Dark Peak Highlights - up a green valley to Stanage Edge, over Higger Tor and Carl Wark hill forts and down the narrow wooded Padley Gorge, then along the Derwent River
20.0 km (12.4 mi), of which 3.8 km (2.4 mi) on tarmac or concrete.
7 out of 10
Time: 5 hours 30 minutes walking time. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 12 hours.
Hathersage Station is on the Hope Valley Line from Manchester to Sheffield, with a journey time of 18 mins from Sheffield. Sheffield Station is the terminus of the Midland Main Line from London St. Pancras, with up to two trains per hour (journey time from 118 mins Mon-Sat, longer on Sundays).
Saturday Walkers Club: Take a train no later than 9.00 hours.
OS Landranger Map: 110 (Sheffield & Huddersfield)
Centred on Hathersage, an attractive village in the Hope Valley, this route leads through some outstandingly beautiful scenery and passes along the cliffs of the Stanage Edge as well as over the distictive Higger Tor and the ancient iron-age hill fort of Carl Wark on Burbage Moor and down the spectacular wooded Padley Gorge.
A Variation near the start follows the Hood Brook through attractive woods rather than going past North Lees Hall (certainly recommended in bluebell season).
The Fox House Inn Hathersage Road, Longshaw, Sheffield, South Yorks, S11 7TY (01433 630 374). The Fox House is located 10.8 km (6.7 mi) into the walk and the pub lunch stop. Open 12.00-23.00 Mon-Sat and 12.00-22.30 Sun. Food served 12.00-22.00 (-17.00 Sun).
|Tea (en route or just off route)||
Grindleford Station Café Station Approach, Upper Padley, Grindleford, Hope Valley, Derbyshire S32 1JA (01433 631 011). Open 09.00-16.00 weekdays, 09.00-17.00 weekends. The Café is located 5.7 km/3.5 mi from the end of the walk.
|Tea (off route on a loop through Hathersage)||
The Pool Café and Tea Rooms Hathersage Swimming Pool, Oddfellows Road, Hathersage, Hope Valley, Derbyshire S32 1DU (01433 650 843).Open from 08.00 every day all year. Closes 18.00 weekdays and 17.00 weekends Mar-Oct and 16.00 in winter.
Hathersage is overlooked by the ringed cliffs of Stanage and Millstone edges and the ancient iron-age hill fort of Carl Wark, and the distictive Higger Tor can be seen through a break in the cliffs, standing on Burbage Moor. The origins of the name are disputed, although it is generally accepted that the second half derives from the Old English word ecg meaning "edge", although there is little to suggest it is to mean “heather’s edge”.
The Peak District (National Park)
The Peak District is an upland area at the southernmost end of the Pennines. The Peak District National Park is one of the UK’s most popular and is located within the boundaries of five counties (Derbys., Ches., Staffs., Yorks. and Greater Manchester). Founded in 1951, it was the first national Park in England. The Park spans an area of around 1,440 km2 (550 mi2) and – despite its name – its terrain consists mainly of rolling hills, farmland, moorland and some gritstone escarpments (the "edges"). It is however significantly higher than much of the terrain in the surrounding area.
Camp Green medieval Ringwork
Ringworks are medieval fortifications built and occupied from the late Anglo-Saxon period to the later 12th century. They comprised a small defended area containing buildings which was surrounded or partly surrounded by a substantial ditch and bank surmounted by a timber palisade or, rarely, a stone wall. Occasionally a more lightly defended embanked enclosure, the bailey, adjoined the ringwork. Ringworks acted as strongholds for military operations and in some cases as defended aristocratic or manorial settlements. They are rare nationally with only 200 recorded examples and less than 60 with baileys.
White to Dark
The White to Dark Way is a 43 km (27 mi) waymarked multi-day path from the White Peak to the Dark Peak developed in 2012 by TrailZilla and Country Walking Magazine. It claims to be the first major walking trail dedicated to linking the Peak District’s two 'halves', across terrain ranging from meadows, woods and farmland to wild moorland and gritstone edges, going from Bakewell to Hope. The route includes Monsal Head, Cressbrook Dale, Litton, Eyam, Stanage Edge and Win Hill. http://www.trailzilla.com/trail-guide/w2d
The largest and most impressive of the gritstone edges, it stretches for 6 km and is crossed by the old Roman Road from Navio (Brough) to Doncaster. It is a famous location for rock-climbers (with over 800 recorded rock climbs) and a popular spot for walkers. The rock face itself attains a maximum height of 25m.
Grade II listed Brookfield Manor, parts of which date back to an original farmhouse of 1658, underwent extensive alterations, with additions, in the 1830's when it was the property of Joseph Holworthy of Derby. Holworthy was an artist and set about rebuilding and extending it in gothic style with chimneys, sash windows, turrets and pinnacles. Holworthy was also a friend of JMW Turner and two of Turner's paintings used to hang in Brookfield. Brookfield Manor and its 138-acre estate were fictionalised as ‘Vale Hall’ in ‘Jane Eyre’ written by Charlotte Brontë and inspired by her visit in 1845 when staying with Ellen Nussey in Hathersage, which becomes ‘Morton’ in the book.
Sheffield Country Walk
A 86 km (53 mi) waymarked circular Long Distance Path through parts of Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. The varied route around the outskirts of the city passes many sites and buildings of archaeological, historical and industrial interest. It follows woodland and riverside paths, crossing undulating farmland and the open gritstone moorlands to the west of the city. The waymark is yellow arrows and sheaf symbols.
The Derwent is a Derbyshire river of 106 km/66 mi length and is a tributary of the River Trent, which it joins south of Derby. Its waters ultimately reach the North Sea via the Humber Estuary. For half its course the river flows through the Peak District and for most of the first 10 km it forms the border to South Yorkshire. In the lower reaches between Matlock and Derby it was one of the cradles of the Industrial Revolution, providing power to the first industrial scale cotton mills. Today it provides a water supply to several surrounding cities, and its steeply sided valley is an important communications corridor through the uplands of the Peak District.
The Hope Valley
The Hope Valley is a wide valley running East-West along the boundary between the gritstone moors and edges of the 'Dark Peak' and the limestone outcrops and deep cut dales of the 'White Peak'. It is a rural area centred on the village of Hope, but although it appears to be a single valley, the name of the river changes several times. The head of the valley lies at Castleton below Mam Tor, once the home of Iron Age people. From here, the Peakshole Water flows out of Peak Cavern to Hope, where it enters the lower reaches of the River Noe, which has risen on Kinder Scout near Edale. The Noe then flows to Bamford, where it enters the River Derwent, which has travelled about 15 km from Bleaklow and is a tributary of the River Trent.
Padley Chapel and Hall
The ruins of Padley Hall are now converted into a private house. All else that remains are part of the foundations and the gatehouse, an important example of a 15th century domestic gatehouse with an upper chapel: The Roman Catholic Padley Chapel. It was used as a barn for over 100 years, before being restored in 1933. Important in the Catholic context are its associations with the recusant Fitzherbert family and the 16th century martyrdom of Nicholas Garlick and Robert Ludlum. The restoration of the building as a pilgrimage chapel during the 1930s was carried out in sympathetic manner and the building continues to honour the memory of the martyrs. It exhibits original medieval architectural features and good stained glass. The associated ruins at the back act as an auditorium and setting for pilgrimage events.
Derwent Valley Heritage Way
The Derwent Valley Heritage Way (DVHW) is a 88 km (55 mi) waymarked Long Distance Path along the Derwent Valley from Ladybower Reservoir via Chatsworth, the Derbyshire Dales area, and through the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site to Derwent Mouth where it flows into the Trent.
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Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk