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  • Jane Proctor

Take a walk on the wild side from Mount Cook Adventure Centre

Distance: just over 3 miles

Time: 1 hour 30 mins depending upon how much you admire the views!

How fortunate we are at Mount Cook to be located in such a fantastic area of the countryside, sitting on the limestone but looking across at the gritstone at Black Rocks - the ideal location for offering outdoor activities and school residential trips.

Now that the clocks have changed it’s important to remember to make the effort to get outdoors and enjoy the countryside.

Wrap up warm, it can be chilly on Middleton Moor!

A great walk for blowing away the winter cobwebs is walking down the road from Mount Cook to the Stone Centre car park. From here you can access the High Peak Trail, turn right up the trail to Middleton Top.

The High Peak Trail

Did you know that the High Peak Trail was formerly the Cromford and High Peak Railway? An extraordinary piece of engineering connecting the canals at Cromford and Whaley Bridge and incorporating 9 steep inclines. You walk up Middleton incline to reach Middleton Top with its engine house, the only remaining one which was used to haul trains and trucks up the incline.

Continue along the trail (toilets on your left!) and enjoy great views down over the Ecclesbourne Valley to your left. Go through the gate that crosses the trail and take the track to the right. In the autumn this is a great place for blackberrying.

Middleton Moor

Just beyond an old farm on your right, turn right, over a stile and up the track to another stile, go over that and turn right off the track to walk up onto Middleton Moor. This is a stunning section of the walk. Follow the stiles over the moor. You’ll come to a derelict building on your right, walk across and look down the covered shaft. This is an air vent for Middleton Mine which is deep beneath your feet, in the winter it steams as the warm air rises.

You’ll pass a strange ‘keep out’ site on your left, take the stile on your right. This section of Middleton Moor is fantastic in the spring and covered with cowslips which nod their heads in the breeze. Follow the path over the moor – the dip on your left is a slump caused by the mine far below crashing down in the 1980s, apparently this registered on the Richter Scale!

Cowslips on Middleton Moor, looking towards Riber Castle.

Back to the start

Keep walking straight ahead and you’ll arrive back at Middleton Top, turn left and retrace your steps back to Mount Cook. If you are feeling a bit peckish or thirsty you can follow the ‘Rising Sun’ sign for a slight detour on the way back!

Want to know more about Mount Cook Adventure Centre, our work with schools and groups and our mission to provide access to the outdoors for all? Get in touch at or give us a call on 01629 823702.


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