Matlock bath 1


Matlock Bath to High Tor and Riber Walk

This walk is a lovely 3 mile circular walk via High Tor, Riber and Starkholmes.


This walk starts from the Matlock Bath station car park and is a lovely 3.3 mile circular walk via High Tor, Riber and Starkholmes. It would be considered as unsuitable for young children due to steep drops and cliff edges, and it also includes some fairly strenuous uphill sections. Please see the pdf below for full route details.

This walk may be considered to be unsuitable for young children due to steep drops and cliff edges. The walk includes fairly strenuous uphill sections.

Duration - about 3 hours. Distance: 3.3 miles / 5.3 km

Trail directions

Step 1

You start this walk from the Matlock Bath station car park. Make your way towards the railway station and cross the tracks at the station. Take care when crossing the railway lines. Walk along the path beside the railway tracks - signed to the Cable Cars. Make your way past the pay booth at the Cable Car base station and go through the pedestrian gate on the right. Follow the path and turn left up the steps through the entrance to High Tor Grounds into the woods.

Step 2

Bear right, up the stepped zigzag path. At the junction with a waymarked post, follow the uphill path to the left. Keep to the distinct path. Take note of safety notices - keep to the path and supervise children at all times. Just after passing some protective barriers around a deep chasm take the path on your left-hand side. This stepped path leads up to a grassy area with a fence and a radio mast on your right. Continue ahead to the High Tor summit viewpoints. Extreme care must be taken near the cliff edges.

Step 3

Take the steps down to the grotto with a seat in it, bear left down hill. You will get a good view of Riber Castle and a bird’s eye view of Matlock Town from here. You eventually emerge through metal gates at the High Tor entrance. Turn right and continue straight ahead along the lane, coming out onto Church Street. Cross over the road and turn right. Very shortly this becomes Starkholmes Road.

Step 4

On your left, between the Highfields School entrance and Netherclose Farm and Cattery, you will see a footpath. Turn left here. You will see Riber Castle up the hill ahead of you. At the end of the path go through the stone squeeze stile into the field, you will see an obvious footpath in front of you on the right hand side of the field. You now have a stiff climb. Follow the stone flagged path until you reach a stone stile. Continue up hill, bearing left. You will then pass a waymark post, continue ahead to cross a wooden stile, then pass an isolated house.

Step 5

Continue through another stone stile while following the path which runs round the perimeter fencing of the Riber Castle grounds (Riber Castle is closed). Bear left down the lane. On reaching the cluster of houses by the red telephone box continue ahead and then turn right at the junction, by Riber Manor (this dates back to before 1633). Keep on the same road as you pass the next road junction and the entrance to Riber Hall.

Step 6

Continue straight on as you pass Hearthstone Lane on your left. Descend the steep hill until you reach a road signed ‘unsuitable for motors’ on your left. Go down this road (White Tor Road) which emerges on Starkholmes Road. Turn right and go along the road as far as the White Lion pub. Look for the footpath sign on your left just before you reach the pub. There’s attractive old horse trough at this point.

Step 7

Go down this tarmac path and when you reach a fairly open piece of ground, bear left. Keep the fence and the more open fields to your left whilst keeping to the edge of the wood. You rejoin a tarmac path and go through a stile. This path takes you back to the Cable Car base station. Go through a stone stile with a gate next to it, under the railway bridge and then turn left to return to Matlock Bath station car park.

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