Route taken – Hathersage- Toothill Farm- Cowper Stone-Stanage Edge-Long Causeway-High Neb-Bamford Moor-Bolehill Wood-Nether Hurst Farm-Hathersage
15km (9.5 miles)
I needed to get out for a walk. A busy week at work and a full Saturday decorating outside and cutting our first field as we call it ready for putting our small flock of sheep on it to eat the aftermath. We have two fields at home; in the first field we leave a large areas long and untouched for most of the year for ground nesting birds such as English partridge and pheasant and for small mammals that local Barn and Little owls like to hunt. I like to trim this area up after nesting season is over early enough in the autumn to allow some regrowth and ultimately avoiding the area going to scrub and therefore the loss of the type of vegetation that these birds like.
Hard work even when using a sickle-bar mower. So a good walk was needed on Sunday, not too far from home.
Hathersage is about 70 miles from home and was the starting point for my walk. If I made good progress it would also give me some time afterwards to visit the outdoor shops and have a browse.
I parked in the car park on Oddfellows Road, walked through to the town centre and up the steep Church Bank and then into open country side down a quiet country lane.
I turned off this lane across several fields to walk down a rough track emerging on a road leading up to Stanage Edge.
The weather was not too promising, with low cloud and fog, not great for views, but I have faith in the weather forecasting ability of Meteo Blue, whose weather data my company uses to develop forecast modules for our customers. It said the sun would be out by 11 am, but at the moment I couldn’t see too far.
After passing Overstones Farm, I climbed up to Cowper Stone then onto Stanage Edge itself. No views whatsoever. I meet a group of lads out for a walk, who agreed with me when I said I knew I should have come yesterday. After a short chat with them I made my way further along the edge.
As I made my way along, out of the mist came the almost alpine cow bell sound of metal karabiners clanging together as climbers made their way to the rock face. Stanage has a long history of being the training ground for climbers including internationally famous climbers such as Joe Brown and Don Whillans.
The Meteo Blue forecast came up trumps with the clouds parting giving superb views of the surrounding countryside. As expected it was quite busy on the top, which I don’t mind. I like the peace and quiet, but watching the climbers and people enjoying themselves on this Sunday morning is just as good.
It is easy walking along the top and I took my time looking at the scenery and stopping along the way to watch the climbers scaling the rocks.
I reach the Long Causeway, a rocky track which runs up to Stanage Edge and amused myself watching 2 motorbike trail riders trying get up to where I was standing and stalling their engines countless times. I don’t know if this was a Green Lane or not, but my fellow walkers were not very appreciative of their efforts and the noise of their bikes. I continued towards the far end of the ridge and found myself a spot out of the wind for lunch.
After passing the High Neb trig point, I dropped down a gully,and then through boggy moorland, crossing a stream at the bottom of a shallow valley. I continued up the other side and found a path through heathery moorland which made its way up to the summit of Bamford Moor.
Walking up through the heather, the sun was wonderfully warm for mid October and I was able to wear just a tee-shirt on my top half, noting that maybe this will be the last time this year that I will be able to do this.
As I reached the top of Bamford Moor, I spied more climbers practicing their craft. One final watch before I descended to the road in the valley bottom.
Crossing the road I headed down a steeply wooded valley, kicking the fallen leaves like a kid as I went. At the bottom of the valley I crossed a couple of stiles, walking through horse paddocks as my way passed through little hamlets and farms on the way back to Hathersage.
Arriving back in the High Street at three allowed me to have a good browse in the outdoor shops, I did buy something which will be the subject of a future post. My next post will be my initial impression of the pack that I was carrying for this trip and several previous day hikes and very comfortable it is. More details soon !