Review of ‘Ghost Walks in Derbyshire and The Peak District’, by Barbara Wadd

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on (date of publication unknown), and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

by Barbara Wadd
Published by Breedon Books
ISBN 185983-257-1 (2005)

Supernatural events provide the theme for this new book of walks by Barbara Wadd, though many of the options should be bracing enough to keep the shivers at bay. Barbara has covered more than 400 miles of walking in all weathers to compile these 30 circular routes of between 2 and 10 miles. Several offer a choice of long or short versions and all have the benefit of a numbered sketch map.

The routes take advantage of the best scenery that this part of the country has to offer: hills, valleys and gritstone edges as well as open grassy expanses and woodland. To help with decision making, additional information covers parking places, WC and pub stops, annual events and snippets of the area’s history, from packhorse travel to bygone industries to murders galore.

It could be the chance of a ghostly encounter which will tempt readers to try these routes. The author has dipped into a rich seam of folklore, so be prepared for spectral hounds, headless horsemen, invisible cyclists and worse.

One of the ghost stories is well known to me and I could follow its associated walking route with my eyes shut. So it is bad luck perhaps that I found a bit of a muddle in the instructions for this particular walk. On the plus side, there is advice throughout the book on where to look for difficult-to-find stiles, also the simple but invaluable process of counting fields between numbered stages.

Review by Julie Bunting

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