Here are three longer distance day walks in the Peak District. They cover some of the most spectacular countryside that the National Park has to offer with far reaching views and and impressive natural Gritstone sculptures.
I strongly recommend that these walks are done on a clear day so that you can really appreciate the magnificence of the land around you. All three walks major on high ground and it would be a waste to not have the views. Some of the terrain can be hard going so good walking footwear is a must and a good level of fitness. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the walks, I think nine to ten hours will enough to complete any one of them comfortably.
1. Edale Skyline Walk
- Distance 20 miles
- Ascent 1200 metres
- Time approx 10 hours
As the name suggests this is a walk along the skyline around the Vale of Edale, it takes in some of the Peak Districts most famous landmarks including; Lose Hill, Back Tor, Mam Tor, Rushup Edge, Brown Knoll, the southern edge of Kinder Scout and Win Hill.
There are many points from which you can start the walk from the Vale of Edale. I have always began from the village of Hope climbing up Win Hill or Lose Hill depending upon whether I have walked clockwise or anticlockwise around the valley. After a stiff climb up one of these hills the path stays on high ground and there are not any more climbs of any significance. The terrain along the southern ridge of Kinder Scout can be quite hard going, but most of the rest of the route is relatively easy walking.
2. Kinder Scout Rim Walk
- Distance 17 miles
- Ascent 830m
- Time approx 9 hours
A circular walk around the edges of Kinder Scout Plateau. Kinder Scout is the highest point in the Peak District and next to Mam Tor is probably the best known landmark in the Dark Peaks. It is a little hard to know exactly where the highest point is as the top of Kinder because it is a massive moorland plateau of dark boggy peat. All around the edge of kinder there are Gritstone outcrops such as the Wool Packs with their fascinating cake like shapes and on the western edge there is Kinder Downfall, a waterfall known for blowing back up itself in strong windy conditions.
The rim is best accessed from the Vale of Edale on Kinder’s southern edge. There are several paths up such as Jacob’s Ladder and Ringing Roger. This walk also starts with a stiff climb but once you have reached the rim it is pretty level, the terrain is more hard work than any climbs. Good footwear is essential here although this is the shortest walk in miles it is the hardest under foot.
When you reach the northern edge of Kinder it is very quiet, this is a path less travelled and I enjoyed the solitude. I also loved the views that are not often enjoyed by most visitors to the National Park.
3. The nine edges challenge
- Distance 21 miles
- Ascent 994m
- Time Approx 9 hours
This is a linear walk across nine Gritstone Craggs including the following edges, Derwent, Stanage, Burbage Upper, Burbage Lower, Froggatt, Curber, Baslow, Gardoms and Birchens. The walk starts from the car park at Fairholmes Ranger Centre Derwent and finishes at the Robin Hood Inn Baslow.
The Edges are popular spots for both climbers and walkers and there is an annual challenge that incorporates both. Whether you choose to do the challenge or not is up to you, I am simply suggesting it as a great walk. It is the longest distance of the three walks but the land is not particularly hard going and good walking shoes would probably be most suitable. These edge walks can feel very exhilarating as you look out across the land and the edges also have their fair share of Gritstone rock sculptures. The added benefit of this walk is that it finishes at a pub The Robin Hood Inn just right for a well earned drink.