Hiking the Limestone Way
Updated: Jan 19
This week was a very exciting week in lockdown, as we (me and the fam), hiked the Limestone Way through the gorgeous Peak District.
The Limestone Way is a 73km long-distance footpath that starts in the honeypot town of Castleton, a town which sits between the Dark and White Peak areas of the Peak District. To delve into a little bit of Peak District local knowledge, in a nutshell, the Peak District is generally split in two parts – Dark Peak and White Peak. Dark Peak is the higher, wilder and generally (although not exclusively) more northern part, and named because of the local geology being predominantly the dark rock of Millstone Grit. Contrastingly, the lower altitude White Peak forms the central and southern part of the Peak District, famous for its lighter limestone geology.
Now you’re up to scratch on your Peak District trivia, let’s get back to the main event – the Limestone Way. After starting in Castleton, it meanders through the dales, hills and valleys of White Peak and finishes in the village of Rocester in North Staffordshire. Growing up near the Peak District, I’ve spent a lot of time here over the years and I love it. I'd walked on parts of the Limestone Way before, but never done the whole thing, so was excited to explore parts of the Peaks that I’ve never been to before. It was doubly exciting because this was the first time I’d been into the Peak District since lockdown began.
In more normal times, when doing a long-distance/multi-day/whatever-you-want-to-call-it hike, we would camp or find some places to stay along the route. Obviously, virus-times meant we couldn’t stay anywhere overnight, and so we left a car at the start and end point of each day, and then picked up the car we left at the start when we'd finished our day of walking. The logistics of this took a surprising amount of brain power to think through, but then again, I had been furloughed for two months at this point and so my brain was probably a bit mushy by then.
We did it over the course of 4 days, which gave a good balance of feeling like you've had a fairly hefty hike, but was also easily manageable and allowed us to go at a leisurely pace. I've written about each day below, and would recommend this itinerary if you fancy doing it over 4 days as well :)