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A classic walk that takes you through one of the most picturesque valleys in the Peak District National Park, the Vale of Edale, part of the Pennine Way is a must-hike route. 

vale-of-edale-peak-district
Photo: Vale of Edale CREDIT AlanMBarr

The Vale of Edale - Why go?

One of the all-time classic Peak District walks this hike through the Vale of Edale shows you the Peak District National Park from a different perspective. Experience the grandeur of the hills from down in the valley and enjoy following pretty streams and stone-flagged paths. This circular walk starts and ends at the Penny Pot Cafe, which is next to the train station in the village of Edale. 

In summer, wildflowers bloom in the fields along this trail where hay meadows grow. The Pennine Way National Trail was the first of its kind in England. It starts in Edale and runs to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders. At different points on this route, hikers will be able to see Kinder Scout, Mam Tor, and Lose Hill, as well as other iconic features of the Dark Hill area like wild moors and gritstone landscapes. 

The Vale of Edale - What to Expect

This is a moderate low-level hike through the hills of Dark Peak. It offers beautiful views of Mam Tor, Kinder Scout, and Lose Hill, and the route follows part of the iconic Pennine Way walking trail. This long-distance walking trail runs for 268 miles through the English countryside to Kirk Yetholm near the Scottish borders. Enjoy just a short walk through Edale on the Pennine Way trail, before leaving it to explore more of the beautiful Peak District landscapes. 

Trails in the Peak District are often hilly and unsuitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs. When hiking here, you’ll need a good pair of walking boots and a waterproof jacket to make sure you’re prepared to battle the elements. 

The Vale of Edale & The Pennine Way – The Route, Part 1

5.4km / 1.5 - 2 hours

Start facing the Penny Pot Cafe, and head right to the end of the road. At the T-junction, go left and under the railway bridge, continuing north along the road towards Grindsbrook Booth. You will pass the Rambler Inn on the left and the Moorland Centre a little further along on the right. 

Stay on this road until you can see the Old Nags Head pub ahead. Past the New Fold Farm, take a left and join the Pennine Way (not the signposted public footpath). Follow the Pennine Way up a gentle hill for 2.6km, keeping the stream on your right. 

At the highest point of the hill, go through the gate and turn left through the second gate marked Pennine Way. Here there will be a stone path for you to follow through the fields. The path you're on here will slowly descend, winding between two hillocks. Continue on this route past a ruined farm building to the bottom of the path. 

At the bottom of the path, take the rough track on the right. It will lead onto a lane, and before reaching the farmhouse and outbuildings, leave the Pennine Way to join the public footpath on your left. Follow this footpath through fields for about 1.3km, crossing two stone bridges and a wooden one. 

The Vale of Edale & The Pennine Way – The Route, Part 2

Next, you'll cross over a railway bridge, and will need to follow the lane through farm buildings and cottages. After passing Edale Methodist Chapel, take a left at the T-junction past Bakers Fold Cottage. Follow this road for approximately 80m, then join the path towards Edale Station, following the signpost. 

This path crosses back over the railway bridge, where you will turn right through a gate and follow the path to the right. Pass through four grazing fields, then right to follow a concession path with signs pointing to Edale Station. 

Cross the railway bridge (yet) again and turn left. The gravel path will bear right but you must keep to the left of the field, signposted for Edale Station. Continue on until you reach the station, where the Penny Pot Cafe is along the road on the left. 

If you fancy trying some other stunning walks in the area, check out our list of best Peak District walks for more great routes.