The Peak District national park is a stunning location for walking, and Edale village is known well to many as a wonderful place to begin or to end a walk or hike. Perfectly positioned for hikes up to Kinder Scout or the Pennine Way.
Here are three Edale related walks to sample that we have enjoyed as a family.
A walk from Edale to Castleton
On one special occasion we decided to take ourselves up through the village of Edale after getting off a train and we ordered food from The Rambler Inn, we were not disappointed, great value and delicious food. We then started our journey.
Location details for Edale village
If starting the walk with a car journey, the postal code for Edale car park is Water Meadows, Hope Rd, Edale, Hope Valley S33 7ZQ the car park is close to a café and toilets and conveniently close by is the train station.
There are parking charges here but it is a large and well maintained car park.
Start of the walk
Time was ticking and a walk to be enjoyed, off we strode, past the train station again and onto the main road, taking a right-hand turn, being careful without a path for a short way. There’s a lane to the left in just a short distance where we walked up a mild incline.
The whole route is a head turner and it’s kind of hard to know where to point the camera lens, the hills behind us, the sweet little lambs in the field or the delicate bluebells alongside the road.
The path up towards the ridge is found through a gate to the left-hand side on the lane once past the woodland area and the bends in the road, you can’t miss it.
In summer on a dry day the path is mainly firm underfoot apart from a few boggy parts, but in winter or through a rainy stint, you will find it rather muddy going, I’d recommend boots for sure.
Walking up towards the ridge is quite straightforward and for the main part gradual, the views are beautiful especially if you happen to be lucky with the weather, a misty day will obscure some of the hill tops but I find it refreshing and gorgeous no matter what the weather throws at me, I’m drawn back here time and time again, sometimes doing this route in reverse as I did just 4 weeks after having my youngest son, carrying him in his baby sling. Nothing like a fresh air walk.
From the top on the ridge, the views in both directions are delightful. The great ridge as it’s known is around 3km long from Lose hill to Mam Tor, at the point where our route crosses the great ridge there’s a view point, Hollins Cross which is a popular point to cross the ridge at it’s lowest point, either from Edale to Castleton or vice versa.
The track down into Castleton is rather steep and in places quite uneven, parts are basically a stream which needs careful navigation and I wouldn’t recommend for those who aren’t too stable on their feet especially in bad weather.
There is a slightly longer route that veers off to the right and goes along the old Mam Tor road which eroded years ago after a historic landslide, not so muddy and a longer distance but in places still uneven due to the land slip. We had some fun on the way down the track into Castleton just as we always do.
Winnatts pass can be seen across the valley on the way down, and Mam Tor is another lovely sight. The whole of the Hope Valley can be viewed from the path and the obvious landmark of the Hope valley, the cement factory.
We stopped in the village long enough for a refreshing drink at The Castle, a pub on the main street, before going on our way towards Hope village. Another of my memorable walks took us through Cave Dale, rugged but scenic and almost hidden behind Peveril castle in Castleton.
There’s a public foot path signposted beside the main road on the right-hand side out of Castleton, this takes a rather scenic route alongside the river ending at Hope village which avoids the road, it might be longer than the road route, but the tranquillity and sights along the journey far out way speed of passage.
A favourite path to and from Castleton for many a year, usually if we have our dogs with us, they’d be on a close lead though these fields, especially in lambing season, but on that day, we were without the dogs. It’s sweet to watch the lambs with their mums and so curious of us too. Halfway along this route the Hope cement factory can be seen quite close by, the factory train line runs across the route, another navigation to make over the tracks.
Hope village then comes into sight, a place that feels almost like home, I’ve spent so much time there over the years. But not this day, just passing through on the way to the train station.
The next part of our journey was about to begin, another train adventure to take us home. There were a couple of train exchanges, one in Sheffield and another in Derby and then of course finding the right platforms and ensuring we boarded the right train.
We met some lovely helpful people on our journey, helping each other find platforms and trains. All in all, a fun day full of laughter and adventure with a couple of refreshment stops along the way.
Distance of walk from Edale to Castleton finishing at Hope Village
The distance of the walk is roughly 9 miles or 14.48 km which includes walking to the train station in Hope village if you are intending to travel by train as we did on this walk. It is a short train journey or bus ride back to Edale if you intend to park your car in the main car park at Edale village. We usually catch a train back home at this point.
Good memories, and beautiful places that have drawn me back again for another walk and to tell another
A Walk from Hope to Edale Village Via Win hill
Our walk this time 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 where the temperature hit 30 degrees 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.
Hope train station parking location
The walk starts from the train station and the post code to reach Hope train station and parking, whether on the roadside or at the station, is Hope Valley S33 6RU. Parking is usually available along the road, but it can be busy on a bank holiday, and it is better to arrive early to get a parking place.
On reaching Hope train station we headed up towards Win hill, the walk would take us via Hope Cross which is to the left of Win hill.
Hope Cross is 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 there are beautiful views across the valley looking across to the opposite side to the ‘Great Ridge,’ as it’s known, the ridge starts at Lose hill and continues all the way to Mam Tor, it 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, a chilled glass of fresh juice.
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 power bank for back up charges. Walking boots on and camera ready, so off on an adventure we went.
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.
History and pack horse trail
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, as mentioned previously 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 stunning.
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 goes 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.
Lady Booth Clough
The walk continues 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.
The walk goes 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, beside the brook, a tall glass of juice on ice was so welcome and 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.
Length of walk
The walk from Hope train station to Edale was roughly 12km or 8 miles up and down dale, a couple of miles more if you include the walk to and from a camp site, or if you park elsewhere but an enjoyably scenic one for sure.
From Edale there are so many more walks to take, a favourite of many, is 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 hope I’ve inspired you to try different routes, I try to challenge myself sometimes and I wear a bracelet inscribed with the word, Believe to remind myself to have belief in myself. I hope you try this walk too and enjoy.
Dark Hills and Green Dales another Edale walk
This was winter’s walk in the peaks to clear the head and lighten the soul. There’s nothing quite so simple, yet so pleasing for me as taking a breathtaking walk in the hills.
All of the contrasting colour and texture draws my eye, in the autumn and winter months the bracken turning a burnt umber and receding for winter, even the grassy pastures that were once a bright vibrant playing field green is now a pale faded sepia tone.
The Derbyshire stone walls remain ever the same stone grey with spots of lichen, a constant in this ever changing environment. The tree line is now a collage of colour, burnt orange, muted mustard and with leaves almost fallen, soon to be just a multitude of browns.
Overhead is a gorgeous azure blue sky with billowing clouds, I always call this, a “Simpsons” sky!
When out walking with the family it’s good to keep it fun and safe. Colborne moor is a stunning location for it views and for it variation of destinations that can be accessed once you arrive at the top of the ridge. However I’m aware that moorland is not a place to be wandering with kids in tow after dark in the winter, also on my mind, stepping into a bog is also not in my to do list! Been there done it, got the T shirt!
As a family we’ve walked all over these hills through the generations, the eldest two sons, now grown up, used to walk these well-trodden trails with us when they were just young lads, now they visit the Derbyshire peaks on occasion with their girlfriends!
The eldest not so much, since he lives and works in Malaysia or Thailand mostly now, trekking through the rainforest to set up camera traps for environmental and ecology studies, at that time participating in a protected species study for clouded leopards. He was back home to visit for a short while over Christmas and we took him into the Derbyshire hills just to see the views and to visit the famous little gem of a village, Castleton to take in the atmosphere and Castleton Christmas lights at that time of year.
Car park location Barber Booth
On this particular visit we arrived in the Peak District by car and a little late in the day, so we parked at Barber Booth car park. The post code for this parking location is, Hope Valley S33 7ZL
Dale Head Bunkhouse
We booted up and headed up toward Dale Head Bunkhouse, this a good place to make base camp if you want to take in the area as a group. The bunkhouse is run by the National Trust and sleeps 20 people in comfort and even has a cosy wood burner in the living room.
Once on route following the Edale railway line along the lane to Dale Head Bunkhouse it was just a short trek up the side of the ridge to Colborne moor.
This is where the views start, I believe it’s called Lords seat, to one side is the view of Lose Hill to Mam Tor, Castleton Ridge and closer by Mam Nick.
To the other side if you have more time on your side is an amazing route to Jacobs ladder and beyond to the woolpacks and Kinder Plateau. Laid out before us at this point is the view of the whole Edale Valley and the railway line, which disappears underneath the hillside below us into a tunnel.
Walking along the ridge is breath taking, I love it here so much, the views are so pleasurable and the quiet simplicity of this place has to be sampled to be understood. It’s just a simple pleasure in life to stand in nature and take in all it has to offer, it’s sights its sounds and the fresh air up there on the hill, in any season, any weather.
Return walk to the Barber Booth car park
Walking back down to Barber Booth is just another snip of a walk, taking the bridle road that winds along the side of Mam Nick. If there’s more time available the bridle way also has a sign posted route to Chapel-en-le-Frith.
Reaching the bottom of the track there’s a lovely little stone barn, just before reaching Dale Head Bunkhouse again.
length of walk
Length of circular walk from Barber Booth car park to Colborne moor is roughly 3 miles or 4.8km.
Light began to fade fast but left a sweet little sunset reflected on the clouds, and a little light mist rose from the valley’s belly as the weather began to change. I believe we returned to the car park just in time to see our way back to the car.
A refreshing peak district winter walk, more special family memories and a fun time for Max the dog too. This is my kind of Heaven.