Russian Cottage
Derbyshire Life|Septemer 2020
This quintessential Peak District walk is packed with snippets and features of interest
Sally Mosley

ROUTE

1 Make your way to the former Bakewell Station and set off in an almost southerly direction, following the Monsal Trail to its end. This walking, cycling and horse riding route utilises a section of the former Midland Railway line constructed in the 1860s and closed a century later.

2 Turn left and walk under a high arched bridge then follow the old Bakewell to Rowsley coach road, an important way south before a turnpike road was laid in the bottom of the valley that later became the A6. This gated track slowly wends its way up through Coombs Farm and then open pasture in an area dotted and spotted by grazing sheep.

3 Arriving at a combination of paths where there is a geological bench that appears like a natural bridge, notice how land sweeps away on either side providing a lovely vista toward Peak Tor and the Derwent Valley one way or towards Bakewell behind you, where the agricultural business centre buildings look like a Bedouin encampment!

Turn sharp left to follow a bridlepath with fingerpost sign and ascend the far end of Manners Wood. Keep right on reaching a Haddon Estates notice and continue uphill on the well-walked path. This eventually flattens out to pass through a hilltop plantation before ending abruptly at a high ladder stile and combination of bridlepath gates. In the distance you can see the Elizabethan hunting tower above Chatsworth, whilst commanding centre stage is the quaint and quirky Russian Cottage. It is said that the 6th Duke of Devonshire travelled to Russia in 1816 as British Ambassador to Moscow and befriended Tsar Nicholas. In 1844 the Tsar was invited to visit Chatsworth when the Emperor fountain and lake were constructed in his honour. Unfortunately, his trip had to be cancelled and so the Tsar sent the timbers for Russian Cottage with its decorative barge boards and window surrounds as a present. From Russia with love!

4 Follow the bridlepath ahead, which descends to a gate by Calton Plantations. It then ascends and meets up with another path to become a grassy trackway leading to a gate where you will pass through a band of trees known as New Piece Wood.

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