Look back at it….
Sometimes, the geography of the route lends itself to reflection. And I’m not talking about vast lakes and glass-like tarns; this route is more about being able to see where you’ve come from, and where you will end up going.
Anyone that has read my other route reports for the Peak District will know I have a special bias towards Edale Valley and the surrounding hills. From the vast reservoirs at the eastern end, to the ever-famous Kinder Scout to the north, Edale Valley offers so many different approaches to a day out.
Starting in Hope, the wrong side of Lose Hill to the Edale Valley, the route takes an as-the-crow-flies approach to tackling Lose Hill. Start early enough, and you’ll be lucky to get the first views of the morning from the second highest summit of the day!
Stretching out in front is the well-known ‘Great Ridge’, consisting of Lose Hill, Back Tor, Hollins Cross and Mam Tor. Starting at the most easterly point, Lose Hill, allows the route to really take in the 360-degree panoramic views of Edale, Hope and Kinder Scout, while avoiding spending too much time on the easily accessed and ‘crowd-friendly’ Mam Tor.
As I mentioned, this route is all about being able to see where you came from at various points of the day. From the summit of Mam Tor, and the good old British weather depending, the entire ridge can be seen to stretch out back to Lose Hill, like a sleeping beast we’ve all had the audacity to climb all over and have a spot of lunch on!
From Mam Tor, drop quickly into Edale Valley, and grace Edale itself with your presence; be sure to stop off at the General Store, a small independent with, quite literally, a product line-up to die for. The Rambler Inn, closer to the train station, serves as the perfect place for a pie and a pint – it’ll be 2 o’clock somewhere!
Once you’ve finished in Edale, escape back to the quiet, gently working your way up the valley before a tough but manageable climb, intercepting an old Roman Road which skirts the pretty measly summit of Wooler Knoll. The vast forest to your left-hand side will guide you toward the final peak of the day, Win Hill.
Win Hill provides some of my favourite and mots vast views of this spread of the Peaks; The sheer size of Kinder Scout, the flooded valleys of Ladybower and Derwent, The Great Ridge and everything in-between can be surveyed from Win Hill, certainly not a photo opportunity to be missed! Your entire route can be seen from here, so be sure to pick out any places you’d like to visit in the future.
Tread well for a short and steep descent back into Hope, diving under the railway bridge and head back into town.
This route is a little contrasting to my normal write-ups, focussing less on the ‘challenge’ and more on the steady enjoyment. The entire route is on well-trodden paths and roads, with your next target always easily sighted, but not without rewarding views and landscapes. This type of route completely de-stresses you, a complete lack of demand on your senses and navigation allows you to completely reset; a perfect weekend walk, some may say.
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