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“Amazing varied countryside”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Longshaw Estate

Longshaw Estate
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Looked after by the National Trust, Longshaw is a wonderful place to discover spectacular views of the Peak District, ancient woods, parkland and heather moorland. Visit the tea room and shop for a cream tea or hearty meal (open 363 days/year), explore the estate's waymarked trails and natural play places, or join in a free guided walk or a National Trust event. The spectacular White Edge Moor overlooks the Derwent Valley and forms part of the long gritstone edge stretching from Stanage towards Birchens Edge south of Chatsworth House. If you have time, discover the old quarry workings at Bole Hill.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Amazing varied countryside”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2014

The beauty of Longshaw is its surroundings. The variety of countryside - hills, woods, fields of sheep and cows, moorland, streams, disused quarries and breathtaking views - is amazing especially as they're all to be had so close to the focal point of the car parks, visitor centre and cafe. The wildlife is also great - over this summer I've seen loads of birds (including great spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, meadow pipit, curlew, reed bunting, mallard, various members of the crow family, swallow, siskin, redstart, various garden birds, and heard-but-never-saw cuckoos). And that's just the birds - there are butterflies and moths, a little mouse ran to hide as I went past a few days ago, there are deer in the fields opposite the car parks, and there were amazing bluebells earlier in the year, then pretty meadow flowers and orchids a few weeks ago, now the heather is turning the hills purple, and in a couple of months we'll have the autumn colours in the many deciduous woods.

The Longshaw Lodge building itself is nice enough to look at but nothing special (and you can't go in and look around it anyway). But you won't want to because your gaze will always be drawn to the countryside around. Even the cafe (which is ok-if-not-amazing for simple food and scones, but particularly good at coffee and cake) has a lovely view from the outside seating, down towards Burbage brook and back up to Higger Tor, so you can go nowhere and still enjoy the scenery!

The National Trust, for free, run walks starting from outside the visitor centre every Wednesday and Sunday at 11am, for approx 2.5 hours, around the Estate and some of the hills nearby. They have at least seven different routes, taking you to Totley Moss, Owler Tor, Padley Gorge, Lawrence Field, Burbage Edge, Millstone Edge and Tumbling Hill. Since I live locally and have had time off work recently, I've had the chance to do them all this summer. Every one of these walks involves spectacular views, either along the Derwent Valley towards Castleton, or over Sheffield to North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Between them, they also cover a few historical points of interest you might otherwise miss: eighteenth-century signposts, quarring sites and buildings, millstones troughs and other stone items left by the quarries, an old storage house for ice, modern sculptures, the Duke's favourite sitting spot, the foundations of old settlements, an air shaft from the Totley railway tunnel, York Minster on the horizon (just!), and what came to pass for a stone hot tub back in the day! There are normally about 15 people on the walks a sunny summer Wednesday and maybe only 1 or 2 on a wintery rainy day, and many of the same faces come time and again for some walking and socialising and a natter at the cafe afterwards. The volunteer guides I've had so far have all been good, but one or two have been particularly extra-good at giving information about the area and pointing out subtle landmarks you'd easily miss otherwise, from the Duke's enthusiasm for getting roads diverted away from his favourite views, to the use of the quarries for providing millstones and later the stone to build dams. It's well worth going on the extra tour of Bolehill Quarry, though it runs only a couple of times a year - so informative and brings it alive for you. The staff, from rangers to volunteers to cafe/shop staff are all friendly and helpful. I've always been on the walks on my own, but each time have been made to feel part of the group during the walk and for a coffee afterwards. The guides carry first-aid kits and gauge the walk to be suitable for all ages and most levels of mobility - you'll need walking boots or sturdy trainers, and some level of walking ability, but nothing out of the ordinary.

There are also various kiddy activities on offer, but I can't comment much on those as I don't have kids.

On the Longshaw Estate itself, there are some well-made paths which are easy to navigate and appear to be wheelchair accessible (I'm guessing a bit, but you can probably contact the visitor centre to arrange coming in the back entrance if you'd like easy disabled access to the visitor centre). There are also many off-the-beaten-track paths which are peaceful and quiet and every bit as beautiful. The area around Yarncliffe wood is often quiet when I've been - the 'masses' tend to sit in Lawrence Field, near the ice-cream vans and the National Trust's new food buggy. Parking on the road there is free to all (the Longshaw car-park is only free to members), but if you do park there, please don't park round the bend where the blue signs tell you not to - it's dangerous since it's 50mph and a bus route - there's plenty of room to park on the road just around the corner.

You can also walk down towards the Grouse Inn, or within about 1 to 2 hours depending on walking speed you can be down in the centre of Grindleford village, and can stop off at the village shop (in the side of the church, currently) for a coffee and homemade cake before you walk (or cheat and get the infrequent bus) back up to Longshaw. Also for a longer walk, you can walk along White Edge towards Curbar Gap, and back along Curbar Edge / Froggatt Edge to the Grouse Inn - a long walk but great views including sight of Chatsworth - or along Burbage Edge and up to Stanage Edge with its famous setting, and back via Higger Tor and Carl Wark fort.

What's so good about walking around the Longshaw estate is that you don't walk *to* something, see it, and walk back - you see something the whole way through the walk, and you can choose how tough and how long that is. This is not a National Trust property for people who want to go around a country house and see paintings and antique furniture, but is a National Trust estate for people who want beautiful Peak District countryside managed and made accessible by the National Trust in an informal setting. Some of the time you have a view up and across to the surrounding hills, and other parts of the time you're on the hills and having a panoramic view back down the valley, enjoying what wildlife and history comes along the way.

The Peak District is full of amazing scenery, so you're spoilt for choice in this area, but it's hard to be disappointed by Longshaw's countryside unless the weather is so poor that the clouds sit in the valley and block all the views. So don your walking boots, avoid a foggy day, and you can walk in any direction and be captivated by the scenery.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank psymann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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192 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Chesterfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2014

I walk at Longshaw nearly every week...it is beautiful....great for kids to climb rocks and scramble over streams etc. Lots of coded walks to follow and plenty of serious walks too. Need to keep dogs on leads as loads of sheep! I feel comfortable to do a 10 mile walk around this estate on my own with two small dogs and then go for the best scone in Derbyshire and the cafe...tea and scone cost about £3.00 in total which is great value and service is wonderful. Nice young people serving who are friendly....Jacket potatoes good too. My friend complains about the coffee though...she won't buy it know and brings her own as she says it's cold all the time....I have heard others complaining about this too.....I think nescafe with water straight from kettle would be better than putting coffee in flasks....It doesn't bother me as I don'[t drink coffee!

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Sarah E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Photographic Heaven”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

This is very much a photographers heaven and there's plenty of free roadside parking just up from Grindleford station due to the fact it's not over commercialised like some areas. You can get a much needed coffee and food at the station and Padley Gorge is a short walk from there. The Gorge is very pretty and ideal for the budding photographer wanting to try his hand at "long exposure"
There are several walks that bring you down into Padley Gorge and surounding area that are fairly easy for the able bodied and it's well worth a day out and a pack of butties.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank staboblade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chesterfield, England
Level Contributor
87 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 192 helpful votes
“Probably my favourite place in the peak district”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2014

There are lots of wonderful places to visit in the peak district, but the longshaw estate is probably my favourite because of the variety of different landscapes and the wonderful views which continually change. You have moorland, semi open woodland and dense woodland, as well as nice streamdside walks above and down padley gorge.
I tend to park just outside the main longshaw estate area and walk in, as you end up with the more remote areas to yourselves with only the central part near the teashop and top of padley gorge getting crowded.
Have eaten at the teashop which is OK, especially the view, but prefer to use the facilities just outside the estate, Grouse Inn good for pub meals and a nice Suntrap to sit out at the back, and the cafe at Grindleford station at the bottom of padley gorge is great for no nonsense food, although you should expect beautiful decor, but does offer great value.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank needdm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
58 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“simply worth spending time having a look around”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2014

so many walks on offer and so well worth spending some time making the most of the magical scenery in the peak district, I am in awe of the abundance of natures offering in this district and I recommend highly you spending some time there I have not been disappointed at all in the offerings of choice and challenges....... my advise GO THERE!!!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Susan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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