DOWNLOAD: The Walking Guide for the King John's Ruin: Peak District (PDF 1.12MB)

The download includes full day by day walking instructions with accompanying history guide

Introduction

We're on the trail of 'Bad King John'. A brutal medieval tyrant, sworn enemy of Robin Hood, and the man forced to accept the Magna Carta or lose his kingdom. Over four days we're trekking across Nottinghamshire and into the Peak District – Britain's first national park - to discover how and why John's reign ended with the world famous Magna Carta. Crossing through Robin Hood country on route to the Peaks, we unravel John's reign. Was he really the storybook villain that we're led to believe, or is that merely the stuff of myth and legend?

A word of warning

The first half of this walk includes a number of roads and small lanes - for both walking along and crossing - so be careful. Day 4 is a lengthy walk as it is and, for televisual reasons, finishes at the top of Jacob's Ladder. Be aware that we still have a lengthy walk back down Edale Valley where we came from or onwards across Kinder Scout (for which you should allow an extra day).

Day 1

Starting at the village of Laxton we discover how John exploited the vast royal forests of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire through his control centre at Laxton Castle. Pushing west, we'll learn how his quest for cash made him powerful enemies as we reach Rufford Abbey.
  • Laxton to Ollerton, via Rufford Abbey

Distance: 10 miles


Day 2

Bolsover Castle
We enter the modern remnants of Sherwood and join the trail of Robin Hood. Then it's on to Derbyshire and up to Bolsover Castle before hopping over the M1 to reach our bed for the night.

Our route takes us right through the forest to John's pleasure palace at King's Clipstone. Then, it's over the border to Derbyshire and a linchpin castle at Bolsover.

Finally, we hop over Chesterfield, to end our day at the edge of the Chatsworth estate.

  • Ollerton to Robin Hood Inn, via Sherwood Forest and Bolsover Castle

Distance: 19 miles (plus a 30-minute drive to the Robin Hood Inn)


Day 3

Across moors and a stunning back entrance to Chatsworth House, we unearth some revealing evidence of John's approach to kingship. Then the march to civil war leads us to Monsal Head via Bakewell.
  • Robin Hood Inn to Monsal Head, via Chatsworth House and Bakewell

Distance: 15 miles


Day 4

As John's kingdom unravels, we're trekking north through the Limestone Way to John’s fortress at the centre of the Peaks. Here we'll uncover the momentous turning point in our history that was the Magna Carta. Our final push drives us on towards Kinder Scout and a modern event that invoked the spirit of Magna Carta and provided us with the first National Park in England.
  • Monsal Head to Jacob's Ladder, via Peveril Castle and Edale Valley

Distance: 20 miles


Please use OS Explorer Maps 271, 270, 269, OL24 and OL1 (1:25k) or OS Landranger Maps 121, 120, 119, and 110 (1:50k). All distances approx.

DOWNLOAD: The Walking Guide for the King John's Ruin: Peak District (PDF 1.12MB)

The download includes full day by day walking instructions with accompanying history guide