One of the best things I've ever done
The walk and the book were extraordinary. Such a beautiful route. It was one of the best things we've done. My girls are 15 and they really enjoyed it. We did the walk over 3 days. The book charts the walk very well so we were always clear about what we were doing. Thanks so much for putting it together. I will do it again


Three wonderful days ...


6 pilgrims and 2 kind chauffeurs gathered in Eyam and were soon enjoying a coffee at YCA Ilam Hall - and enjoying it even more knowing that the chauffeur team was transporting our bags each day!

3 wonderful days and 34 gentle miles were over all too quickly, leaving a merry medley of memories.  A little drizzle as we left Ilam - and no more rain thereafter.  Flowers and birds galore - perhaps even more in the White Peak than the Dark.  Christine's Dovedale tree creeper.  Budding Jacob's Ladder in Lathkilldale, watched over by a handsome redstart.

Bob's perky guide book, with its cheerful and disrespectful references to our fellow pilgrim the current rector of Eyam.

And the churches and their saints and heroes: Chad's friend Bertram/Bertelin in Ilam, the one-legged evangelist of Milldale, the generous giver who remembered the pall-bearers of Monyash, the refreshingly different church at Stoney Middleton......  and of course our goal, Eyam, with its history of Christ-inspired self-sacrifice.

A faith-nourishing soaking in God's magnificent creation and the exploits of some of his children.


John Hutchison

May 2015


A real pleasure....

This is to say a very big “thank you” for the great pleasure which your Peak Pilgrimage walk-book has just given myself and a few of my friends.

We comprise half a dozen fellows who go out walking every Friday in the Peak District, to do 8 or 10 miles, come sunshine, rain, hail, or snow.

We come from diverse points, such as Baslow, Bamford, Ecclesall, and Nether Edge. It happens that we are all committed Christians too, and therefore have some meaningful (as well as some utterly stupid and hilarious !) conversations along the way. So, upon hearing about your book, both from Mike Gilbert and also from the Country File programme, we knew it was a “must-do” ! I was therefore despatched to the Church Office in Eyam to duly purchase the Guide Book.

We carefully examined the route, and laid our plan of campaign.

We would tackle it on the four Fridays in September, and do Ilam to Hartington; Hartington to Monyash; Monyash to Edensor; & Edensor to Eyam. I have to say it has been a great success and a real joy.

We have had lovely weather each Friday, with only one 15-minute shower as we came out of Bakewell Church to walk through the town.

The paths you chose were great, and we all appreciated the superb scenery and excellent views. A number of the paths we had of course walked before, but it added a new dimension for us to travel along them as part of our great linear pilgrimage.

Your book kept coming out for consultation, to check the exact prescribed route, to learn a bit more about the local facts and history, and to chuckle over your jokes. (We did note that most of these were at Rector Mike`s expense … … has he sued you yet for libel ??? !!!)

Above all, it was lovely to visit all the various churches along the way, to get our stamps and sticky verses. For example, we would never have known of or visited the  beautiful little Milldale Chapel.

Only the Methodist Church in Bakewell seemed to be non-participating in the grand scheme.

Yesterday afternoon, we finally arrived at Eyam, and with brilliant timing to watch part of a Plague Play rehearsal in the church, which was a suitable finale to our mini “Camino”.

We now have our splendid picture of Dove Dale, to remind us of the golden month of September 2015, when we walked the Peak Pilgrimage.

Many, many thanks again to you from all of us.


Mike Woffenden

September 2015


A Peak Pilgrimage experience

After having become aware of the Peak pilgrimage and purchased a book with its inspiring walks and photographs we decided it would be an excellent idea to incorporate it into our Monday walks.

We divided the route into six separate sections, the length of each being easily achievable in a day, visiting all the churches en route.

The first three days were made possible by utilising two cars, leaving one at each end of that particular days walk and using public transport for the final three.  We have always appreciated the beautiful countryside, in which we live, but this was something special, so leaving home, we left our worldly worries behind us, determined to more fully appreciate God’s creation.

On the first day we left Ilam in the rain, having visited the Church of the Holy Cross, and walked the familiar path along the river Dove to the tiny Primitive Methodist Chapel in the hamlet of Milldale.  After a short well-earned rest we continued, up the steep hill to our destination, St. Peter’s Church in Alstonfield.

At each church we visited we obtained a verse and a stamp for our Peak Pilgrimage book.

The following week we recommenced our Pilgrimage from Alstonfield to St. Giles’ Church, presiding over the village of Hartington, where we were particularly impressed with the match stick model of the Church and the beautifully embroidered pew runners.  This day we ended our walk at Hartington Station, where we had left one of our cars.

On our third day we started from Hartington Station and followed the Tissington Trail to Sparklow, whilst admiring the huge abundance of beautiful wild flowers along the way.  From Sparklow we followed footpaths to our destination, St. Leonard’s Church, in Monyash.  From here on we were able to utilise local buses to the start and from the finish of each days walk, leaving our cars at home.

The next section of the Pilgrimage was from Monyash to Bakewell via Over Haddon, initially along the beautiful Lathkill Dale.  St. Anne’s Church at Over Haddon was a revelation infusing both of us with a feeling of real peace and tranquillity, quite extraordinary!  

Leaving Over Haddon we enjoyed the footpath to All Saints Church in Bakewell, as the sun was shining, the birds singing and it was essentially nearly all downhill!

From Bakewell the route took us to our much loved and familiar St. Anne’s Church in Baslow, via St. Peter’s in Edensor and Chatsworth Park.

The next and final section of the Pilgrimage was to St. Lawrence’s Church in Eyam.  Knowing the area extremely well and having walked the Edges on many occasions we chose to take the shortest route to All Saints’ Church at Curbar before continuing to St. Martin’s Church in Stoney Middleton and onward to Eyam and journeys end.

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our Pilgrimage over the six separate days throughout August and September.  The weather was variable, but, as we walk in all weathers throughout the year it didn’t detract from our enjoyment of exercise and the beautiful countryside in which we are fortunate to live.


Angela Swindells & Tony Smurthwaite

November 2015