Would you like to enjoy walking in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside, with good company along the way? Then the Matlock Area U3A Walking Groups could be ideal for you. We welcome new members and you don't have to be a seasoned walker to join us, as we now have a second group offering shorter, easier walks.

The main group usually have one walk each week, which is led by a member of the group.

In recent months, we have had successful walks of varying lengths in different terrains in a wide area around Matlock. We try, where practicable, to plan walks around public transport. We also share cars to get to the start points, when we do, we ask that members make a nominal £1 contribution toward costs.

If you would like to join the group, please email one of the coordinator Pam Johns by clicking on her name or by telephone on 01629 825131.

Any member who would like to lead a walk, but may appreciate help to do a "recce" should also get in touch with them.

'Short Walks' group

By popular demand we now have a separate programme of walks that go at a more leisurely pace. These are from two to four miles and often end with refreshments. Initially, we will have one or two walks a month depending on the number of volunteer leaders with details being regularly emailed to group members. For queries regarding these walks then please contact the relevant leader.

So far we have discovered walking along the Derwent to Matlock Bath, the delights of Lumsdale, and the beauty of Bonsall.

If you would like to join the Short Walks group please email Hilary Essen by clicking on the name or telephone her on 01629 583379. Again any U3A member who would like to lead a walk, should also get in touch with her.

Annual Walking holiday


Each year, members of the group take a short walking holiday, spending a few days walking, exporing, eating and generally enjoying themselves!

In 2016, 22 members of the walking group explored the coastline and hills of Northumbria on their choice either a long or shorter walk each day - usually ending with the obligatory coffee shop or pub.

Wonderful weather, spectacular scenery, good company and a wide variety of walks all contributed to a most enjoyable week’s holiday.

We made the most of being by the coast with lovely walks along almost deserted long stretches of sandy beaches and sand dunes.

Walks varied from 5 – 9 miles which included a grand finale on the last day, led by Peter onto the summit of the highest peak in the Cheviots. A rather boggy walk rewarded us with spectacular 360 degree views across Northumbria.

Some of us enjoyed a visit to the National Trust property, Cragside with other visits to Alnwick Castle and gardens, Bamburgh Castle and the island of Lindisfarne.

Many thanks to Jo for all her hard work in organising this trip which John very aptly summed up as “we’ve had a smashing week”.


Members enjoying their Northumberland holiday


2019 programme

The programme of recent and forthcoming walks for the main group is shown below. The programme is regularly updated, so please re-visit this page for the most recent information. Whilst most walks are between four and six miles, we may also arrange some longer walks of between seven and nine miles.

Please note that if the weather, just before the start of a walk, looks too challenging, prospective walkers should contact the leader to determine whether the walk has been cancelled. Emails are also sent to Group Members before each walk with final walk information.


Members on Curbar Edge - Image courtesy of Peter Keeble

Please click here to check the Met Office five-day weather forecast for Matlock.



Meeting Place and Location of Walk

Friday, 4th January

4 miles

Birchin Edge to include Wellington and Nelson monuments - easy walking.

Walk Leaders: Mike and Ros Fleming

Thursday, 10th January

7 miles

Longshaw Lodge across the Hathersage Moors up to Carl Wark Iron Age Fort, Higger Tor, Upper Burbage Bridge and Stanage. Will be reduced to 5 miles if poor weather.

Walk Leader: Andrew Noone

Thursday, 17th January

5 miles

Hartington along beautiful valley towards Pilsley and back along top of ridge.

Walk Leader: Netta Griffin

Wednesday, 23th January

5 miles

Youlgreave, Over Haddon and Bradford Dale - approx. 3 hours.

Walk Leaders: Peter and Karen Hale

Friday, 1st February

6 miles

From Hartington taking in Beresford Dale, Wolfsecote Dale and Biggin Dale. 

Walk Leaders: Andrew and Gale Spolton

W/c 3rd February


Walk Leader: Martin Cruttenden

Friday, 15th February

5.5 miles

A winter walk around some 'Sights of Meaning' - stone markers around Middleton-by-Youlgrave erected for the millenium.

Walk Leader: Anna Williams

W/c 17th February


Walk Leaders: Nigel and Pam Johns

Thursday, 28th February

5.5 miles

Hassop station, along the Monsal Trail, through Little and Great Longstone, towards Longstone Edge and back down through Rowland.

Walk Leaders: Will and Lynne Martin

W/c 3rd March


Walk Leader: Penny Brown

W/c 10th March


Walk Leader: Peter Keeble

W/c 17th March


Walk Leader: Colin Hawthorn

W/c 24th March


Walk Leader: Jo Beresford

W/c 31st March


Walk Leader: David Haspel

Please contact the Leader for the walk or the coordinator Pam Johns (01629 825131) if you have any queries.

Whilst walking with the Matlock U3A Walking Group, each person is advised to take the necessary precautions to ensure their health and safety.

The walk leaders are responsible for choosing the walk route, may have reconnoitred the walk beforehand and should draw each member's attention to the risks/hazards of the walk. It is advisable to arrive at the starting point at least 10 minutes before the advertised start of the walk. All members should be notified of the appointment of a back marker, who should be aware of each member undergoing the walk and be responsible for closing gates.

During the walk, each member should ensure that they stay within sight or sound contact with the group. If there is a need for a comfort stop, the Back Marker should be informed so that the person is not left behind or in danger of taking the wrong route. However, it is the leader's responsibility to ensure that contact is not lost with the rear of the party. This may be done through the use of Two-way Radios which the group now possesses, as well as whistles which should be held by both Walk Leader and Back Marker. If much road walking is to be undertaken, it may be necessary for the Leader and Back Marker to wear luminous jackets and the rest of the group armbands so that they can be easily seen by traffic.

Each person should take the following equipment during walks: appropriate footwear and clothing (e.g. waterproofs, sunhat etc.), bottle of water, a mobile phone (if you have one), any personal prescribed drugs which may be needed (such as inhaler, antihistamine drugs, glucose if diabetic etc.) and a small first aid kit (i.e. some wound dressings in case of falls and cuts, bite and sting relief cream, sun cream etc.). If there are any serious health problems that may affect one's fitness during walks (e.g. Diabetes, Asthma, Angina, Allergic reaction etc.) you may wish to inform the coordinator. This information would of course be confidential.

Check List of Equipment held by the Walking Group Coordinator, which all walk leaders should have with them whenever possible:

Two-way Radios


Luminous Armbands

First Aid Kit

Finally, all walking group members are encouraged to carry in their rucksacks a completed 'in case of an emergency' form giving: Full name, address and phone number; Who to contact in an emergency; Doctor's name, address and phone number; Medical details that might be useful in an emergency; Their car registration, make and colour.

And remember to follow The Country Code:

Keep to paths across farm land

Fasten all gates

Guard against all risks of fire

Leave no litter

Keep all dogs under proper control

Safeguard water supplies

Protect wildlife, plants and trees

Avoid damaging fences, hedges and walls

Go carefully on country roads

Respect the life of the countryside

Last updated on 14 January, 2019
© Matlock Area U3A, 2019 - Registered Charity Number 1161704