Four edges and a bluebell wood
JOHN GOODMAN WALK LEADER
THE rugged outcrops on the eastern flanks of the Derwent Valley to the north of Hope in Derbyshire are a distinctive feature of the Peak District National Park, offering outstanding views of the surrounding hills.
Some like Froggatt Edge with its sheer cliff faces are very popular with both climbers and walkers.
Four lesser known gritstone edges, however, were the focus of a recent walk by 19 members of East Cheshire Ramblers, starting from the village of Calver, once the home of an historic cotton mill opened in 1778 by one John Gardom.
After crossing the River Derwent by Froggatt Bridge, the walkers climbed the best known of the scarps on the itinerary – Curbar Edge – to be compensated by a coffee break perched on top of an exposed rocky outcrop looking out over Kinder Scout and beyond.
They then trekked across heathery access land to the less dramatic White Edge, followed by a crossing of the aptly named Big Moor.
Next came two lesser known but equally rewarding ascents: firstly, the eponymous Gardom’s Edge, site of a prehistoric cup and ring stone, now faithfully preserved buried beneath a replica.
Lunch was taken here accompanied by the rare calls of a cuckoo, before the party entered the Chatsworth estate to begin the last climb of the day, Dobb Edge, which has its own ancient rock art. Gently descending through Chatsworth’s rolling parkland, the group arrived in the village of Baslow where they lingered briefly to spot trout from the ancient Bubnell Bridge.
The 11-mile walk concluded with a beautiful ridge walk that passed through Bank Wood with its carpet of bluebells, before a steep descent back into Calver.
For further information go to ramblers eastcheshire.org.uk.
●» Leader John Goodman (left) pictured with the group on Gardom’s Edge