The new Norman: day walks in the Peak District

Our current tranche of politicians often refer to the time when the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic is over as returning to a “New Normal”. Aside from the fact that you can’t, by definition return to something that is new, I would also make another suggestion, don’t go for Normal. Go instead for what I call Normans.

At the time of writing, booking overnight accommodation anywhere in the UK is still a problem. So if you can reach the Peak District for a day visit, may I suggest trying either the original or the new edition of what I call the “Normans”.

Outside Blog Day Walks in the Peak District Guidebooks Day Walks in the Peak District Guidebooks

The hugely popular “Day Walks in the Peak District - 20 Classic Circular Walks” and the follow up “20 New Circular Routes” were originally walked and designed by Norman Taylor and his late friend Barry Pope, and published by Vertebrate Publishing of Sheffield. They are beautifully crafted routes of between 9-12 miles and include examples from all the vast breadth of terrain and history in the Peak District including High Moors, Hills, Tors and Edges and Limestone Country.

The Classic Walks were first published in 2005 and followed up in 2009 with the New Circular Routes. Each walk includes a variety of country, identifies where to park and where refreshments are available, and contains an OS map with the route clearly shown alongside the easy to follow description. An OS map and compass are still essential for context and safety in my view; as is good footwear, waterproofs and the other usual walking equipment.

Outside Blog Day Walks in the Peak District - Thor's Cave Thor's Cave, Peak District
Outside Blog Day Walks in the Peak District - Dovedale Dovedale, Peak District

If you are the sort of person who sees the attraction of completing Munros, Corbetts, Welsh 3000ers, Bob Graham or Wainwrights – not just as a tick list exercise, but as an opportunity to visit and explore new places – you might enjoy these gentler day walks that I call “The Normans”.

Outside Blog Day Walks in the Peak District - Chrome Hill Chrome Hill, Peak District
Outside Blog Day Walks in the Peak District - Kinder Low Kinder Low, Peak District

I have lived on the edge of the Peak District for nearly 40 years and every one of these day walks has included at least some country that I had not previously walked. They have done wonders for me physically, psychologically and spiritually during first slight lifting phase of the coronavirus lockdown.

Really, it's impossible to rank the walks in terms of my favourites. I’ve spent several otherwise idle hours trying to without success. All have something special to offer. What I can say though is rather than working down the list in each book in sequence, mix them up a bit, do one from each type of terrain and enjoy getting back to a bit of “Normanity”.

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