Park and along the Pic Tor Promenade.View
Walk number 1, is a 4 mile walk between Duffield and Belper over the Chevin and following the ancient Portway along the ridge of the Derwent Valley.View
Walk number 2, is a 6 mile walk between Belper and Duffield through open country with superb views linking together the historic settlements of Bargate and Holbrook.View
Walk number 3, is an 8 mile walk between Belper and Ambergate along the valley ridge, with two steady climbs through farmland and ancient woodland.View
Walk number 4, is a 4.5 mile walk between Ambergate and Belper through farmland with a short climb providing excellent views of Heage Windmill from the valley ridge.View
Walk number 5, is a 4.5 mile walk between Ambergate and Whatstandwell through ancient woodland, old parkland and open farmland, with excellent views. There are no really steep climbsView
Walk number 6, is a steep 3.5 mile walk between Whatstandwell and Ambergate via Crich through farmland, Crich Chase woodlands and along the towpath of the Cromford CanalView
Walk number 7, is a 4 mile walk between Whatstandwell and Cromford with a steep path section in Whatstandwell, through undulating farmland and along a surfaced track.View
Walk number 8, is a 4 mile walk between Cromford and Whatstandwell combining the Cromford Canal towpath with steep climbs through woodland. The views of the Derwent Valley are spectacular.View
Walk number 9, is an easy 2.25 mile walk between Cromford and Matlock Bath taking in the historic village of Cromford and a lovely woodland path.View
Walk number 10, is a 3 mile hilltop walk between Matlock Bath and Cromford via Riber Castle, providing magnificent views. There is a steep climb and the walk goes through woodlands, fields and along an ancient trackway.View
Walk number 11 is a 3 mile walk through woods and fields with fine views between Matlock Bath and Matlock.View
Walk number 12, is a 2 mile walk between Matlock and Matlock Bath alongside the River Derwent and with a climb to High Tor with its spectacular views.View