Stanage Edge and Bamford Moor – Sunday 16th October 2011

Stanage Edge

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.

Hathersage

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 love the gnarled roots of this tree

I turned off this lane across several fields to walk down a rough track emerging on a road leading up to Stanage Edge.

Doesn't look too promising

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.

Climbing at Stanage Edge

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.

Looking towards Kinder Plateau

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.

A fine view at lunch time

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.

Looking back at Stanage Edge

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.

Climbers at the top of Bamford Moor

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.

Bolehill Wood

Heading 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 !

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20 Responses to Stanage Edge and Bamford Moor – Sunday 16th October 2011

  1. McEff says:

    I really enjoyed this, Mark, because it’s one of those famous walking areas of Britain that I have never visited but really should. Thanks for this insight. And your description of “the almost alpine cow bell sound of metal karabiners clanging together” is wonderful. I can hear the sound exactly. Cheers. Alen McF.

  2. I havent heard of meteo blue before. Must go and look it up. Walking in a t shirt – unheard of up here for a few weeks now – although saying that the last couple of days have been almost warm

  3. surfnslide says:

    Hi Mark
    l love walking the gritstone edges especially the one’s above Hathersage. Some classic walks round those parts. Also climbed at Stange a few times although I’m not especially good at it!
    Cheers
    Andy

  4. “….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….”
    Hmm, I’ve said the same thing about three times over the past four weeks.
    Travel hopefully!
    I’ve already started plotting your route on Memory Map to possibly follow in your footsteps – if that isn’t an indicator of a good post, I’ll eat my (Icebreaker marino wool) hat 🙂

  5. -maria- says:

    Nice pics, lovely walk! Kicking fallen leaves is fun – and so is splashing in puddles, no matter if you’re a kid or a grown-up!

    • Thank you Maria. I like this part of autumn, still warm with the autumn leaves. When the clocks move back ( end of this week) and you go to work in the dark and return in the dark it is not so nice 😦

  6. terrybnd says:

    Dunno what it is about Stanage Edge – can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s defo in my top 10 places for walking that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting in the UK. And it’s in my top 5 places to enjoy a sunset, too. Number one, being Hardknott Fell in the Lakes. Weather turned out alright in the end for you Mark….I had headed home by then. I was in the western peaks 🙂

    • I like it, it is not the highest place in the area, it can be quite busy, but I think it is the dramatic ridge cutting through the landscape which is the attraction along with watching the climbers.

  7. GeoffC says:

    Some very familiar and well worn route details there, it’s always a pleasure to walk the eastern edges but preferably really early before the throngs: I bet it was busy on a Sunday.
    We haven’t been there for ages, but Outside on the main street is one of the busiest gear shops ever as I recall!.

    • Geoff, it wasn’t too bad. I know you are a man who likes solitude and I like the peace as quiet as well, but people milling about doesn’t worry me as long as it is not for large stretches of the walk I am doing. Pretty unusual for me to find many people on my walks.

      I popped into Outside – the staff I find in there pretty knowledgeable. BTW, are you out on a trip soon ? I trust your PF isn’t playing up again.

  8. GeoffC says:

    Hoping to be out soon, other projects and stuff been happening. We just need at least two consecutive good days, can’t be arsed to pack up and drive very far if the weather isn’t really inviting.

  9. hendrikm says:

    A nice walk in really pretty scenery =)

    • Hi Hendrik, thanks. This was just a day hike in an area not so far from me, but the great thing about the UK is that you can have such a variety of landscapes in small area. I hope you and your family are doing well.

  10. backpackingbongos says:

    I really like photo number 6 Mark, the one with the title, ‘Looking towards Kinder Plateau’ it looks like a painting! You can’t beat a stroll along Stanage, I have Monday off so may take myself there if the weather is nice.

  11. Lee says:

    An interesting description and some nice photos of an area where I’m planning to go walking tomorrow.

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