The Route: The Northern Gritstone Edges
Distance: 32.00km (20 miles) | Time: 2 Days | Ascent: Not known
Start: SK173894 | Map: OL1 & OL24 | Date: TBC
Since March of 2007 when I picked up a copy of Country Walking and read an article about walking the length of the Gritstone Edges of the Peak District I knew that one day I would have to attempt it.
The article displayed fantastic photography showing off the beauty and magnificence of this particular area of Britain as well as words that leapt from the pages and made you want to jump in your car and get out there in an instant.
Well that instance has had to wait 3 years but finally I am putting together plans to have a go at this walk during the late summer of this year. In between I have made many trips up to the Peak District camping and hiking various areas of the national park. At some time or other I have hiked along most of the individual edges on the proposed route, but never before having strung together all the individual parts into one whole.
So enough of the romantic notions and down to the nitty-gritty of the concept. The idea is simple enough, it is to cover in excess of 20 miles over a two-day period carrying all my supplies and equipment on my back and camping overnight at approximately the halfway point. The start point will be at the northern end of the edges at the top most end of the Ladybower Reservoir and the end point will be down at the southern tip of the edges in the village of Baslow.
Along the way the route will incorporate: Derwent Edge, Stanage Edge, Burbage Edge, Froggatt Edge, Curbar Edge and finally Baslow Edge. The route will provide 20 miles of dramatic gritstone cliffs, breathtaking views, and stunning photo opportunities. The night will be spent under canvas near Hathersage at the national park’s basic but welcoming North Lees campsite.
To some this may not sound like much of a challenge, (its only 20 odd miles and does not involve wild camping etc) but for me it will be the necessary closure on an idea that has been bubbling away for several years now and one of the reasons I decided to get back into the great outdoors in the first place.
Below is a map of the planned route, although I intend to start from a more northerly point than that detailed on this particular map, (just for the hell of it) and the exact course may change nearer the hike as I tinker with ideas and expand upon the original notion.