White Edge Friday 7th September 2018

Today's route was planned so I could visit two Companion Stones I hadn't seen before, naturally this also took me along some previously unvisited paths. The Companion Stones were created to sit close to the stoops that for centuries guided people across the moors. Each stone has poem on it that is meant to point towards the future, just as the stoops pointed towards the nearest market town.

Start: Curbar Gap car park (SK 2615 7470)

Route:

Curbar Gap car park - White Edge - Barbrook Reservoir - Greaves's Piece - Foxlane Plantation - Jack Flat - Baslow Edge - Curbar Gap car park

Distance: 9.75 miles     Ascent: 306 metres      Time Taken: 5 hrs 40 mins

Terrain: Clear paths through a mixture of moorland and woods.

Weather: Rain, sun and very strong wind, with a cold edge to it.

Pub Visited: Herd Steakhouse, Matlock    Ale Drunk: Ashover Brewery, Hawaiian Shirt

Route Map >>

 

Sign

The first Companion Stone is located at the start of the walk just as you walk through the gate from the car park. The stones were first installed around 2010 and they are starting to weather now.

White Edge

As we head towards White Edge we can't help but notice the work that is going on ahead of us. It helped to explain the new gates and the hardcore that has been laid on the track we were walking along.

Sandyford Brook

The work is to replace the wooden bridge that crossed the brook with a more substantial stone bridge. Hopefully the landscape will recover and the steps will blend in after a few months.

Eaglestone Flat

Looking back at the track we have followed from the climb onto White Edge. The weather looks really nice, in that direction. Just as we had been about to set out a heavy shower had made us delay the start whilst we let it pass over us and we had hoped that was the last of the day's predicted showers.

Curbar Edge

Curbar Edge from White Edge and the weather doesn't look quite as nice. A few minutes later the heavens opened and it was full waterproofs on.

Bamford Edge

After twenty to thirty minutes of rain being whipped into our faces as we walked along White Edge the rain eventually stopped. Our waterproofs had a had a good testing, mine being new passed, John's coat after 12 years is maybe due for replacing.

White Edge

Although the rain had stopped the wind was still fairly strong and at times very gusty. Autumn is definetly on its way.

Higger Tor

For the first time we get a view of Higger Tor as the clouds blow away and the sun lights up Burbage Rocks.

White Edge

As we continue along the edge the clouds continue to lift and the view keeps on improving.

Higger Tor

Although the clouds are lifting the wind continues to buffet us as we make our way along the edge.

Win Hill

Win Hill and Bamford Edge, from White Edge.

White Edge

As we approach the end of White Edge the rain is threatening to start again.

White Edge

Time to make a decision, do we trust the weathermen are correct and the weather will brighten up, or do we change our plans and make a return trip along Froggatt Edge.

For This Ride

First we visit the second of today's Companion Stones, which is close to the end of White Edge.

White Edge Moor

We opt to continue the walk as planned and turn along this path to start the walk across the moor.

Lady's Cross

We divert off the path to visit Lady's Cross one of the stoops found on White Edge Moor. This one doesn't have a Companion Stone.

Barbrook

Our route will take us across the moor towards the road and Barbrook Bridge.

Big Moor

We follow a clear path across the featureless Big Moor.

Big Moor

The path leads us towards the former Barbrook Reservoir.

Barbrook Reservoir

Barbrook Reservoir's walls come into sight.

Barbrook Reservoir

We had lunch sat on what would have been the walls of the reservoir.

So Choose

This was the first of the two new Companion Stones I visited today. The poem refers to the fact it is located next to a road.

Stoop

It is found next to this stoop on Barbrook, which from this
direction is pointing towards Sheffield.

Smeekley Wood

We cross the road and the scenery changes quite drastically from moorland to woodland. Ahead of us the hill covered by woodland is Smeekley Wood.

Greaves's Piece

We follow a clear track through Greaves's Piece heading for Car Road.

Hewetts Bank

As we reach a clearing in the wood we get our first look at Hewetts Bank. The plan was to try and walk along the bottom of the bank but the clear track, which we opted to follow, crossed Car Lane above the public footpath we planned on using so we skirted the west, rather than the east of Foxlane Plantation.

Foxlane Plantation

It was a pleasant walk through the plantation but it did mean we missed out on finding two ancient crosses marked on the map.

Foxlane Plantation

When we reached the point where the two paths met we diverted back along the higher path to see if we could find the crosses but had no luck. Next time it might make sense to start the walk from here and follow the other path through the wood.

Follow, follow, follow

The second new Companion Stone is located close to the gate onto the road.

Stoop

Like the previous Companion Stone it is very close to the stoop that used to guide people across the moors, long before the wood ever exisited.

Leash Fen

A long section of road walking follows, but now the clouds have lifted we get to enjoy the views across and beyond Leash Fen.

Big Moor

We save ourselves some road walking by cutting across the edge of Big Moor and opt for a break before we head across Jack Flat.

Edge Keen to the Wind

We pass the final Companion Stone of the day on Jack Flat.

Wellington's Monument

We reach Wellington's Monument without passing any cattle, which is very strange as they are normally a permanent fixture on Jack Flat.

Derwent Valley

From here we have great view of the Derwent Valley and Chatsworth.

White Edge

We opt to walk between the rocks on Baslow Edge and get this view across to White Edge.

Curbar Edge

As we walk along Baslow Edge we keep an eye on the clouds in the hope the sun will catch Curbar Edge just as it is currently catching the distant Bamford Edge.

Curbar Edge

It might not look it but the wind has really picked up and the only way to hold the camera still is to hide behind a rock. One advantage of the wind is we don't have to wait long for the sun to catch the rocks, but you have to be quick or it is soon gone.

Baslow Edge

We don't hang around for too long even though the light keeps changing, here it is lighting up Baslow Edge just ahead of us.

Curbar Gap

As we approach the car park the clouds finally seem to be disappearing.