5 Curbar & Froggatt
The Peak District is rightly famous for its glorious gritstone edges. Jen and Sim Benson discover some of the best.
The Peak District was the first of the UK’s National Parks, designated in 1951 following a Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout by locals claiming their right to access open moorland. Thanks to these early campaigners it’s now one of the most popular places for outdoor recreation in England. This walk spends much of its time on high ground, taking in the tops of some of the park’s finest gritstone edges on clear trails that wind across the windswept moor. This is rock-climbing country, and climbers flock from all over the country to pit themselves against the grit. Froggatt alone has nearly 500 graded routes, and nearby Curbar is home to the classic HVS ‘The Peapod’ – a crack wide enough to wedge an entire climber, and therefore an excellent spot for viewing. Traversing the good paths along the top brings you to Baslow Edge and the Wellington Monument, a 10ft high cross that stands proudly on the hillside to commemorate the Duke of Wellington’s victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. It was erected by a local resident and army man, Dr Wrench, in 1866 to celebrate a visit by the Duke, or perhaps to counterbalance Admiral Nelson’s memorial on nearby Birchen Edge. The final section of the walk takes you through the peaceful Longshaw Estate, a 750 acre stretch of exciting and varied landscape, with woodland, open moor and the Burbage Brook, which tumbles through pretty Padley Gorge. The café’s good too – a perfect place to refuel and admire the view.
Looking north along Curbar Edge.