Axe Edge Moor, the Cat and Fiddle pub and a Stag Do…..

I wonder how many of you are looking for the juicy bits?

Well, you’re just going to have to read on…..

Anyway, those of you who’ve been following my laat two blogs, Stanage Edge on a sunny Bank Holiday Sunday  and Froggatt Edge, Big Moor and some Stone Circles, will be aware that Axe Edge Moor is one of three places I wanted to visit.

The other two places I wanted to visit were; Stanage Edge and Froggatt Edge.

After bit of careful diary manipulating, I managed to set a date for visiting Axe Edge Moor and make a return visit.

A couple of fellow walkers, both named Andy, one from Leicester and the other from Stoke, joined me for this walk and just as we had met across the road from the Cat and Fiddle pub, Barney made a shout via Twitter to say he was in Buxton and would be joining us.

The last time I was on Axe Edge Moor, was late February 2011, where it snowed quite heavily the night before, resulting in a very pleasant walk in the snow. Not only had it snowed, but we were engulfed in low cloud for most of the day, just as we were on this return visit.

A full set of photos from that day in February 2011 can still be viewed on the Peak Rambler Flickr account;

Axe Edge Moor, February 2011

Guess what, we were engulfed in low cloud, heavy rain and wind for this walk!

Undeterred, the two Andy’s and myself got suited and booted and then we sheltered at the back of the Cat and Fiddle pubs main building so I could share the intended route with them.

With Barney being in Buxton, he wasn’t that far away, so I assumed he was still making his way towards us, so we decided we’ll hold on a while longer for him.

Not long after I had discussed the route with the two Andy’s, Barney arrived. So he too got suited and booted, and then I shared the intended route with Barney and off we set, in the rain, wind and low cloud.

As we set off, a lot of catch up chat took place, along with the discussion as to Barney’s Stag Do.

Yes, Barney is to tie the knot very soon, and with all good weddings, the bride has her Hen Party and the Groom has his Stag Party.

But, we’ve got to have the walk first, before we can contemplate any pub visits…..

Now originally, the meet up arrangement was to meet at the Cat and Fiddle, a suitable landmark, then move on the Derbyshire Bridge where we would get suited and booted, then head off for our walk.

However, the weather must have deterred many folk and parking was not an issue and our meeting point became our start and finish point.

Cat and Fiddle Pub, engulfed in rain and low cloud

As we wandered down the A537, chatting away, Andy from Stoke hadn’t met Barney before, so an introduction was undertaken, then the catching up on the gossip, we took the left fork to Derbyshire Bridge, while I had last seen Barney almost a year ago, Andy from Stoke hadn’t met Barney before.

We followed the road towards Derbyshire Bridge, taking the right turn 400 metres short of the car park, heading in a South Easterly direction to pick up the footpath heading in a nor-nor East direction, eventually meeting back up with the A537.

The left fork off the A537 Buxton - Macclesfield Road, hading towards Derbyshire Bridge

Barney (L) and Andy (R) from Stoke

Looking over to Derbyshire Bridge

From there, we crossed the road taking the footpath on to Axe Edge Moor. Here we pick up the route I took that day back in February 2011.

".....the footpath heading in a nor-nor East direction,
eventually meeting back up with the A537."

The gate leading on to Axe Edge Moor
L-R; Barney, Andy from Leicester and Andy from Stoke

L-R; Me, Andy from Stoke and Andy from leicester

In many respects, the moor looked very different than it did back then, namely because it was green and not white!

Around this part of the walk, Barney and I shared notes on our experiences as leaders for youth organisations. Barney is involved with the Duke of Edinburgh (DoE) scheme, while I have been involved with Scouting.

The path was reasonably clear to follow, in a Southerly direction, crossing the single track road at Dane Head, continuing past Cheek Hill on our right.

"In many respects, the moor looked very different than it did back then,
namely because it was green and not white!"

Dane Head, where Barney almost lost his map, on what was a windy day.
Soon after crossing the single track road at Dane Head, the two Andy’s had spotted a marker, held to the ground by a stone.

Exactly why that was there, we’re not sure, though it is supposed to be some kind of marker.

"....after crossing the single track road at Dane Head,
the two Andy’s had spotted a marker...."

Crossing the River Dane near Dane Head
Soon we crossed a dry stone wall, to pick up a track leading down towards Orchard Farm. 

The view as we walked down the track, particularly to our left down to the river, was quite a pleasant one, considering the weather.

The track leading southwards towards Orchard Farm
Though the planned route was to walk down and through orchard Farm, but a quick route discussion and we circumnavigated Cheeks Hill Southern edge to pick up Dane Valley Way.

Just before the gate, we had a route change taking the track up to the right.
Remember, we’ve a Stag do to accommodate …….

We’re walking across open moorland, which will have peat bogs, rivers and streams, oh, and the occasional post, be it for fencing or signage…..

Lunchtime was getting near and my intended lunch stop would be around Reeve-Edge Quarry. Reeve-Edge Quarry provided superb shelter from the elements back in February 2011; however, I had my doubts this time in view of the wind direction blowing up from the North West, right in to the quarry.

Leaving Orchard Farm and heading for Reeve-Edge Quarry

Entering Reeve-Edge Quarry
So we did a bit of a reccie around to see if we could find a suitable sheltered spot, because there wouldn’t be another sheltered spot from here until the end of the walk.

As luck would have it, Andy from Stoke found a nice deep hollow, which provided a good shelter from the wind, so we set down and enjoyed out lunch stop.

Lunch in Reeve-Edge Quarry

Those of you, who know the Peak District well, will be aware that it has quite a rich industrial and mining heritage.

There have been lead mines, as far back as the Romans, Blue John mines, which are unique to Castleton in the Peak District, limestone and gritstone quarrying and much more.

Just digressing for a moment, the Blue John Caverns, Treak Cliff Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, where you travel through the cavern on a boat, and also Peak Cavern, are all well worth a visit if you get the chance.

I’ve waffled on, so back to the blog……

It’s been too many years since I last visited these caverns as a child, so it looks like a few more places have been added to my list of places to visit!

Well, today’s walk was no different, with Dane Bower Coal Mine, Reeve-Edge Quarry, where we had lunch, where the stone was used for roofing buildings with.

Lunch over; we climbed out of our sheltered spot in Reeve-Edge Quarry, to pick up the trail for the River Dane and Danebower Quarry.

Dane Bower
The crossing point on the River Dane,
was a bit too fast for a safe and comfortable crossing today
Following the clearly defined path, we started our descent down to the River Dane, where on our approach, we found that the river was fast flowing, deep and the stones would be slippery, where normally it would be safe to cross, was this time very dubious.

But, before we would go any further, Barney wanted to show us his new toy in action, a Sawyer Water Filter. So a nice peat coloured flow of water was found and Barney filled a water bottle, attached the Sawyer Water Filter and then enjoyed a drink form it.

We all enjoyed sampling the filtered water, which was as clear as tap water, considering how brown it was in the water bottle, before it was filtered.

So we wandered upstream to find a narrower spot to cross the river, which we managed to do, about 100 metres upstream.

Though an easy and narrow crossing point, remember, the ground would be very wet with the morning’s rain and grass banks are very slippery when wet!

But we all managed to cross safely and then headed back to the path through Danebower Quarry.
Walking 100 meres upstream, we found a safer crossing place

Getting back on route at Dane Bower Coal Mine (disused)

We made our ascent out of Danebower, taking in the scenery around us and looking back over the route we had walked.

Looking back up to Reeve-Edge Quarry, from Dane Bower Coal Mine (dissued)

All that remains of Dane Bower Coal Mine, the chimney!

Leaving Dane Bower and entering the A54 to pick up the path along Danebower Hollow

Continuing along the path in a Westerly direction, towards the road, the A54, we were about to leave the route I had taken back in February 2011.

Back then, we followed the A54 towards Buxton, and then took a right turn on to a single track road back on the Axe Edge Moor.

However this time, we were going to pick up the path through Danebower Hollow back to the Cat and Fiddle pub, which was our planned route last time, but because of the shortened available daylight and the people I was walking with were sceptical about walking in the dark, we cut short our walk.

Once at the roadside, it was time to do a route check and locate where we would pick up the footpath leaving the road and walking along Danebower Hollow.

The day was wet, windy and not very warm, with the wind chill averaging 5.3ºC and the wind was reaching 24.5mph!

As we walked along Danebower Hollow, we were afforded some good views over to Hen Cloud and the Roaches and a little further on, as we gained height, Shutlingsloe.

"....we were afforded some good views over to Hen Cloud and the Roaches...."

"....and a little further on, as we gained height, Shutlingsloe...."

Reaching the peak of Danebower Hollow, we could see the Cat and Fiddle Pub, journey’s end was in sight, but it was a superb walk, from start to finish, irrespective of what the weather threw at us.

We arrived at the A537, opposite the Cat and Fiddle Pub, got our mucky boots off and had our post walk drink.

Journey's end, the Cat and Fiddle Pub

It was a warm welcome as we entered the Cat and Fiddle, a good old open fire burning away with nice views out across the moors, even though it was still cloudy and blustery outside

Now, where does the stag do come in?

Have you clicked yet?

Yes, Barney had a Stag Do with a difference, a walk across the moors followed by a post walk drink with friends in the Cat and Fiddle Pub. No dunking in muddy puddles, peat bogs or any of the rivers and streams we encountered, nor was he tied to any posts we found.

We sat at a table, savouring our drinks, discussing the many traits of stag parties, the tying up of the groom to lamp posts etc. I don’t think I need to go in to detail, I’m sure many of you have a good idea.

Well, Barney escaped those capers; the only de-robing that took place was Barney taking his boots and coat off to enjoy a sociable post walk drink and chat.

I would like to take this opportunity of saying thank you to Andy from Leicester, Andy from Stoke and Barney, for an enjoyable day and being great company. Roll on the next walk guys.

Also, Barney, all the best for your big day.....

The map showing the circuit

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

Some references to Reeve-Edge Quarry, Dane Bower Colliery and Coal Mining in the Peak District;


  1. Thankyou very much Mike for you company and for making my stag do a great occasion !!

    1. It was a pleasure, we all had a great day.