It’s Good To Walk!
Last Monday was ‘May Day’ Bank Holiday in England, which means for the lucky people who don’t work in the service industry, an extra day off work!
So with our fingers crossed for good weather, a car full of camping gear and a cool box full of beer, we decided to make the most of the 3-day weekend and head to our nearest National Park.
Enjoying the view across the moors from Stanage Edge…
From where we live in Nottinghamshire, it is a reasonable hour and a half journey to Derbyshire’s Peak District, and the quaint village of Hathersage where we stayed for 2 nights at the North Lees Campsite.
As we are now well practised with our Quecha 4 man pop-up tent, we pitched quickly, taking a spot that faced the afternoon and evening sun.
We organised our gear, set up the bedroom in terms of blowing up sleeping mats and zipping together sleeping bags etc, checked out the toilet/ shower block, and soon headed into town for a Saturday afternoon browse in the local hiking shops.
Hathersage has 3 good hiking shops with a great selection of clothing, footwear and accessories from top brands such as North Face and Rab. This is a past time of ours as we continually add/ change new gear to our ‘Kit List’ for the JMT. (You can find out more about our planned hike of the John Muir Trail in 2014 by clicking the link on the Menu Bar above). Hathersage also has a good selection of pubs which welcome hikers with ‘muddy boots and their dogs’.
After a couple of hours, we returned to our tent with a new Lonely Planet book entitled ‘Hiking Spain’ which had caught our eye. We are suckers for a good guide book and new trail ideas! Hiking in Spain could now be a possibility for a last-minute summer holiday if we can get some cheap no-frills flights! Watch this space…
For us, one of the highlights of camping is the food. So Wayne set about cooking up a gourmet camping feast of sweet chilli sausages, added to a home-made sauce of sweet roasted peppers and piccolo cherry tomatoes, served with spaghetti.
After the washing up chore was done, we had an early night in preparation for Sunday, our designated ‘walking’ day.
A 10 mile-round trip ‘easy’ Day Walk…
Hathersage is most famous for its access to Stanage Edge, made from naturally weathered Millstone Grit. It is the largest gritstone edge running through the Peak District National Park, that provides fantastic views across the surrounding moors and countryside.
The edge runs four miles north from the Cowper Stone to Stanage End. We found the walk overall to be ‘easy’, and suitable for families. Once you are at the top, walking along Stanage Edge itself is basically a flat walk that does not require a lot of effort. And without a doubt, it definitely provides the picturesque views described in all the guide books.
As well as being a popular destination throughout the year with day walkers, Stanage Edge is also very busy with climbers, who enjoy the challenging rock climbs it provides.
Despite its popularity, you are still able to feel a sense of solitude if you make the effort to walk all the way along to the northern part of the edge where it forms the border between the High Peak of Derbyshire and Sheffield in South Yorkshire.
Stopping to enjoy the views…
Heading north, you are able to see views of the Lady Bower Reservoir, also popular with day walkers and cyclists.
We found it to be extremely windy at the top, so we were a little cautious getting our obligatory ‘stood on the edge of a rock’ photographs – but we hope you enjoy the views as much as we did. The pastel colours definitely looked as though they were straight from an artist’s palette.
This was in complete contrast to our previous visit in April 2012, where we saw Stanage Edge covered in snow!
We were also lucky enough to watch some paragliders take off from the edge and glide down across the moors below.
All in all, a great day walk to blow off the cobwebs and soak in the sights, and a lovely camping weekend in England.