Why is walking good for your anxiety
As someone who has suffered from mental health since the age of 5, I know from experience the importance when you need to just get away. And so I discovered going for short walks in the Peak District. Now I understand how hard it can be when your anxiety is taking over and you just think the world is a lil too scary to go out into today. Your bed is way more safer, with Netflix and a blanket, and your thinking
Charlotte You’re talking absolute shit here…..
but trust me on this. It has been scientifically proven that even just 20 minutes of fresh air will boost your mood. Filling your lungs with fresh air, feeling the fresh breeze on your skin, surrounding yourself with nature, and discovering beautiful views along the way. You will soon forget about the shit your mind is telling you and begin to focus on the good things in life. It does just take that first push to get yourself out of the front door. And I know I’m guilty of staying in when the world just seems too much, but all it ever does is make me feel worse. And so I’ve worked hard to push myself to get out each time. And so this is why I have made this blog so you can just pick which short walk in the Peak district you fancy and away you go!
Why short walks in the Peak District?
Here in the North of England is the beautiful Peak District national park. Filled with peaks, valleys, wild swimming spots, walking routes, cycle routes, child friendly trails, stunning villages, cafes, restaurants and some good old fashioned English pubs with amazing real ales, wines, yummy food and 9 out of 10 times welcome muddy boots! What more could you want?
So let’s face it the two main limiting factors when getting out for a walk are. Our minds lying to us and being a dickhead telling us we can’t do it when we can! And the other is convincing ourselves we don’t have enough time. Because for some reason when we think of going for a walk out in the Peak District we come up with all these excuses:
It will take us all day
It’ll be really difficult
We don’t know where to go
Where do we start
Where do we finish
Where do we park
And so many things because it is easier to talk ourselves out of going for a walk than it is to go for one. So here I have got 4 short walks in the peak district, where to start, where to park, roughly how long they take and their level of difficulty. Because let me ask you this:
How much better do you feel for getting outside? Even if it’s just for an hour? Amazing right? So now I’m helping you to stop with the excuses, get outside and have a beautiful peak district walk!
Now one of my favourite short walks in the Peak District is conveniently very close to one of my favourite pubs The Grouse Inn Which is so cheap, has outdoor seating area, a conservatory, welcomes dogs and muddy boots and has stunning views across Froggatt!
But I’m getting distracted…..
For this walk there is plenty of parking, just below the Grouse Inn as there is a lay by and as the road curves round (where the walk begins) there is also a lay by here for parking! So once you’ve parked up head to the bend in the road, where you will see a gap. Head through there, take the left in the fork and off you go 🙂
This walk is relatively easy, the path is unsteady but I have known people take buggies along it, which shows that it is possible to walk for people of all abilities. You will walk through a wooded area where you can hear the wildlife surround you, and then out you will come to Curbar Edge. And have the most stunning view across the Frogatt, Curber and Calver. Honestly it will take your breath away. Now in terms of length to do this full circular walk it takes around 3 to 4 hours as it can be a 7 mile walk. I however would recommend walking to the top of the ridge, taking in those beautiful views and turning back .Therefore it’s not too strenuous, it’s not too long and you get those stunning views without having to push yourself too much. From start to finish this walk will take between an hour to an hour and a half. And the amazing part of this walk is that if once you’re out you decide you want to walk a little further you can. It is totally up to you with no pressure.
Frogatt and Calver
This circular walk is absolutely lovely and fully deserves to be included in my short walks in the Peak District, and is super close to the above walk! It has two start points, I would recommend starting at the Calver Tea Shop as there is much more parking and you can get a brew to take with you along as you walk! I usually park outside the primary school as there is a small lay by car park area, and then turn back on yourself, over the bridge towards the tea shop. At the end of the bridge to your right will be a pathway, head up that path way, you will go past a couple of houses and then a gate where there is a campsite. Go through the gate and campsite and begin your walk. This route is super easy and really straight forward as you just keep walking straight. After around 20 – 30 minutes you will come to more houses and a main road. This is where you can also park though the road is very narrow and there is little parking.
Once you come to the main road turn right, be careful of the road as it can be busy, narrow and on a bend. Once you walk over the bridge turn right again along the water and finish the rest of your walk. After around 20 minutes of walking you will come to the end of the path and a gate leading to a main road. Go through the gate and turn right, follow the road to the end and you will end up where you started! Super simple, super easy, super beautiful and will take you less than an hour to do and it is roughly 1-2 miles walk.
Bonus tip with this walk, the stream you walk along is a beautiful place to go wild swimming! There are plenty of spots to stop along once you get to the bridge and come back on yourself. As well as places to sit and eat a yummy picnic! And once you’ve finished this walk, if you head up towards Calver village there are some beautiful pubs, with great food, lovely outside seating areas and of course the real ales what the Peak District is famous for! I personally recommend The Derwentwater Arms for this. And is a great end to one of your short walks in the Peak District.
Monsal Dale Trail
Now this walk is an absolute beauty! Which takes you down an old railway line. The walk is all completely flat and paved, so this walk is suitable for all abilities! It is such a beautiful walk and has lots of pretty bridges to take photos of, one you can even get on to get a proppa* view of the trail! And has old platforms which gives you a chance to see the effects of nature when left to its own devices. Now this walk starts in Bakewell and goes all the way to Ashford which can take a fair few hours.
Before you start thinking well why on Earth Charlotte have you included it in your list of short walks in the Peak District. That my lovely is because you can do the highlights of this walk in around 90 minutes and you can also cycle it as the path is completely flat and super wide! So park up at Hassop station cafe. You can grab yourself a brew, go to the loo and if you want to cycle but don’t have your own bike, you can hire one from here! Once you’re all set and ready to go, walk to the right of the cafe, on to the trail, turn right and off you set. It’s really that simple. There’s no other directions or instructions needed. Just keep going straight. After around 50 minutes you will come to this HUGE Headstone tunnel! It’s really well lit so don’t worry about being in a dark tunnel. And then as you come out you will be greeted with the gorgeous view on the Monsal viaduct. It’s absolutely beautiful, with views across the valley and a river flowing underneath. I honestly cannot even begin to tell you how beautiful this view is. It’s just stunning!
Once you’ve had a chance to take in the views, get photos, videos etc of what you like, then just head back! Again a super simple walk that takes very little to no brain space to navigate! And once you’ve finished your walk at Hassop station, why not treat yourself to an Ice Cream?! I know I do!
If you want a more in depth insight to this walk just click here!
Now this walk has it all! From rocks to climb over, a stream to swim in, a tree swing and to top it off ice cream trucks! Like seriously what more could you want? It is one of my favourite short walks in the Peak District. It even has plenty of space for you to sit and have a picnic! So to get to Padley gorge pop this into your sat nav S32 2HY and it will bring you to a road with two ice cream trucks on it and plenty of parking. On busy notes the parking does get filled up pretty quick, but you can park further up the road near the Longshaw Estate or down by Grindleford Cafe (which is where you can also start this walk from).
So once you’ve parked up, head to the two ice cream trucks where you will see a gate, walk through there and BAM! Our at Padley Gorge! Now this walk can be as long or as short as you like. And to be honest you don’t even have to go for a walk if you don’t want to. Simply get a picnic together and sit by the stream! WhenI begin this walk I always cross over the stream and head to the otherside. For no other real reason than, that’s what I’ve always done. This is a circular route so whether you cross the stream or not doesn’t matter, simply turn left and keep walking down. To do this full walk will roughly take you 90 minutes if you were to go all the way to Grindleford Cafe and back. Though I quite often stop for pictures, and then after a while cross over one of the many bridges and head back. If you walk down for around 20 mins they’ll be a path going down towards the stream! Here is the tree swing! It’s sooo much fun. This is usually where I then cross over and head back.
Now this path is quite unsteady and there are a few rocks that people who are unsteady might find a little difficult. It can also be pretty steep in place. But then again I’ve done it with elderly family members and a three year old, so it entirely depends on what you feel most comfortable with. If you don’t feel you can, take yourself a bottle of vino, drink it by the stream and wait for everyone else to come back!
I honestly cannot recommend getting out in the Peak District enough! It’s amazing, there’s so many different things to do, whether it’s walking up a huge peak or doing one of the short walks in the Peak District above. I guarantee it will help your anxiety and let you take in some beautiful views at the same time!