Goyt Valley walk 25: Buxton to Burbage Edge

Walk distance: 7 miles | Date recorded: May 2021
Start point: Buxton Opera House (SK17 6XN) | Google Map
Map app: View on OutdoorActive | Contact me for GPX file

Above: Click map to enlarge.
View printable A4 pdf.

Above: A ‘Relive’ version of the walk. Click to play and use the expand option to view in full-screen. Click here for more Goyt Valley ‘Relives’.

Walk description & directions

Recorded on a wonderfully bright day in late May, this fairly easy 7-mile circular walk starts from the Georgian Spa town of Buxton, and heads up to Burbage Edge, which lies along the southeast border of the Goyt Valley. There are a few slopes along the way, but nothing too strenuous. And it’s easy to extend it from point 12 in the description; either along the old railway track, or down to Errwood Reservoir.

Buxton is well served by both train and bus. For anyone driving, the best car park is probably the one at the Pavilion Gardens, off Burlington Road (SK17 9AR  Google Map). From the car park, join the walk at point 3 on the directions, which is directly opposite the car park entrance on Burlington Road.

The path along the ridge can get muddy in places, so boots are recommended. And for anyone keen on orienteering, the route passes one of Joe Brown’s Numbers, close to the trig point (click for details).

1: The walk starts from Buxton’s most famous landmark – the newly refurbished Crescent Hotel, completed after some 25 years lying derelict, and at a cost of some £80 million. From here, walk past St Anne’s Well on the left, heading for the Pavilion Gardens, straight ahead.

2: Go through the gates into the gardens and follow the wide path, keeping the river on your right, all the way to the exit at the main road.

3: Cross the road into the Serpentine, heading straight ahead, with the river on your right. An information board explains that this is the oldest part of the Pavilion Gardens, and was completed in the 1830s as part of the Duke of Devonshire’s ambitious plans to make Buxton a spa town to rival Bath.

4: The path eventually rises to meet the A53 to Leek and Macclesfield. Continue along the road in the same direction for about half a mile, crossing over at some point.

5: As the road bends around to the left, take the junction along Bishops Lane on the right. This attractive lane is a very popular route for locals and dog-walkers and doesn’t get a lot of traffic.

6: After about half a mile, turn left just before some stone gateposts, up a narrow lane. Turn left through the stile at Plex Farm, crossing the yard and following the footpath sign, straight ahead. Keep in the same direction, with the field wall and fencing on your left, following the small footpath signs.

7: At the far left corner of the field, cross the stile into Shay Woods, and follow the path through the trees. Keep in the same direction as you exit, going between a couple of farm buildings and along the narrow lane until you meet Macclesfield Old Road.

8: Turn right at the road, and continue as it changes from tarmac to rubble. This is the old turnpike and eventually leads to Derbyshire Bridge and the Cat & Fiddle. (A gate on the right leads along the disused track of the old Cromford & High Peak Railway.) Continue a short distance until you can follow a footpath sign on the right, up the slope.

9: Head up the slope, turning diagonally right at the corner of the stone wall. (This field often contains cows and calves, so please keep dogs on a tight lead.) Follow the narrow path as it slopes down and then up, towards a small gate beside a tree on the horizon. Turn right through the gate, keeping the wall on your right.

10: You are now walking along Burbage Edge, with some wonderful view across towards Buxton. This part of the walk can get muddy in places. Keep the wall on your right and you eventually reach the trig point at the highest spot on the ridge. (One of Joe Brown’s Numbers is close to here – click for details).

11: Continue in the same direction, down the narrow path, until you reach a gate on the right. The gate is usually locked, so you’ll have to climb over it, and then follow the faint path as it winds across the open moorland in a gentle arc, first to the right, and then the left.

12: Keep following the faint track and you eventually meet another path. This walk now goes to the right, but if you turned left, you come to the longest tunnel on the old railway, and there’s an easy walk from here down to the tip of Errwood Reservoir (see walk 10).

13: After turning right at the junction of paths, keep in the same direction, heading to the right of some conifers on the horizon. The path dips down across an area that’s often quite waterlogged. But it’s usually fairly easily to find a way across.

14: Go through the small gate in the stone wall, following the path first to the right, and then left, until you come to a series of steps. Turn left at the foot of the steps and head up the narrow lane.

15: At the top of the lane, go through the gate to the house on the right, and then through another gate at the right hand corner of their garden. (This is a recognised footpath and the residents are usually very friendly!)

16: Follow the path down the slope, keeping the wall on your right, until you can follow the track on the left through the farm yard. Keep to the right of the farm house, and follow the track as it winds down to a gate leading to the golf course.

17: Follow the path through the golf course – listening out for any cries of ‘fore’ in case of straying golf balls – until you exit past the golf house, heading right down the lane.

18: Take the path through the trees on the right, heading down the track and crossing over a small footbridge beside a ford (don’t take the path on the right into Gadley Woods).

19: Cross the main road and head down the path to the right of the bridge, back into The Serpentine.

20: Cross the small footbridge and follow the attractive path to the left of the river all the way to the road. Cross over to return to the Pavilion Gardens to enjoy a well-deserved rest and a wide choice of refreshments. To return to The Crescent, simply head to the far right corner of the Gardens, opposite the Old Hall Hotel.