Real Ale Trail


New Mills Rail Ale Trail

A walk from New Mills Central Station to New Mills New town Station, via the town's public houses, sampling fine beers and food along the way.


Where New Mills once boasted 36 pubs, these days the number is much reduced, even though the quality of the beer is quite possibly the best it has ever been.

New Mills enjoys an excellent variety of pubs, from micro to large, managed to Free House, and with many providing the highest quality of food alongside great drinks and the friendliest atmospheres.

The total route is just under size miles, We caution against drinking heavily - railways mixed with alcohol is a dangerous brew, so please drink responsibly.

Respect, Protect, Enjoy Whether you're a regular or brand new visitor, we want to make your trip to the Peak District & Derbyshire as safe, easy, and enjoyable as possible. Ensure your visit is a responsible one by following the Countryside Code and stay #PeakDistrictProud by keeping dogs on a short lead, parking only in designated areas, sticking to public rights of way where you can, saying no to BBQs and open fires, and taking your litter home with you.

Walk courtesy of Visit New Mills.

Trail directions

Step 1

THE PRIDE OF THE PEAKS (59 Market Street)

A fitting place to start as it was built as ‘The Railway Hotel’ in 1865 by the London & Midland Railway. The ‘Peaks’ is open all week from 9am or 10am to 11pm for coffee, food (including hearty breakfasts) and alcoholic beverages. Usually 2–3 cask ales which might include a Black Sheep or a Jennings often alongside something more unusual.

Step 2

THE BEER SHED (47b Market Street)

New Mills’ first micropub (and bottle-shop) and already an institution. Four handpumps and six keg lines offer an ever-changing and varied selection of light and dark beers, usually including at least one from local breweries Rock Mill or Torrside. Open 4pm to 10.30pm Weds and Thurs; from 2pm Fri, Sat and Sun. No food.

Step 3

THE ROYAL OAK (25 Market Street)

One of the surviving Robinsons’ houses in New Mills, it has been recently refurbished, is bright and airy with plenty of room, and is generally open all week from midday to 11pm. Two or three of the core Robinson’s range (Unicorn, Dizzy Blonde, etc.) might be accompanied by a guest ale from elsewhere. A couple of keg ales might include one from Manchester’s Seven Bro7hers. No food.

Carry on to the foot of the hill at Spring Bank and then bear slightly right down High Street, one of the original roads in the town before the expansion of the 1830s. Note the carvings by the door of the former Dog & Partridge at No 24 before dropping down the hill.

Step 4

THE MASONS ARMS (57 High Street)

When Robinsons closed the Masons’ – the last of the many pubs that used to line the High Street – there was sufficient strength of feeling amongst the locals that it was re-opened as a free house by the team behind the Printers Arms (see below). You’ll still find Robinson’s Unicorn, something from Storm Brewing and a couple of guests on the pumps. The pub is open all week from midday to 11pm. No food.

It’s a fair old hike up (in every sense) to the next pub, which has amazing views over the top of New Mills and across to Kinder. From the bottom of High Street continue up Dyehouse Lane to the former White Hart, then across to Mellor Road. About a mile up the hill.

Step 5


As the name suggests, this pub has been here for a very long time, and while it is well-known for its recently expanded accommodation, and its good pub food, the ever-changing three handpumps often offer something you’ll rarely see anywhere else. A couple of outside tables by the front door offer the best views but there’s a large beer garden out the back which is a real sun trap. The pub is open all week from midday to 11pm.

Back down to a crossroads, bear left down Watford Road and left at the end; then about half a mile along, in Thornsett

Step 6


This former Robinsons’ house has been a free house since around 2010 and the three handpumps will often include a Joseph Holt or a Storm beer. Opens from 4.30pm Mon to Fri, but from midday at weekends. No food (unless either of the Manchester footie teams are on the big screen!). Carry on along the road through Thornsett for just under a mile.

Step 7

THE SYCAMORE (Sycamore Road)

With lovely views across the River Sett, this inn is increasingly renowned for its accommodation and good food, but its three handpumps offer succour to the thirsty walker too; often one from Bradfield Brewery. Open from 5pm Mon to Fri, from midday Sat to Sun, plus lunchtimes (midday to 2pm) Weds to Fri.

Continue along Sycamore Road as it descends to cross the River Sett at Spinnerbottom. Just beyond the Sett Valley Café, turn right onto the Sett Valley Trail. Follow the trail for ¾ mile until you reach High Hills Road. Turn left and follow the road to a mini-roundabout, where you bear left. At the main road, turn right for a further 300 yards.

Step 8

THE HARE & HOUNDS (Low Leighton Road)

Large Robinsons’ house built originally by the local lord of the manor to house his game-shooting guests, also serving as the local magistrates’ court. This refurbished Robinsons’ house serves two or three cask ales from the brewery’s core and seasonal ranges. Open from 5.30pm Mon to Fri and 3pm at weekends. No food.

Continue into New Mills, passing St George’s Church and then, just past the Co-op, join the path on the left into the Torrs gorge below the town. Turn right at the river and cross the wooden bridge above ‘Archie’, the Torrs Hydro, and keep going, with the river on your left, under Union Bridge to the Millennium Walkway. Immediately after the Walkway, cross the bridge on your left and walk up some steps.

Step 9

TORR VALE TAPP (Torr Vale Road)

This brand new Boutique Bar is located in the iconic Torr Vale Mill nestled in the Torrs in the middle of New Mills. The pub stocks several key-keg beers, many from nearby Torrside Brewing in addition to a keg lager from Thornbridge totalling six fonts. Open from 10am Wed to Sun.

Continue up the hill to Torrvale Road, then turn left and left again.

Step 10

THE ROCK TAVERN (Wirksmoor Road)

Another refurbed Robinsons’ house with a good local feel, and as close to the Torrs as you’re likely to need. Two handpumps with Robinsons’ beers are always available. Open from 2pm Mon to Weds, and from midday the rest of the week.

Walk up Wirksmoor Road to the main road and turn right over the canal bridge (Torrside Brewing is across to your left) to reach New Mills Newtown station.

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