We decided this weekend to go on the hunt for the Druids Caves in Derbyshire (or Rowtor Rocks as its more locally known). My friend Anna and her two girls, Molly and Jessie came along too – fab for Isla as Molly is her bestie 🙂
Rowtor Rocks are in the village of Birchover. Rather than head straight into Birchover, we decided to park in Elton village, to give us a good 3 mile walk. The weather was fantastic for walking, bright sunshine all day.
I had intended to plot our walk and share directions on this site, but the walk ended up more ‘eventful’ (for want of a better word) than we had anticipated. We still had a fab time though and the kids really enjoyed being out in the countryside!
We parked on a small side street in Elton, just beside the Church (Sat Nav postcode DE4 2DA). and followed a small path to the right of the churchyard. This path led us to a small track type road and we cut between two houses (passing a very tired moss covered car) to follow the path over the fields to Birchover!
Bobby had fallen to sleep in the car and had woken in a rotten “hold me Mummy, hold me Daddy” mood. Not the best when setting off on a 3 mile walk but never mind that we thought, he’ll snap out of it soon Unfortunately this didn’t happen and he was carried for at least 95% of the time that we were out!
The tracks heading over to Birchover were fairly clear so we had little need to use our maps. The views across the fields were absolutely beautiful, lots of sheep wandering around and a few other walkers too (reassuring considering we weren’t 100% sure were we’re heading in the right direction).
There were a few dramas along the way, especially when we decided not to follow a local mans advice and headed across a path that he told us “there’d be no point attempting at this time of year, especially with the kids”. Cue mud filled wellies, black socks, cries of “Mummy HELP I’m sinking” from Anna’s daughter Molly and full on helpless belly laughs from us Mum’s (whilst helping to save the kids of course)!!
Eventually we arrived at the village of Birchover which is a charming little place. We decided to eat at the Druid Inn before heading through their garden up to Rowtor Rocks.
The Druid Inn
The staff in the Druid Inn were lovely and we had no problem at all finding a table at 2pm in the afternoon.
The lunch time menu was reasonably priced, at around £8 for a sandwich with chips & side salad. There was also a main menu and the option of a Sunday roast. I chose the pan burger from the main menu which was absolutely delicious and well worth £12. The kids chose burgers from the kids menu priced at £6.50 which included an ice cream for dessert. The kids meals were huge!
Rowtor Rocks (Druids Caves)
With very full bellies we then headed off up to the Druids Rocks. The access to Rowtor Rocks is by the side of the Druid inn (to the left if you are stood looking up at the Inn). The area is fantastic. There’s caves to explore, and different passageways. Its almost as though someone has dropped a jumble of rocks on top of the hill. Various mysterious carvings have been made into the rocks, including staircases, troughs and even an armchair or ‘throne’ as the kids preferred to call it! We were happy to find that we were the only people there and the kids had a great time exploring the caves!
Its important to mention that the rocks are surrounded by VERY sheer drops and the kids were not let out of our sight. In all honesty it wasn’t the greatest place for Bobby, although he still had a fab time. I’m not the best with heights and avoided peering over at the ridiculous drops!
The sun was starting to go down so we didn’t have that much time to explore the area. I’d like to return again soon to have a better look around as it really is a mysterious little place.
We decided to walk back via the lanes as opposed to going back over the fields. This route was a bit longer but much easier and a lot less sludgy! I’d say by the time we got back to the car we’d covered about 3.5 miles. It does feel a bit longer because of the hills but still very manageable, even when carrying a whiny two year old.
All in all a fab little walk with enough mystery and intrigue to keep the kids entertained. We’re looking forward to returning!
A few more photos from our fab walk: