Peak District walk along Stanage, Burbage, Froggatt, Curbar Edges, Derbyshire
The traverse of the eastern gritstone edges is a magnificent outing which is one of the two or three finest walks in the area. The distance involved is fairly long it is not a particularly difficult walk, being mostly fairly level.
The traverse of the eastern gritstone edges is a magnificent outing which by any reckoning is one of the two or three finest walks in the area. Although the distance involved is fairly long it is not a particularly difficult walk, for there is relatively little ascent and descent along the route. In fact if the walk is done the usual way from north to south then you are descending from 450 metres at Stanage High Neb to a mere 130 metres at Baslow, so the walking is gently downhill for most of the way.
As this walk does not start and finish at the same place, you need to either use public transport or make use of two cars.
The route continues along the top of Stanage Edge, crossing Long Causeway, the route of the supposed Roman road, and then continuing to the 'popular' end of the edge around Robin Hood's Cave and Black Hawk buttress. It is easy ground in a splendid high situation with a superb view eastwards across to Mam Tor and the Hope valley and the added interest of the antics of the rock climbers if the conditions are right.
Continue down to Carl Wark, a hilltop which was once heavily fortified and the remains of the walls, made of large gritstone blocks, can be seen clearly on the western and southern sides of the hill. Though the notice beside the walls says this was an Iron Age fort, recent evidence has cast doubt on this and many archaeologists think it may date from the period just after the Romans left.
The path continues down the hillside and crosses Burbage Brook before climbing up to the track which descends in front of Burbage Edge. It is only a short distance down to the main road, which you reach a few hundred metres below Fox House. Opposite, a path continues down the hill and you should take this initially but almost immediately branch left along a path which climbs up to meet the road which runs from Fox House down to Grindleford.
Opposite lies the entrance to Longshaw Country Park, a National Trust property which was once the Duke of Rutland's shooting lodge. Walk along the drive and then around the front of the garden, where the footpath has been diverted away from the gaunt-looking house. You arrive at a junction of tracks and you should take the upper one, which is a continuation of the drive - not the lower track, which descends through the rhododendrons to Grindleford.
The track along the top of Froggatt and Curbar edges is easy walking in a fine position, with excellent views across the Derwent valley to Eyam, Stoney Middleton, Calver, Curbar and Baslow. Once again, these edges are popular with rock climbers, and they may be visible on the edge below or on Froggatt Pinnacle, which protrudes above the edge proper.
The view over the Derwent is now lost because the path soon moves away from the edge and heads for the Eagle Stone, which young men from Baslow reputedly had to climb before they could marry. There must have been a lot of bachelors in Baslow - the ascent is surprisingly hard! A little further lies the southern end of the edge - the path divides here, the left fork passing Wellington's Monument, raised by local worthies to commemorate the duke, and the right fork passes some small quarries before descending Bar Road into Baslow village where the walk ends.
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