Saturday, July 28, 2007

Stanage Edge - It's all too beautiful

  • Walked: 28th July 2007
  • Distance: 5.5m plus some
  • Terrain: good flagged paths, 250m ascent
  • Summary: Stanage Edge starting / finishing at Hathersage.
  • Time: 4.5 hrs start to finish

For the background to this visit to the Peak District, see yesterday's post.

I'm very lucky to be within easy reach of the Peak District National Park. I found this walk on the Moors for the Future website. I chose it not because of the history, I'm afraid, but because of the ascents / descents and because it promised firm terrain, which is an important consideration after the huge amount of rain we've had.

Hathersage is very pretty town and ideal for starting and finishing. I extended the 5.5 mile walk by a couple of miles, because it was all too beautiful and I didn't want to leave Stanage Edge.

This pretty cottage near the start is Bronte Cottage. I'm really sorry, literature lovers, I love Jane Eyre as much as the next romantic fool, but today I was far more moved by the views than the history! That's Stanage Edge on the horizon.

As I approached the Edge it started to look less like a fairly close dry-stone wall and more like the vast and distant rock formation it is.

If you click to enlarge the photo below and look carefully, you'll see hundreds of folks with ropes clinging onto the vertical surface. Apparently, they come from all over the country to climb here. Fortunately for us walkers there's a path to the top.

Having reached the top of the Edge, this fabulous rock formation was waiting for me. The District is known for its bizarre rock formations weathered out of the soft gritstone.

My ratty old boots are a matter of pride in a place where there's so much pristine gear walking around. However, they're really starting to come apart at the seams now, and no longer hold the water out. If you're a boot manufacturer and would like to donate a pair of Goretex size 8s in return for a review or your logo on this site, then I really am that shallow.

The planned walk leaves the Edge well before its highest point (trig point at 457m) and it was such a fantastic day that I carried on for a bit and planned a different route back to Hathersage.

Thank you to the stranger who took this photo. The sunshine was gorgeous, but it was extremely windy on the Edge, hence the horizontal hair and madly-flapping OS Explorer map in my hand.

Once off the Edge, the moorland heather spreads out like a coloured blanket. Very pretty indeed.

This is Higger Tor. I didn't go up there today, but will try to remember it because It looks as if it might afford a great view over Hathersage Moor.

The purple line shows the planned route (the Hathersage route from Moors for the Future) and the green line is my extra bit:

The route above was generated using Meander.

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Map image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.


dive said...

Itchycoo Park, eh?
Don't try to kid me you're old enough to remember that one, Pea!
Beautiful indeed.
And I love the photo of you on the Edge!
Inspiring stuff.

peahen said...

The song was going through my head for most of the walk. A natural high in all senses!