Surprise View car park, located near Hathersage, is easily accessed via car or bus from Sheffield and is a great starting point for a variety of walks – take your pick from woodland, riverside or open moorland.
This particular walk is a superb short stroll, suitable for families with young children (although bear in mind that it’s not pushchair friendly) or for those who are looking for a leisurely amble with a café stop en-route. It also works well as a trail run and, if you’re looking for something more challenging, it’s easy to add extra miles via exploring the myriad of paths around the Burbage moors.
Starting from the car park, cross over the road and turn left (direction Sheffield), walking alongside the road, before taking the obvious path on your right down to a small gate. A narrow path leads downhill. Keep left at the fork in the path, continuing downhill between two boulders, to arrive at a footbridge over a river (note that this is where the circular walk returns to and is a great picnic spot).
Follow the footpath sign to Longshaw Visitor Centre, crossing over the footbridge and walking uphill to cross a road. Opposite, a path through a gate (signed Visitor Centre) takes you past the Granby Discovery Barn (well worth a look inside for information on wildlife and history of the area). Continuing, keep left on the wide path following the edge of the woods. This will take you around a lake and through rhododendron bushes to arrive at the Longshaw Visitor Centre and café.
This is a great place to stop for refreshments and to admire the views across the Burbage valley. It’s also worth noting that they run various guided walks and events throughout the year from here.
Leaving the Visitor Centre, follow the tarmac drive (in the direction of the sign for Fox House bus stop) to reach a road. Cross over the road, now following the sign towards Burbage Brook on a wide path through woods. Keep left at the fork in the path, walking downhill towards the river.
Upon reaching the river, turn left, walking with the river on your right hand side to reach a footbridge. Cross the footbridge and continue on the path (now with the river on your left), to arrive back at the first footbridge. A right turn uphill will return you back to Surprise View car park.
When you reach the river, you can extend the walk by turning right instead of left and then crossing over the main road to explore the moors around Burbage. There are various options here and paths criss-cross the moors. We walked to the old Roman Fort of Carl Wark, before returning on a path above Millstone Edge, giving a circular walk of around 4 miles (2.5 hours).
Getting there from Sheffield
Car: A625 Hathersage Road/A6187 to Surprise View car park (SK 252 801)
Public Transport: Bus 271/272 to Surprise View car park, Hathersage Road
Ordnance Survey: Dark Peak Area (OL 1) and White Peak Area (OL24) are both required
Alternatively, AA (using Ordnance Survey mapping): Central Peak District Walker’s Map (No. 1)
A good selection of cafés and pubs can also be found in Hathersage, along with a well-stocked outdoor shop called Outside.