Stanage Edge on a sunny Bank Holiday Sunday

This walk has been long overdue, too long overdue.

Unfortunately, due to work and family commitments, things diverted me away from this fabulous pastime, getting out in the hills, moors and open countryside.

The weather forecast was for a fabulously sunny Bank Holiday weekend and I had a burning need to make the best of it, out and about. However, all too often so does everyone else, and who can blame them.

I had three walks in mind, Froggatt Edge, Axe Edge Moor and Stanage Edge, all three I’ve got on my hit list to undertake.

However, Stanage Edge had the strongest pull, but, it is a very popular area, not just for walking, but also for climbing.

Stanage Edge, just like The Roaches, has some spectacular Gritstone rock faces of varying difficulty for climbers to tackle, young and old alike.

Stanage Edge, on my arrival


The Roaches is also on my hit list, for there, I did my first rock climb and also my first abseil. Those were two fabulous activities that were an experience I’m pleased I had a go at, before an old injury from a motor bike accident when I was seventeen, started to reveal its ugly head a couple of years ago.

So, my dilemma, I wasn’t too worried about the crowds, just looking for a pleasant stroll in some pleasant weather to cover old ground and this time, take plenty of pictures and write about it.

But would parking be an issue?

It could be, due to Stanage Edge being a very popular place, however, I managed to find a nice spot for a start and finish point of my circular route.

The route was to take the road that runs parallel to Stanage Edge, south eastwards to Upper Burbage Bridge, then walk in a north westerly direction along Stanage Edge to Bamford Moor to return to the road back to the car.

But unbeknown to me, the end stages of my walk would have a bit of a twist that means I have to change course. You will have to wait until until that point in the story to find out what happened.

Also, I have a new toy to play with, the GoPro Hero 2, a nice little camcorder complete with weather proof cases, depending on how and where you want to attach the camcorder.

Before you start looking, due to the file size of the short video bursts I took, I haven’t uploaded any video from the GoPro to YouTube, (though I'm working on a YouTube account), or even to my Peak Rambler Flickr account.

After a pleasant journey from my home in the West Midlands, I drove up through Bamford and headed out south eastwards towards Dennis Knoll, near to where I would park the car.

It was hot, so after packing both my 32 litre and 45 litre packs, it was a quick transfer of required items of kit from the 45 to the 32 litre pack, get my boots on and head off along the road.

It was a very pleasant stroll along the road, with it being so warm already; I didn’t really want it to be too taxing, just enough to enjoy the walk. Walking down the road I pass another car park a Pay and Display one, SK 236 839, with a mobile food and drink kiosk, which must be a warm welcome for many, then a few cars, vans and mini buses, all with people out to walk or climb the gritstone rock faces.

"Pay and Display one, SK 236 839, with a mobile food and drink kiosk,
which must be a warm welcome for many
"


In true tradition, we pass a quick friendly hello and bid each other a good, safe and enjoyable day.

Even the cyclists were exchanging a friendly hello as they sped past me. I have to confess, I didn’t envy them riding up some of those gradients in the heat of the day.

I arrive at a road junction SK 240 535, where I turn left to continue walking parallel to Stanage Edge, with a slightly steeper climb towards Overstones Farm, where passing an almost full parking area, I arrive at yet another road junction SK 245 828.

"road junction SK 240 535, where I turn left"
The road ascending to the next junction

"yet another road junction SK 245 828"
Here again I turn left, to continue following parallel to Stanage Edge and head for Upper Burbage Bridge.


The road junction by Overstones Farm at SK 245 828

The road leading up towards Upper Burbage Bridge

Here I was enjoying some fabulous views around me, Higger Tor, Castleton’s Great Ridge, the Kinder plateau and of course, looking along Stanage Edge itself.

Looking along Stanage Edge


Higger Tor

Looking over to Castleton's Great Ridge

Looking over to Rushup Edge and Mam Tor

Looking over to the Kinder Plateau

Looking over to Bleaklow, Doctors Gate and Higher Shelf


Following the road uphill and around to the right, as I walk over the brow of the hill, I can see Upper Burbage Bridge in the distance, with lots of cars parked around and about.

Continuing along the road, I headed for the bridge itself to take in the views I wasn’t able to last time, due to time constraints.

The bridge is nothing particularly special, just set in some fabulous scenery.

Upper Burbage Bridge, is a Turnpike Road Bridge from the mid 1700’s, spanning across the quaint Burbage Brook.

Approaching Upper Burbage Bridge


Upper Burbage Bridge


After spending a short while at Upper Burbage Bridge, I backtrack along the road, to take the path towards Cowper Stone, the eastern flank of Stanage Edge. The path is a nice steady gradient and along here, meeting many walkers just out for a nice sunny Bank Holiday Sunday stroll.

".... backtrack up the road....."

"to take the path towards Cowper Stone"

Approaching Cowper Stone


Many were just in casual clothes, with no real intention of walking the full length of Stanage Edge, others, starting out with no intention of walking far, but then finding they’re enjoying the walk so much, continuing up on to the plateau itself.

Then there were a few, properly kitted out with the intention of covering the distance.

I was going to say, that Stanage Edge is almost suitable for a Sunday stroll, but hindsight has made me refrain from saying that.

You really do need to be sensibly kitted out, even though the path is very clear to follow. But as I said in the blog “What’s in my pack?”, I list many of the items I carry and why; “Some items you may feel a little unnecessary, others might prompt an idea. The list isn't exhaustive; it really does depend on where you are, when you're out walking and for how long.
Another thing to consider, each extra item is additional weight, but can you afford to be without it?
Only you can answer that question
.

Anyway, I digress.

Continuing along the path, I ascend the short climb to Cowper Stone where I come across the Yellow Brick road.

For those of you familiar with the Pennine Way around Kinder and Bleaklow, you’ll know exactly what I mean, a path of large stone slabs laid in to the ground to reduce footpath erosion.

Continuing upwards, I eventually reach the trig point at Cowper Stone, where commanding views around surpass just about anything.

Ascending to Cowper Stone 
"I ascend the short climb to Cowper Stone where I come across the Yellow Brick road"

Cowper Stone Trig Point

Looking down to Overstones Farm from Cowper Stone


I can see the Great Ridge, Win Hill, Kinder, Bleaklow, Higger Tor and many more. It was around lunchtime, what better place to stop for lunch?

The sun was shining, the sky was blue with some clouds and the breeze was just right to take the heat away, but not create a chill. Perfect.

I was not alone, other people and a walking group had the same idea and who could blame them on such a beautiful day.

After taking a good long lunch stop, I packed away my rubbish, put my pack on and continued along Stanage Edge, watching groups of people climbing the many gritstone rock faces.

Looking down at some gritstones used for grinding flour

Along the top of Stanage Edge

Looking over to Castleton's Great Ridge from Cowper Stone




Win Hill and in the far distance, Kinder Plateau 
The next three photos were of a group from Bristol, climbing near to Cowper Stone.
Thank you guys for allowing me to take the photos


As I continued along my way, another place I wanted to spend some time at, was Robin Hood’s Cave, grid ref SK 244 835.

Throughout the Peak District, there are many references to the legend of Robin Hood, for like many people of his day, he travelled around England, leaving his mark in many places.

Yorkshire has references to Robin Hood also; one of the most obvious is Robin Hoods Bay on the east coast.

Access to Robin Hoods Cave is relatively easy, though care is required because you are on the edge of a rock face with a very steep drop of around 30 metres.

As you get on to the ledge, follow it along to the right and at the end, is a small cave opening, which you have to climb on to a bolder to access.

Climbing into the cave, you then turn left and leave the small cave as it opens out on to a small gritstone balcony, affording you some spectacular views to the south.

"Access to Robin Hoods Cave is relatively easy, though care is required...."

"....because you are on the edge of a rock face
with a very steep drop of around 30 metres.
"


The entrance to Robin Hood's Cave

Yes, its down that boulder and to the left

Though the opening, is a gritstone balcony

Welcome to the balcony


More rock climbers

The opening back in to Robin Hood's Cave from the balcony


After spending a short time in Robin Hoods Cave, taking in the views, it was time to move on, for I still have a long way to go before I reach Bamford Moor.

Continuing along the edge, taking in the views, watching the climbers all having fun climbing the rock gritstone rock faces, all of a sudden, I start to reach a quiet zone.

The gritstone rock faces have disappeared, so have the people walking and generally enjoying the views and scenery.


This is where the walk starts to become more remote and very much along the walks I’ve been enjoying of recent months. But fear not, I’ve enjoyed walking alongside all these people that have also enjoyed Stanage Edge, but now, it’s my time.

Here I pass the path heading for Redmires Reservoir. From here, the path starts a gradual descent, then not too long after, I approach a forked junction. Here the path encourages you to take the left fork, which takes you down to the nearby road that I walked along earlier and the car park at Dennis Knoll.



Approaching the fence/style, where a path goes off to the right for Redmires Reservoirs

The path to Redmires Reservoir


For t hose not prepared, both in what kit you’re wearing and navigational skills, for what open moorland can offer in the way of hazards, bogs and unclear paths, I recommend you take the left fork and walk down to Dennis Knoll, passing Buck Stone on good clear paths.

My intended route was to stay on the edge and walk to Bamford Moor, so it was the right fork I took and started to ascend towards High Neb.

Staying nice and quiet, I passed a couple of people and one walking group of about eight people, and then it was all quiet.

Ascending to High Neb, the trig point gave some fabulously commanding views over to the Vale of Edale, Castleton’s Great Ridge, Win Hill, Kinder, Bleaklow and Derwent Edge.

The path to High Neb



Looking back along Stanage Edge

High Neb Trig Point

The view from High Neb. The peaks from L-R
Mam Tor, Win Hill (middle distance), Lose Hill,
with Brown Knoll and Kinder in the far distance.

Looking over Derwent Edge with Whinstone Lee in the middle distance


While taking in the views, two girls approached the trig point from the east, asked if they were at Crow Chin.

I explained it’s a little further along the path and questioned where they were intending on heading, noting their footwear, being very basic white shoes and no signs of being prepared for moorland walking.

It was here they produced a piece of paper with what appeared to be a map from either an online guide book or a scanned image from a guide book.

Whichever, the detail was far from clear and I would guess there would be some text to compliment the map, which the girls had omitted to bring with them.

I explained where they were, showing them on their map and where they needed to be heading and roughly what route they needed to take, to keep relatively safe.

As I was intending on heading for Crow Chin to head off over Bamford Moor to pick up the road from the other side of Bole Hill, further out than they were going, I offered to accompany them to Crow Chin, then point them on their way and continue my walk.

Crow Chin, with more rock climbers
We had a good natter as we descended Stanage Edge at Crow Chin.

Looking at the moor, not an area I’m familiar with, but I’m all too aware of what moorland can harbour and looking at the girl’s attire, wondered whether I should chaperone or just leave them to it.

Also, noting the path on the map across Bamford Moor on the map is not a very clear path on the ground.

Well, do I or don’t I?

I offered my assistance and warned them of the dangers of moorland bog and they accepted. So we trekked across heading for the road they needed to get back to Hathersage.

We reached the road and crossed the style, where I relocated them on their map, pointed them in the right direction, following just the road back to Hathersage.

The girls were very grateful for my assistance, thanking me for the help, we shook hands (what a gentleman I am), wished each other a safe journey and parted our ways.

I’m sure they would have eventually got to the road, but as most of us know, moorland can involve a lot of bog hoping and the map they had, didn’t have the detail they needed to complete the walk safely. That is apart from the fact they just didn’t have anywhere near suitable footwear to contemplate that part of the route they wanted to do.

I don’t know where they obtained the route map from, or even how much information was supplied, so I can’t comment fairly on whether they could have been properly advised or not. Nor am I even going to guess.

Out of curiosity, I did browse the web to see if I could find something resembling the map they had, following the path across Bamford Moor. But after trawling many pages, all seemed to show what I would have advised as the safest route, that was to take the path from Long Causeway at GR SK 235 848 down to Dennis Knoll passing Buck Stone.

Even the OS Landranger series doesn’t really give sufficient clarity to the extent of marsh area on Bamford Moor, or many other moors for that matter!

So there was the twist that I mentioned near to the beginning of this blog, where my intended route plan was inadvertently changed.

All’s well that ends well and I still had a good day out, even though I had to change my plans towards the end.

Map showing the area my walk covered.


Finally, happy rambling and thank you for reading,
Peak Rambler