In a bid to get you fit and ready for the University of Sheffield Big Walk, I have prepared for you several walks for you to try before the big day. Walking these walks before the big day will familiarise you with the route, give you an excuse to get together with your colleagues outside of work, and are an excellent way to get fitter whilst in the countryside. I really hope that you enjoy them!
Stanage Edge 10Km
This is a cracking walk that takes you from Redmires Reservoirs, up to the Edge and back along an obscure path, that quite possibly you’ve never followed before. This walk also has you pass the historic Hill 61 as you wind your way back to the car park.
Stanage 8Km Loop
This is a cracking route – perfect for a Saturday morning or maybe right after work on a nice evening!
Starting from the Redmires Plantation Car Park, head up the road in the direction that is away from Sheffield, so that the reservoir is on your left. At the top of road, turn right up the byway, a broad broken track. Head up this, past Stanage Pole, all the way to Stanage Edge.
(Stanage Pole has existed since about 1550, though the present pole dates back just to April 2016. I like to tell my kids that it was probably a hang-man’s gibbet. The truth is far less gory and it has actually marked various boundaries over the years: county boundaries between Derbyshire and South Yorkshire and as a marker between the parishes of Hallamshire and Hathersage. Some say it also marked the boundary between Northumbria and Mercia in Saxon times. Indeed one of the tribes that occupied this region on the northern edge of the Mercian region were the Pecsaetna – after whom the Peak District (Pecsaetna lond) gets its name).
Back to the walk! Turn right along Stanage Edge so the edge is now down to your left. As you walk along, you will shortly come to a steel fence post, to the right, standing on its own with some fence wire wrapped around it and just here your path breaks off to the right taking the high ground. Whatever you do, do not follow the main track (the Long Causeway) down to your left. Stay high, keep right. Keep walking along the edge now for about another kilometre (15 minutes walking time) until you see a small stone shelter at the top of a path to your right. (If you walk as far as the white stone pillar that is High Neb trig point you have gone about 200m too far). Turn right down this muddy path.
Follow this path, down the hill and away from Stanage Edge. About 800m on and the path will rise up towards the remains of a stone wall and another path. Turn left along this path, keeping the wall/fence to your left. This path and wall will lead you round and over a broken down wall, and then on to a small plantation. Walk around the plantation keeping it to your left. You’ll then see the path snaking down through and past some temporary grouse butts (look like green fence panels). Follow this down, cross the stream and follow the path round to the left, to a small reservoir, and to a flattest and even path.
Follow this trail for about 1Km (another 15 minutes) and you will pass through a metal gate. Here there will be a path that leads right, up hill. Take this and this path will lead you back to the car park. (You will be walking on the Hallamshire Moors here and just before you head back into the trees where your car is parked you will pass on your right the site of where extensive trenches were constructed by men of the Sheffield City Battalion as a part of their training for the coming warfare. This is Site 61 – an historic site and a part of Sheffield’s history. More information on this here.)
Yorkshire Bridge Inn – Bamford Edge – Sheffield
This walk is best done as a linear walk. I suggest that you take the bus from Sheffield (Hulleys 257) to the Yorkshire Bridge Inn and start from here. This bus actually passes the University of Sheffield and will drop you off at the pub. More information here. Where you decide to finish this walk is up to you. Personally I’d walk it as far as the Three Merry Lads and then maybe get the 51 bus back into town from Lodgemoor. Alternatively walk the whole way back to the University (which will be about 20Km in all).
WARNING: be prepared for an adventure. This walk is super, but the route finding from Bamford Edge to Crow Chin (at Stanage Edge) needs a PhD in navigation skills (or a GPS unit/app on your phone, or marshalling obviously). If you try this walk without knowing how to read a map and how to use a compass, be sure to take a headtorch, three days of rations, and a good book to read whilst the search parties come to look for you. And also, even if you don’t get lost, be sure to wear some decent boots and gaiters. If the heather doesn’t rip your ankles to pieces the man-eating bogs at the bottom of Stanage will eat you up.
For those of you that have a GPS unit / navigation software on your phone, these are the GPX files for this year’s Big Walk. Use these files to help you to navigate this walk:
From the YBI walk up the hill towards the reservoir. Just as you reach the reservoir wall on your left, you will see a set of steps and a footpath to your right. Cross the road and walk up these steps.
Continue up through the woods until you find yourself in a clearing beneath some power cables, where you will need to turn right. (Do not be tempted to veer off up through the woods). Follow the well marked path under the power lines and then let the path lead you round to the left and up hill with the fence on your right. The path will shortly lead you over the fence and you will continue on this path (initially with a wall on your left) all the way to the top of Bamford Edge. As you get out the woods, and close to the edge, you will see Win Hill over to the left now and you will soon see that the path splits. Continue on the left fork, through a stone wall until you are at the top of the edge itself.
Turn right and head along the top of the edge so that the moor is on your left and the rocks (and super view) is off to your right, heading to Great Tor now with a very obvious path to lead you there. Continue onwards until you see some obvious rocks up to your left with a path of sorts that will lead you there. Head up to those rocks and turn right. Head along this path for maybe 100m, looking closely for a path that leads you left (a bearing of 45 degrees) off through the heather. (This left turn is located precisely at SK 2127 8455). All you will see is a sea of heather and a load of fern too. Make your way down, following a path of sorts, in a NE direction towards the apex of two collapsed and dilapidated walls. From here the path continues in the same vague way down hill to the quagmire of man-eating bog, and then up-hill towards Stanage Edge.
If you haven’t disappeared for good, you’re doing well! From the top of Crow Chin turn right along the main track, with the rocks down to your right now. You’ll walk past the trig point at High Neb (a white pillar abut 1.3m high) and a couple of hundred meters later you will see a path leading down to the left, initially to a stone shelter. Follow this path, which could be muddy, down the hill and away from Stanage Edge. About 800m on and the path will rise up towards the remains of a stone wall and another path. Turn left along this path, keeping the wall/fence to your left. This path and wall will lead you round and over a broken down wall, and then on to a small plantation. Walk around the plantation keeping it to your left. You’ll then see the path snaking down through and past some temporary grouse butts (look like green fence panels). Follow this down, cross the stream and follow the path round to the left, to a small reservoir, and to a flat and even path.
Follow this path now, through some metal gates, staying level and never leaving it, until you meet the road almost 2.5Km later. Turn left down the road for about 500m more and where there is a reservoir head-wall to your right, you will see a foot path leading right through the plantation: take this. Follow this path down and round to the left going past an underground reservoir. Past some houses, and then to a metal gate. Here you need to turn left (don’t go on to the big trail ahead). Go a few meters along a footpath heading back into the woods. By a tree on your left the path goes over the wall via some stone steps. Follow this path up through the woods, over a wall and on past the farm on your left. This will bring you out onto Soughley Lane. Continue over the road and along the very obvious and, easy-going path called the Redmires Conduit. Follow this now for 2.5Km (or turn left off it when you come to the sports fields and head to the pub) until you get to Blackbrook Road. Here you will see some playing fields opposite, continue over the road and through these fields. The path leads you past some play areas and up to some high wire-fences. Follow the path so it leads you with these sports pitches on your right.
When you get to Crimicar lane, turn left. At the Shiny Sheff, turn right onto the Redmires Road and follow this down all the way to the shops at Crosspool. In Crosspool, just before the zebra crossing, take the right turn along Selbourrne Rd and follow this to the A57. Follow this down now all the way to the University and if you want to a pint at the University Arms!
Kinder Edges (15Km & 581m ascent) – Edale
This walk has been designed to show you what could be the trickiest bits of the longer route to navigate. On the day there are a few sections that you could go awry – especially if the weather is a bit claggy. To that end this walk leads you to the top of Jacobs Ladder, and then from the Swine’s back to Edale Head to the Woolpacks and onto Crowden Clough. All along here you have a few opportunities to heads off in the wrong direction. Then the next sections where you bypass Grindslow Knoll and need to skirt around Ringing Roger there are more opportunities to get “challenged”.
Take five hours one weekend to complete this route and to get it right, and the time will be well spent! Better still, get the train out to Edale and maybe enjoy a well-earned pint in the Nags Head afterwards and that will altogether make for a grand day out!
For those of you that have a GPS unit / navigation software on your phone, these are the GPX files for this year’s Big Walk. Use this GPX file to help you to navigate this walk. The files for the Big Walk routes can be found here:
From Edale station head up the road as if walking to the Nags Head. You will pass the Ramblers’ Rest on your left and then the church, also on your left. Almost at the end of the road you will see the Nag’s Head in front of you and the campsite to your left. Just after the campsite driveway you will see a path signposted as the Pennine Way leading you to Upper Booth and then onto Jacob’s Ladder. Follow this path which will skirt around the bottom of Grindslow Knoll, and never taking you too high up the hill. A little under 2 miles from Edale you will arrive at a small farmyard in Upper Booth.
Head right out of the farm and continue along a picturesque lane with the hills ahead beckoning you onwards! Past the nice cottages and through the gate and onto an easy-going trail. The scenery ahead looks great already! Follow the track until you cross a fjord and then you go up Jacob’s Ladder using the footpath to the right. Up, up , up. At a fork near the top, trend right until you come to a path across your way, and continue right again up to the hill that is the Swine’s Back. Have a drink and a snack and admire the view back down the valley.
Continue onwards in a NNE direction. At the large cairn in a dip, ignore the path to the left and continue heading straight on, following the broken wall and drifting round to the right towards the huge stone anvil of Noe Stool. Follow the path past Noe Stool towards the rock formation Pym Chair. It looks a bit like a Chinese Pagoda temple!
The path passes to the right of Pym Chair and becomes many separate paths. They all head in the same direction but the paths to the right seem to be the least muddy. Head for the maze of Woolpacks. The path through Woolpacks can be a muddy nightmare (or a bogtrotter’s delight!) Lost boots and shoes are quite common here so make sure your laces are tight before entering the maze! Woolpacks is a natural sculpture park, with amazing gritstone formations that have been sculpted by the wind. Look out for rocks that look like a sea lion, Homer Simpson and Snoopy! The main path is a peaty muddy highway that spreads out as it progresses. The best approach is to follow the general direction but to pick your way according to the conditions! All the different paths eventually come together on the other side, and there are generally hundreds of footprints to follow! From Woolpacks the path continues along the edge past Crowden Tower to Crowden Brook. Here the path descends quite steeply with steep and dramatic views on your right.
Cross Crowden Brook and bear right (don’t follow any of the paths off left as you’ll get lost in the interior!) After approx.1km you pass a rocky outcrop on your right resembling a pig with an open mouth. Someone has scratched a spiral design onto it too! Just past here the path splits and becomes paved. Ignore the right fork and keep left heading for the top of Grindsbrook. Keep left at the minor fork just before Grindsbrook. Cross the brook at a huge cairn and follow the path around the edge. The path swings left and follows the rim of a dramatic ravine. Follow the path until you can cross the stream at an open area of huge flat slabs of rock. Bear right back along the rim of the ravine until the path swings left and continues along the main edge. Follow the path over Upper Tor and Nether Tor until you reach the top of Golden Clough.
At the top of Golden Clough the path divides. Ignore the eroded cobbled path descending to your right (heading for a huge pile of stones) and take the higher path that remains level and follows the top of the clough towards the top of Ringing Roger. At the top of Ringing Roger the path passes between a prominent cairn approx. 50m away on your left, and a closer pair of cairns on your right. Here the path narrows and bears off left heading for Ollerbrook Clough. Around the rim of Ollerbrook Clough look for a path coming up from your right.
At the head of Ollerbrook Clough, turn right down, and back on yourself, down towards the Nab. The further down you go the more obvious the path becomes which eventually leads you back down to Edale and the pub/train or maybe just your car!