Hathersage: A Walk Through Jane Eyre Country

Surprise View, credit Karen Frenkel

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is a much-loved and classic Nineteenth Century novel, the roots of which are embedded deeply into the lands of the Peak District.

In 1845, Charlotte travelled by coach to a part of the Peak District that would influence her book tremendously, the village of Hathersage.

We are here to tell you which parts of the book you can still visit today, so you can lose yourself in a Charlotte Brontë’s world to a much greater extent!

First stop on the Jane Eyre walk of Hathersage is:

The George Hotel

After a long and weary stage coach trip up to the Peak District, Charlotte Bronte would have arrived at her final destonation- the George Hotel in Hathersage. This would have then been the local stage coach inn, the landlord of which at the time was Mr Morton. The name ‘Morton’ is one used by Charlotte, as this is the name of the village where Jane Eyre becomes a school teacher. It is interesting to wonder if Bronte had struck up a friendship with this landlord, or merely observed him, and decided to then include him in her next book!

George Hotel, Hathersage

It is possible for you to stay the night in the George Hotel, a perfect place for you to start your early morning walk through Hathersage!

Now, on with walk! Next we head up the main street through the village, turn left onto Baulk Lane, a signposted public footpath, follow this for nearly a mile (1.5km), then you’ll arrive at…
Brook field Manor/Vale Hall
Brookfield Manor is the building that inspired Jane Eyre’s Vale Hall which is the home of Mr Oliver who, in the novel, made his fortune from his needle factory. In this respect Hathersage seems to have been even more influential, because this village is historically famous for it’s needle making too!
To get to the next stop of our literary walk, carry on along the footpath and at the road and turn right onto Birley Lane. After about 200 metres turn left onto the public footpath. Follow this tarmac road up to…

North Lees Hall

This is known to have been the building that Charlotte Bronte based the “picturesque… gentleman’s manor house”, Thornfield on. And, yet again there is another level of influence in this part of the Peak District …  this manor house was built by a one Robert Eyre, in the 1590s!

There is also an eerie local legend that is sworn by locals to be true; which is that the house was once inhabited by a hysterical woman named Agnes Ashurst, who was apparently imprisoned in the house and who died in a fire.

This is all sounding very familiar indeed…

Walking on, continue along the footpath running behind the hall and turn right by an information board into an open field. Go over the stile and head left along the path. At the road, before the public toilets, turn left and then right onto the bridleway. Cross the road and continue through the woodland and stay on the footpath until you get to…

Stanage Edge

It’s impossible to think of Jane Eyre without thinking about brooding moorland, and Stanage Edge is the perfect one to visit for a Bronte inspired walk! This is the place where, in the BBC series of Jane Eyre, she collapses after fleeing Thornfield. Such dramatic scene demands an equally dramatic backdrop after all!

Now, after you’ve filled your lungs with enough fresh moorland air, take the path to your right. Turn left out of the car park and then right onto the Hathersage road. After about 200 metres, take the path on your right. When you leave the moorland, turn right and continue down through a wooden then a metal gate and into the grounds of Moor-seats House. It does look very private but don’t fret, you’re free to explore on the public footpath!

Stanage Edge credit Karen Frenkel

And there we are, you’ve seen the sights that inspired Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre! For a slightly different route to walk around Hathersage to Stanage Edge, click here!

If you wanted to have a weekend away tucked up in the magical Peak District, here are a few nearby places to stay:




Transport Info:

For cars:
The George Hotel is on the junction of the main road (A6187) and the B6001 to Grindleford. There is a pay & display car park.
Public Transport:
Buses from Sheffield and Bakewell stop on the Main Road. Trains from Sheffield to Manchester stop at Hathersage. Turn right out of the station, turn right again to get to the village and the George Inn.
Remember to always take great care when walking, wherever your adventure is taking you!
Photos taken by Karen Frenkle

One thought on “Hathersage: A Walk Through Jane Eyre Country

  1. Reblogged this on Mike Sheridan – Crime Writer and commented:
    Brilliant little blog about Charlotte Bronte and some of her inspirations for writing Jayne Eyre… and they are just down the road in Hathersage Derbyshire! I am fascinated by the lives of writers, how their upbringing, their environment, their experiences helped to shape both them and their writing. Now I can use this handy guide to follow in the footsteps of Charlotte Bronte. What did she see in Hathersage? What was she thinking about? Why did certain buildings fire her imagination? I have already walked in the hills around Haworth and can see similarities between that location and the Dark Peak where I now live. Both have a rugged beauty all of their own. Both have the haunting cries of curlews. But both can also be dangerous and spooky when the mists come down. This blog has inspired me to go look at Hathersage in a very different light…. and maybe even to write about it!

    These are the mumblings of writer Mike Sheridan who is currently writing his third book…….

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