Hathersage to Stanage Edge – Why Go?
A visit to Stanage Edge means different things to different people. Climbers flock to the gritstone escarpment, one of the most popular crags in the UK, because of the variety of grades here across the 2,000 climbing routes. Couple this with stunning views across the Dark Peak moorland and Hope Valley and you can see why Stanage Edge is a place that climbers visit again and again.
Others enjoy this Stanage Edge walk because of its literary connections. Not only did North Lees Hall inspire Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, but the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice was filmed here. Actress Keira Knightly stood atop the windblown rocks of Stanage, surveying the dramatic Peak District National Park.
This Hathersage to Stanage Edge walking route provides picturesque views of Mam Tor, Derwent and Hope Valleys, and Kinder Scout. The land surrounding Stanage is littered with old millstones and grindstones, and the Long Causeway, a packhorse route that starts nearby, are wonderful reminders of the industrial past of the Peak District. The Stanage Edge walk is fascinating and definitely worthy of being called one of the best Peak District walks.
Hathersage to Stanage Edge –What to Expect
Walking Stanage Edge will require a good pair of walking boots because there is a steep climb up to and down from the top of the cliff. The ground will also be uneven in places and there unsuitable for wheelchairs or buggies, like many of the Peak District’s wild walks.
There are very few facilities along the way, but toilets are available at the Hathersage car park and on the lane above North Lees Hall. The walk takes around 4 hours, so make sure you’ve got plenty of water and snacks. A waterproof jacket is also a good item to pack when hiking in the Peaks, just in case it rains.
Hathersage to Stanage Edge Circular Walk – The Route, Part 1
14.5km / 4 - 4.5 hours
Starting at the car park in the village of Hathersage, follow the main road (A6187). Take Baulk Lane, which starts opposite the petrol station by the old Hathersage Inn, and follow it steadily uphill and away from buildings. Shortly before Cowclose Farm, take the signposted left fork in the path to a country lane.
Turn right here, then take a left to follow the drive to the beautiful North Lees Hall that inspired Charlotte Brontë. Follow the trail around the hall and turn right to climb the steps to a path crossing beautiful hillside pastures. On the left will be a stepped path that leads to a roadside toilet block and mountain rescue post. Take this path, following the road for a short distance before turning right onto a grassy path.
You’ll meet a car park where you will follow the paved path through Stanage Plantation to climb to the top of the cliffs of Stanage Edge. As you stand on top of Stanage, you'll see that the valley beneath you is littered with discarded and broken millstones that hint at the industrial past of Sheffield and the surrounding areas.
Hathersage to Stanage Edge Circular Walk – The Route, Part 2
At the highest point of Stanage Edge, follow the path right to the summit of High Neb and Crow Chin. Along the top edge of the cliff, the path will veer north and you'll descend to the lower path that doubles back beneath the cliffs. It will join with a path from the right and take you back to the top of the cliffs.
Continue walking south-east along the edge, heading towards the east summit which is topped with a concrete trig point. At the road at Upper Burbage Bridge, bear left for about 100m, then take the higher of the two right-hand paths towards Higger Tor.
At the summit, double back on a path to the Fiddler's Elbow road, where, after a short uphill hike, you'll take the path to the left. This footpath descends to a walled track that will take you to Dale Bottom road. Follow this road until you meet a path on the right, which will take you through the lush hills of Toothill Farm.
Turn left by the farmhouse and follow the path back to the village of Hathersage, past the impressive spires of the church. Take a right onto School Lane to reach Main Road, then go left down Oddfellows Road to return to Hathersage car park.
Want more? Take a look at our picks of the best Peak District walks.