"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a walker in possession of a map must be in want of a pub."
- Not Jane Austen

There’s pub walks in the Peak District, and then there’s the most beautiful pub walk in the Peak District; enter, the six-mile-long Chatsworth Estate Circuit, near Bakewell in the Derbyshire Dales. Bringing the best of both worlds (a tipple or two, delicious "heart of England" grub, and views over a 35,000-acre historic estate), this long-as-you-like family and dog-friendly Peak District pub walk must be one of the UK's finest day trips.

You’ll start and finish this walk at the Devonshire Arms in Beeley, a wholly traditional English village inn that sees your pie and peas and raises you a AA Rosette, five-star rating, and recognition in the Michelin Guide. (We told you, this is no ordinary Peak District pub walk.) It would be a pity to kick-off the route with rumbling bellies, so find a sun-spot in its little walled forecourt full of picnic tables and take a liquid lunch al fresco.

GP2572 - On the left, a grand stately home surrounded by green grounds; on the right, a green forested area

With triple cooked chips and a sprinkling of Champagne sunk, it’ll be off to find Chatsworth House. Since the Devonshire Arms itself is part of the Chatsworth Estate, you’ll find no shortage of locals willing to point you in the right direction, but you’ll want to start by following the brown sign labelled “Chatsworth” for a couple of minutes along a narrow roadside footpath until you reach a wooden gate with a Public Footpath fingerpost.

GP2574 - On the left, landscaped grounds with topiaries and wildflowers; on the right, a lamb in a field

Once in the land of circular mazes, sculpture trails, grottos, and water fountains, there’s more enchanting spots than would be possible to discover in a whole year. Let the children get lost in the labyrinth, lay up for a midday picnic on the lawn, or step inside the house for an eyeful of checkerboard floors, gold gilt frames, painted halls, and masterpieces by the likes of Rembrandt. Even the most well-behaved dogs are not permitted inside the house, unless they are assistance dogs; so take it in turns to tour the interior, and reward them with a titbit back at the pub.

GP2573 - On the left, a pink rose among green foliage; on the right, an archway looks out over green grounds

Since this Peak District walk is all about building up an appetite large enough to earn all three courses back at the Devonshire Arms, you'll want to take in as much of the 35,000-acre Derbyshire estate as you can. Things looking strangely familiar? That might be because the Chatsworth Estate was the filming location for Darcy’s residence, Pemberley, in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice; with romantic spots aplenty, lovers on a 'just the two of us' trip to the Peak District could inspire even the most rebellious of Austen’s protagonists.

GP2575 - On the left; a glass of red wine on a table; on the right, a haute-cuisine dessert plate

When you’ve taken your last triumphant turn beneath the stable block archway and smelt the last of the garden’s roses, let your noses lead you back to the Devonshire Arms. Think coffee and treacle-glazed salsify (a root vegetable belonging to the dandelion family) for starter, wild mushroom tagliatelle for mains, and a local Bakewell tart with cherry gelato for pud. Wash it all down with a soft and silky pinot noir from the Awatere Valley, and you’ll have a swilling finale to the most beautiful pub walk in the Peak District.


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