What we found confused me...it's called a public bridleway. There was a gate blocking our entrance to the trail, but it was public right? So off we went up a hill and under a railroad track. Six gates later, after enduring mounting anxiety that we were trespassing, we found what looked like a gate to a driveway where carnival people live. While guns are illegal in England, we did not want to try our luck, so we turned around, back down the hill, cursing our lack of research, promising we would indeed PLAN our next adventure.
When the disappointment truly set in, we came across a woman walking her two dogs. We asked if the trail we gave up on indeed continued. She said that it did, through the sketchy gate, eventually winding its way back into Buxton. The "trail" (if you can call it that) meandered through many farm fields containing sheep, cows, farmers, and one apparently containing a bull (so the sign said at our exit). At every fence or stone wall, there were ladders or stone steps indicating we were still going the right way. Something in me was a little leery about walking on private farmer land, but Richard assured me this was normal and completely legitimate. These are not the kind of hikes I grew up on in Colorado, but I tend to trust anyone in a British accent so we kept on hiking. Turns out he was right, the moment I started believing we were completely lost, we would see another sign pointing a vague direction, which we followed. If there's anything I trust more than a British accent, it's definitely signage.