Edale is a very popular centre for walkers and this easy walk provides excellent views of the valley and the surrounding hills. The Sheffield to Manchester railway line brings walkers in the thousands every year to explore the glorious walking countryside.
The Old Nag’s Head is the official starting point of the Pennine Way, which winds its way northward nearly 250 miles to Kirk Yetholm on the Scottish border. Your walk only takes you one and a half miles along the route, with Kinder Scout glowering above and on the other side the beautiful Vale of Edale with a chain of hills stretching out in the distance along the valley.
After leaving the Pennine Way, you return along the valley floor. When you cross the railway line for the first time the entrance to Cowburn Tunnel can be seen further up the line, Britain’s ninth longest tunnel.
Barber Booth is a pleasant little hamlet, where several properties provide accommodation. The house where Methodism first began has been demolished, but the chapel of 1811 stands nearby.
The railway line is crossed again and the walk returns to Edale across farmland.
Length: 4 miles.
Start/Finish: Edale Car Park.
Location: Off A625 Castleton to Hope road.
Terrain: Easy mainly flat walk. Muddy.
1. From Edale Car Park walk up the road into the village and, on reaching the Old Nag’s Head public house, turn left signed for the ‘Pennine Way and Upper Booth’.
2. Go through a swing gate up a tree lined path before turning left at a signpost.
3. Angle to the right along a paved path across a field to a stile and then follow a clear path across three stiled fields.
4. The path continues to the left of a short row of trees before another stile is crossed.
5. Keep to the left of a tall waymarked post, to follow the direction shown on the side of the post ‘PW….Jacobs Ladder.’
6. Go through a stile and walk down the hill through hillocks along a clear path descending through several stiles before going over a stile by a gate down a rough track leading to a lane.
7. At the junction with another lane turn left and left again within 20 yards, through a waymarked gate and cross the field to go through a stile gate.
8. Follow a well-trodden path through a series of fields with the fence on your right. After leaving the fence, continue angling to the left diagonally across the next field to join a farm track.
9. The track bends to the right over a railway bridge and then to the left through a farmyard, past a row of cottages and Edale Methodist Church.
10. On reaching a ‘T’ junction turn left, and within 80 yards left again at a footpath sign down a stony lane.
11. After re-crossing the railway line, turn right through a high gate stile, shortly to take the ‘Edale’ sign through a stile by a metal gate. Continue along the path through three short fields keeping close to the hedge on your right.
12. Cross the next field angling slightly to the left to go through a stile, over a footbridge, and across the farm drive in front of you to another stile on the left.
13. Go to the right aiming about 40 yards left of a gateway on the opposite side of the field, to a footpath sign marked ‘Grindsbrook.’ Avoid the path on the right unless you want to go back to the station.
14. Continue through two gate stiles in quick succession and then keeping close to the fence on the right cross two fields and follow the waymarkers in the next field to reach a farm track.
15. Go right down the track coming out by the Old Nag’s Head pub, and after exploring the village, turn right back down the road to the start of the walk.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Ladybower and the Derwent Valley is a very popular area for visitors. The dams in the valley were used by Dr Barnes Wallis and his team to test his bouncing bombs, and the film ‘The Dambusters’ was partly shot here.
Castleton Caverns without doubt the most spectacular collection of caverns in the country. Speedwell (Tel. 01433 620512), Blue John (Tel. 01433 620638), Treak (Tel. 01433 620571) and Peak (Tel. 01433 620285).
Chestnut Centre (Tel. 01298 814099) near Chapel-en-le-Frith houses Europe’s largest collection of multi-specied owls and otters. Situated in wooded parkland. Shop, tea room and exhibition buildings. For further information website: www.ottersandowls.co.uk
Old Nag’s Head (Tel. 01433 670291) this splendid old pub built in 1577, has represented the official starting point of the Pennine Way since 1965. On the wall is a blank framed certificate awarded to those who complete the walk. There is an interesting collection of photographs of the unusual rock shapes to be found on Kinder Scout in the Hikers Bar. Open for bar meals daily throughout the year. Home cooked food, with extensive menu.
Edale Cottage Café (Tel. 01433 670293) situated close to the railway station this busy little café provides an appetizing menu of hot and cold meals. Open daily from the middle of February to 31 October, and then weekends only for the remainder of the year.
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For many years, the Vale of Edale remained isolated. Its location, surrounded by the glowering heights of Kinder Scout to the north, and a long ridge of hills to the south made it difficult to reach. The River Noe just manages to find a space through a narrow gap in the hills on its way towards Hope.
The right to roam the privately owned moor above Edale was severely restricted until the 1950s. Now that access to roam has been negotiated, subject to certain byelaws, the moors are very popular with walkers.
Tom Stephenson’s classic long distance walk, the ‘Pennine Way’ has its official starting point at the Old Nag’s Head, in the centre of the village. It follows the Pennine Chain for over 250 miles northwards, to the Scottish Border at Kirk Yetholm. Attracting some 10,000 walkers each year, it is a good test even for the most experienced walker.
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