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Aim, Focus, Shoot - The HyPyC blog
Stanage Edge - The Peak District

Exploring Stanage Edge, The Peak District, Derbyshire

I have travelled through the Peak District extensively and it is one of my favourite locations in the UK – the landscapes here are truly stunning and there are endless opportunities for hiking and exploring. Some notable locations I have visited include Mam Tor, Higger Tor, Ladybower Reservoir, Chatsworth and most recently, Stanage Edge. This grit stone escarpment is one of the most prominent features in the Peak District and it is renowned as a location for rock climbing and hiking. In April 2017 we drove through the peaks and enjoyed a sunny afternoon exploring this beautiful location.

Stunning landscapes of the Peak District

History - Stanage Edge is known as a Gritstone escarpment and was extensively quarried in years past for its precious grindstone. This impressive fault line stretches for some 5km in lies in close proximity to Hope Valley and Hathersage. In ancient times, a Roman Road stretched along the cliffs and after that a packhorse road was created over it – it was used as a part of a trade route in the Peak District. Today, Stanage Edge is a popular climbing destination and although the cliffs are only 25m high, the variation in the rock faces creates a myriad of challenging routes.

Sheep grazing at the base of Stanage Edge

Parking/Access - There are several car parks in close proximity to Stanage Edge depending on which parts you want to explore. If you want to travel from further afield and enjoy a day of hiking, Hathersage, Hope Valley and Castleton are three popular tourists villages that can server as a base.

Lauren and Abbey walking to the top of the cliffs

Hooks Car Park – This is considered to be the most popular, and the closest to the cliffs. You can find this car park off of "The Dale" road which splits off from "Ringinglow Road". It is a free car park, but spaces are limited and on popular days it fills up quickly. From here, there are a couple of footpaths that lead directly up to the cliffs.

Sign promoting respectful behaviour

Stanage Edge Car park – This is the other main car park but lies a little further out on Ringinglow Road. From here you can walk along a footpath for approximately 0.75km until you reach the cliffs. This car park is also free and has a little more available spaces. Furthermore, from here you can also walk to Higger Tor and Carl Wark which are two other notable rocky landmarks.

Looking down from the epic Stanage Edge

Experiencing the cliffs – Once we had parked the car in Hooks Car Park we had a picnic on the grass area at the front of Stanage Edge - plenty of other people were doing the same and enjoying the sunshine. After we were refreshed we started the climb up the path towards the top - it was quite hard going as it was hot, but it only took 15-20 minutes at a steady pace. Anyone with a reasonable level of fitness should be able to make it! One the way we saw a herd of sheep who were enjoying the long grass and basking in the sun.

The cliff face stretched for miles across the Peak District

The feeling was fantastic when we reached the top - we turned around and admired the amazing views that the cliffs presented us with. You can literally see for miles - the surrounding Peak District countryside is mesmerizing. The colours of the landscape had hints of gold and yellow, and the greens of spring were bursting through in the fields and trees. Many hills and valleys rolled out beneath us and we walked for some time along the length of the grit escarpment. It was fascinating to see the climbers hooking up their ropes and attempted to traverse the various cracks and crevasses of the edge.

Lauren and Abbey enjoying the view

If you wished, you could walk for miles along the whole length of Stanage Edge, but we only trudged along a short distance - it was wonderful to just sit on the edge of the rocks and let the beautiful scenery conjure up scenes in my imagination. I could have literally stayed there for hours and I hope to return at some point to explore more of this unique rock formation in the heart of the Peak District.

Loose rocks on the top of Stanage Edge
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