Our walk began on a bright and sunny morning in the Peak District, Hope village to be exact. It was some years ago now, but the memories are like yesterday. It was one of those scorching hot mid-summer days and we were staying in the area for a long weekend, Edale sounded like a lovely location to re-visit on such a gorgeous day.
We set out from the camp site and on reaching Hope train station headed up towards Win hill, the walk would take us via Hope Cross which is to the left of Win hill, a stone marking an ancient cross road on a former Roman road where packhorse trails met, there are way marking signs on the stone top, Hope, Edale, Sheffield, Glossop, still a fantastic sight and well worth the walk and soon beautiful views over the valley to the ‘Great Ridge,’ as it’s known, starting at Lose hill and all the way to Mam Tor can be seen along our route and we would end our walk at the village of Edale for some refreshment at The Old Nags Head in the middle of the village and conveniently on route.
We were well prepared for our walk as you should be even in summer on a route like this one because once up on the trail there’s no where close to another village until you reach Edale. Being such a hot day, we’d packed a couple of litres of water each and another couple for the dog, Max, as much water as we could carry in fact. We slapped on the sunscreen, packed a lunch and wore loose fitting light clothes and sun hats, our phones were fully charged in case of emergency and I always have a charging device for back up. Walking boots on and camera ready, so off on an adventure we went.
The start of the walk from Hope train station, plentiful parking on the roadside if you start the walk from here. The starts off quite gradual and steps up a bit more as the trail up to Win hill get higher. On route I stopped to admire a lovely handsome cockerel up on a stone wall, he was crowing and showing off, as a chicken keeper myself, I had to stop and take a photo. Up and onwards we all went, and through a tree lined part of the trail which gave us some welcome shade. Not much further and we were on the top of the ridge with the peak of Win hill to our right, which is another favourite haunt especially in the snow when the area turns into a winter wonderland. The way to Edale and Hope cross is to the left and there’s a gradual path leading off to the left where the views begin to get interesting, looking over the Hope valley are vistas across to the Winnats, Mam Tor, Lose hill and in the Hope valley, the beautifully quaint village of Hope and the unmistakable Hope cement factory which is quite a dominating landmark in the valley.
Continue walking the trail until reaching a lush pine woodland where at the far end of the tree line you’ll find the Hope Cross which is an ancient way marker pillar stone at 7ft tall with a carved capstone marking directions to Hope, Edale, Sheffield and Glossop and has the inscription of 1737 under the Hope face, which is a probable date when the stone was either repaired or replaced, it is thought that there may have once been a cross here prior to this date. The Hope cross shows the point where ancient packhorse routes through the Peak District crossed on a former Roman road, also known as Doctors Gate. We used this opportunity to stop for another much-needed drink of water before turning left again and following the way marked Edale trail.
The rolling landscapes of peaks and valleys that are divided by stone walling and with a sprinkling of grazing sheep, all along the trail the sights are breathtaking and I couldn’t contain myself from constantly snapping shots along the way on my Nikon and my mobile phone, I guess it’s inevitable when walking through a stunning area such as this. Not that I need to have a physical reminder since there are wonderful memories built on trips like these, the sort that stay with you, that’s what I love about walking, it’s the fresh air, the company and memories you build along the way, good for mind spirit and body, I always feel great for getting outside no matter what the weather.
The next section of the walk is at Jaggers Clough, at the lowest point there’s a stream to cross and on our hot and sunny day, a lovely point in which to catch our breath and have a paddle while we took a lunch break, I imagine in winter this stream would be deeper and more tricky to cross with no bridge over it and I certainly wouldn’t want to paddle in this icy cold stream as I did in summer. 😊
The trail is up hill here and with amazing views again over the valley and the whole of the ridge is in view once more, from Lose hill, Back Tor and Mam Tor. So many peaks in view throughout this walk, well it is the Peak District after all.
After a while the trail goes down once more and over another small stream beside the youth hostel, at this part of the walk the trail is around the bottom of the youth hostel by the drive way. We had decided to walk along the road a short way from here before finding the next foot path taking us off the road and onwards to Edale, beside Lady Booth Clough, then over a couple of stiles. You might notice the term booth used often which is an old Norse term for settlement so if the settlement was beside a brook or a clough it was aptly named so, as in Lady Clough Booth, or Upper Booth, It’s surprising then that Edale village isn’t named in a similar way being a settlement beside the Grinds Brook. through a sheep field before finally crossing Grinds Brook which is the final leg as we entered Edale village where the Old Nags Head pub is situated close the start of the Pennine Way, dating back to 1577. We were all ready for a cold drink after a hot walk over the hills that day and we relaxed in the shade in the garden, Max the dog of course enjoyed a long drink of water in the beer garden too.
After a well earned rest and a couple of cold drinks at the Old Nags Head in Edale my family and I walked through the village to the train station, the walk through Edale is a beautiful one in itself and so we made it last a little longer with a slow wander through to the train station since our train back to Hope village wasn’t due for a while. The walk was roughly 12km or 8 miles up and down dale, a couple of miles more if you include the walk to and from the camp site and train station, but an enjoyably scenic one to be sure.
From Edale there are so many more walks to take, a favourite of many, a walk up to Kinder Scout. This was a fun walk but not an easy route, not one for small children perhaps. Recalling this walk brings back a lot of memories including while at Hope Cross an unexpected phone call from my eldest son who was in Asia at the time, another reason to keep my phone charged. My description of the route is not as thorough as maybe I’d like, but this was some years ago, back when we only had the one dog, Max the big white one.
I’d love to re discover this route, it has been too long, and I hope I’ve inspired you to get outdoors too or to try different routes. I like to challenge myself sometimes and take a different route, but just the act of getting outdoors even for say a short walk in the park or across some fields is fantastic motivation and makes me feel more alive and refreshed, I’m not a gym kind of person but we’re all made differently and it’s a brisk walk that I enjoy the most, it’s motivational. I’ve just bought a little bracelet with the word ‘Believe’ inscribed on it, and it sometimes keeps me going when I don’t believe, sometimes it’s just the little things that make a difference. Right now I believe it is time to sign off and get the kettle on, it’s coffee time! 😉