Winster has excellent walking in every direction. Armed with an OS Map (available from Winster Village Shop), you can build anything from a 45-minute circuit to a full day's walking.
If you are looking for books, there are many available, including one by village resident Geoff Lester (available from Winster Village Shop) and a range by John Merrill, who lived in the village for many years - for mail-order (post-free) try bestwalks.com
The Walking in Derbyshire website also offers a good range of walks, with instructions that you can print off. There are also some ready-made walks (and a good tool for charting your own on the hikideas website)
The Bus Service is very useful for walkers, offering the chance to walk from Winster and come back by bus (or vice versa) - Wensley, Elton, Birchover and Stanton-in-the-Peak are served throughout the day, and there is one bus per day from Middleton-by-Youlgrave and four from Youlgrave (see below). Sadly the late-afternoon bus from Hartington to Youlgrave ceased in March 2014.
There is no service to Winster on Sundays or Bank Holidays^.
If you are thinking of driving to Winster for a walk, here is a map showing where you can most readily park. Summer Sundays can get very busy (and watch out for road closures during Winster Carnival and extra traffic for our Secret Gardens weekend).
Particularly recommended walks
Winster-Youlgrave (sometime spelled Youlgreave) via Limestone Way - in Winster, take the path through the top of the church yard, cross the "New Road" (B5056), and turn right when you meet the Limestone Way. Follow this via Dudwood Lane, Robin Hood's Stride and Harthill Moor Farm. About 90 minutes each way.
There are three pubs in Youlgrave. YHA Youlgrave often opens during the day on winter Sundays, offering soup, cake, tea and coffee.
As an extension, follow the river for about a mile-and-a-half up the valley from Youlgreave to Middleton-by-Youlgreave; a splendid walk with a waterscape that alternates between running stream and still ponds - and plenty of shade on a hot day.
There are buses on route 171 every couple of hours back from Middleton (not Sun or BH^) to Youlgreave and Bakewell, and one bus on route 172 at around 5.30pm through to Matlock via Winster (not Sun or BH^).
Grattondale (beyond Elton on the road to Middleton-by-Youlgreave - very limited parking) and Longdale, returning by Middleton-Elton road (which is very quiet). The cafe in Elton is now closed - a real shame.
Winster - Stanton-in-the-Peak via Birchover and Stanton Moor. Time it right and you can use the bus one way and walk the other. The pub in Stanton (The Flying Childers) offers a short menu of interesting and good-value food at weekends (1200 to 1400)
There is a variant of this walk (with some excellent photos) on the SnapThePeaks website.
Winster-Wensley via Clough Wood (path leaves Winster-Wensley road about 100m beyond Winster School).
YHA has several hostels in the area, and the good path network means that you can readily build linear or circular routes that involve overnight stops at their hostels. YHA Hartington would make a good stop for a one-night excursion; for a longer trip, you could carry on down wonderful Dovedale to reach YHA Ilam.
If you want to walk down most of Dovedale as a one-day walk, park at Thorp and catch bus 442 to Hartington (about every two hours, taking about 25 mins). There is an easy path from Hartington (it starts beside the public toilets) along the length of Dovedale: head off uphill at the stepping-stones to get back to Thorp.
^ Note that Good Friday is properly classified as a Public Holiday not a Bank Holiday, and that some Derbyshire bus services (including 171 and 172) have always offered a normal Friday service on that day. But best to check!
Excellent traffic-free cycling available (with hire facilities where marked with *) on trails (mostly old railway lines):