Walking the Jane Eyre Hathersage Trail

Jane Eyre Trail

Over the weekend, I went to visit one of my close friends. We used to go to school together and remained close friends through our university years.

Now she lives in Sheffield, and I in Bedfordshire, so we don’t get to see each other as much as we used to. However, this weekend was her birthday, so I drove up with some of our other friends to spend the weekend celebrating together.

On the Friday evening, we decided we would walk the Jane Eyre Hathersage Trail the next morning. Located in the Peak District, it’s a 8km walk up to Stanage Edge and back across the moors. Not too challenging, but offering beautiful views and the locations visited by Charlotte Bronte that appear in Jane Eyre.

The trail also includes the location of the famous scene in Pride & Prejudice (2005) where Keira Knightly stands and looks wistfully over the Yorkshire moors.

When we woke up on Saturday morning (slightly hungover from the pub the night before, but still eager to experience the Peak’s natural beauty) it was not the clear and sunny skies the weather forecast had predicted.

It was raining.

Most hungover groups in this situation would call it a day and find something else to do – but not us! We put on our rain coats and headed out regardless, with hopes that the rain would ease off by the time we got there.

It didn’t, but we started out on the trail nevertheless! The main highlights included:

The George Inn

Charlotte Bronte arrived at Hathersage in 1845, arriving by coach. The George Inn was the village coaching inn at the time, offering both rest and refreshments to travellers and their horses.

Bronte used pub landlord Morton’s name as the name of the village Jane Eyre teaches.

North Lees HallNorth Lees Hall

North Lees Hall the real-life location behind Thornfield in Jane Eyre (the home of Edward Rochester).

North Lees Hall was built by Robert Eyre in the early 1590s.

Keira’s Rock

Keira's Rock

In the 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, Keira Knightley stands on Stanage Edge as Elizabeth Bennet, enjoying freedom.

We opted for more of a ’90s girl-band’ pose (see above^).

Hathersage Churchyard

Little John's Grave

Most famous for the grave of Little John, Robin Hood’s right-hand man. Local legend claims Little John’s bow, hat and mail shirt once hung inside the church.

The churchyard is also the final resting place for many of the Eyre family members.

All in all, despite temporarily getting stuck in a bog, it was a lovely walk with good friends and beautiful scenery.

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