The Robin Hood’s Stride walk tales you on a beautiful circular walk, including Bradford Dale in the Derbyshire Peak District. It’s a wonderful walk for everyone to enjoy as there’s plenty to see and do on the walk.
Although Robin Hood’s Stride only makes up a small portion of the walk, it’s a great highlight when you reach it, as well as the other things to explore close by, including the very intriguing Hermit’s Cave!
The Bradford Dale section is wonderful for nature and bird lovers, with many different bird species spotted on the trail and lots of mushrooms growing in the wood areas.
Here you will find details on how to get to the start of the walk at Elton village, route information, facilities on the walk, plus a detailed step by step guide of the walk.
I would always recommend that you take a paper map with you on the walk, details below on which map you need for this walk.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve done this walk and what you think!
Robin Hood’s Stride Walk from Elton
Robin Hood’s Stride walk mapClick for OS online route here
Walk start point
Start grid reference: SK 221 609
Car parking address: Main St, Elton, DE4 2BW
There is no car park but there are places available on the road near the church where you can start the walk from.
Nearest train station: Matlock train station (6 mile/10 km)
From the train station at Matlock, you would then need to catch a bus to Eton.
Facilities on the walk
There are no public toilets available at the start of the walk at Eton.
On the walk route, there are no toilets, however, if you needed a toilet there are two options, both slightly off the route, but there’s a public toilet at Middleton (400 m) and also one at Youlgreave (200 m) too.
You’ll spot the Duke of York pub in the village, but this is only open from 8.30 pm, so no good for a post-walk drink!
However, there is a local pub not far away in the village of Winster called Bowling Green.
Other useful information
There are some steep drops from the cliffs near Robin Hood’s Stride so please be careful, especially if you’re doing the walk with children.
Some parts of the walk can get extremely muddy so walking boots are recommended for this route!
There are also numerous wooden and stone stiles, along the route that might not be that easy with a larger dog (I met a couple who had had to lift their dog over a couple!)
The route is fairly well signposted when you are on the Limestone Way but less so in other parts, although there are public footpath signs. I would always recommend you take a map and compass (see below).
Check the weather for your walk location and hills
Ordnance Survey Walk Map
The map required for this walk is OL24 – Peak District (White Peak Area)
Buy a paper map at outdoor shops or shop online at Amazon or Ordnance Survey
Check prices here with Ordnance Survey, you can buy a standard map or a waterproof one. You can sometimes find cheaper deals on Amazon, but the Ordnance Survey website sometimes has discounts for buying more than one map!
And don’t forget your compass.
There are lots to choose from, I recommend the Silva Expedition compass, it’s more expensive but a valuable piece of kit!
one month or yearly options with OS Online App. For one month, the prices start from £2.99 a month or the annual option is from £23.99.
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Robin Hood’s Stride walk route
Stage 1 – Elton to Tomlinson Wood
Distance: 1 miles/1.6 km
Grid reference SK 221 609
From the road outside Elton church (with the church on your right), continue down the road, then take the path forking off left, signposted Youlgreave.
Continue heading in a northerly direction, through a narrow gate, then after 50 m bear right following the fingerpost sign to Youlgreave (Cliff Farm). In the distance, you’ll see Anthony Hill as you walk through various fields with wooden gates between them.
Then another small gate will lead you to a road, cross the road (Cliff Lane) and then continue along the path descending gradually to Cliff Farm, via a wooden stile, then a stone stile in the corner of the field.
From the farm, head directly north, over another stone stile, towards Tomlinson Wood (a small wooded area). There’s then a very small stone stile to squeeze through, walk around the edge of the woods, to an opening in the dry stone wall.
Stage 2 – Tomlinson Wood to Bradford Dale
Distance: 1.4 mile/2.3 km
Grid reference SK 217 624
Go through the opening in the dry stone wall, between the two stone pillars (one with arrows pointing left towards Middleton and Hoppin Farm). Then head diagonally across to the boundary wall and follow the wall east to a stone stile.
Walk across the next three fields, over stiles, with Bleakley Plantation on your left. You’ll reach a fingerpost signposted Public Footpath (in three directions) and Youlgreave. Keep walking in a north-easterly direction (signposted Public Footpath).
You’ll then walk through another four fields, across stone stiles, before reaching a wooden gate that crosses the road.
Follow the path down towards a caravan park (the public footpath takes you through the middle).
You’ll see a signpost for Robin Hood’s Stride and Middleton Dale (keep heading towards Middleton Dale), it’s a circular walk so don’t panic, you’ll head towards Robin Hood’s Stride later on the walk.
The path takes you through a stone stile and the driveway of the house next to the trail and out the other side through a small gate into a field.
Head down across the field, through a gate, then round with the trees on your right.
Follow the stream on your left, down some steps towards Bradford Dale.
Note – (At this point you can head towards Middleton if you need a toilet!)
Stage 3 – Bradford Dale to Youlgreave
Distance: 1.2 miles/1.9 km
Grid reference SK 199 633
As you reach the beginning of Bradford Dale on your walk, look out for the unique books in the wall, next to the old sheep dips! If you read from top to bottom, you can about them.
Now you simply follow the beautiful Bradford River through Bradford Dale, you’ll go past a bridge on your left, then through a gate and on to the Limestone Way.
As you walk along Bradford Dale you’ll notice numerous sluice gates, which were used to manage the water levels, dating back to the 19th century.
It’s also wonderful for bird lovers, you will probably see numerous ducks and swans, as well as dippers, herons and many more.
Walk along the path until you reach a beautiful stone bridge at the turning to Youlgreave.
Note – (This is the second point where you can pop to the public toilets in Youlgreave.)
Go through the gate, continue walking next to Bradford River, until the next bridge.
Stage 4 – Youlgreave to Robin Hood’s Stride
Distance: 2 miles/3.2 km
Grid reference SK 213 640
Once you’ve crossed the bridge at Youlgreave, follow the road for a short distance, before turning onto a footpath on the left at a fingerpost signposted Limestone Way.
Follow the trail through the next five fields, then onto to flagstones to a mini bridge across Bleakey Dike. Head up the flagstones on the other side and across the field. You’ll spot a random stile in the middle of the field!
Continue following the Limestone Way, through a small wooded area, then out on the road.
Turn right up the road for a short distance and you’ll reach a sign saying Robin Hood’s Stride 1/4 away. But first, if you want a little detour, follow the boundary fence around for 200 m to the Stone Circle.
There’s no right of way through the field so the best thing to do is backtrack and then walk towards the base of Robin Hood’s Stride.
Stage 5 – Robin Hood’s Stride to Elton
Distance: 2.2 mile/3.5 km
Grid reference SK 224 623
As you reach the base of Robin Hood’s Stride you have two options to go exploring! The first is to turn right and scramble up to Robin Hood’s Stride. The second option is to turn left up the footpath, an area called Cratcliffe Rocks, common with people bouldering.
There are several trails up to the top, where you get wonderful views, but the secret spot is the Hermit’s Cave at the base of the cliffs, situated at the most southern point.
Once you’ve finished exploring the area, hop back onto the Limestone Way and follow along the track. You then go through a gate next to a cattle grid and follow the road heading south for about 800 metres.
Then at the crossroads, turn right back into the village of Elton at the start of the walk.
Do you have any more questions about this walk, maybe what to wear on your hike or any other questions? Ask me in the comments below.
Options to shorten this walk
Shorten the walk
Want to shorten this walk, including Robin Hood’s Stride?
You can start the walk at Elton, follow the route instructions, stage 1 to Tomlinson Wood, instead of bearing left, walk straight on, descending towards to Harthill Moor Farm.
At the footpath, turn left, then after 700 metres, you’ll reach the road, with the signpost to Robin Hood’s Stride (at the end of stage 4).
This option is 4 miles/6.6 km.Click for OS online route here
More Walks in the Peak District
Love the walks in the White Peak Area of the Peak District? You might like these Peak District circular walks.
Have you done this walk, let me know any feedback in the comments.
Did you get beautiful views from Robin Hood’s Stride? Did you find the cave? Tell me in the comments below.
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Please note 'Peak District Walks' accepts no liability through any injuries or accidents that may result from walking this route. We always recommend you take a paper map and compass on your walk. Read more here.