Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Other Pike Low and Derwent Edges

Derwent Edges has quite a few well known features, and while I have seen them from a distance on frequent occasions, my other walks had meant I had not had the time. So this weekend I made the time, also giving me the opportunity to go up Pike Low, not Pike Lowe I went up a few months ago.

My walk started out at the Car Park along the A57 heading down towards the Ladybower Inn and just above Cutthroat Bridge. The bridge takes it's name from a murder committed 400 years ago. A man was found with his throat cut, but alive, in Highshaw Clough, but died in Bamford Hall two days later. The bridge was referred to as Cutthroat Bridge by locals from there on. The weather, at this point was dry, but a bit dull, as the photos will show.

The first leg of my walk took me through the bottom of Highshaw Clough (Eashaw Clough to locals) with a turn south west  around the southern edge of Ladybower Wood.

Part of the wood is a nature reserve. The path in this area is quite rocky and does see quite a few mountain bikers, so be aware of that are two wheeled cousins are knocking about.

With some nice views of Ladybower Reservoir you head around the back of Ladybower Inn. I could feel a magnetic pull at this point, but I pressed on.

The path continues round, above Ladybower House, along a stone wall and down past Ashopton Sawmill.

I followed along the path that edged along the east bank of the Ladybower Reservoir up towards Wellhead. The path here is pleasant with nice views across the reservoir, and if fortunate, the chance to see fly fishermen being successful in catching what looks like quite large fish.

Just past Wellhead there is a ramp up and off to the right that is the path leading up Pike Low. The path up Pike Low is fairly steep, but manageable, with more views revealing themselves.

The top of Pike Low is fairly uneventful and the path leads on past the Millbrook plantation and on towards Bamford House where a path crosses the one you are on. Taking a right turn here, roughly north easterly leads towards a steep incline. There is an alternative route that heads off above Green Stitches, but this would have missed an important part of the walk.

The incline, although steep, is easy to ascend as the path is stepped and you're at the top before you know it.

Once at the top, taking this steeper route, becomes obvious as the peak of Lost Lad comes into view. The story behind Lost Lad is quite creepy. The name comes from the story of the Abraham Lowe, a thirteen year old local who ran a farm with his mother more than 100 years ago. Abraham set out one winter to round up the farm's sheep with his dog. Abraham got lost in a blizzard and took shelter under a rock where he carved the words 'lost lad' on a stone. Hence the name of 'Lost Lad' for the peak. It is said that his ghost can be seen walking the winter moorland with his dog.

The cairn where the stone he scratched on should still be under the cairn on the peak which has been added to over the years by passers by. The is also a memorial on the peak to a W. H. Baxby of the Sheffield Clarion Ramblers.

There are also other scary things to be found on Last Lad, besides ghosts...!

The path now heads approximately south east down to Back Tor, an ideal spot for a break as there is shelter to be found from the wind, and from rain if needs be.

There is a trig point on back Tor, so another one added to the list.

Continuing on across Derwent edge and it becomes obvious that this area has quite a few unique rock formations, such as:

Cakes of Bread......

Dovestone Tor........

Salt Cellar (Boulder)........

White Tor and the amazing Wheel Stones........

There are also some fantastic views down into the valley that Ladybower cuts through and further in the distance, Edale Valley.

From the mesmerising features of Derwent Edge, around 500 meters passed the Wheel Stones, you come to a crossroads. At this crossroads I took a left turn and headed back down to Highshaw Clough.

The path threads around an area of private land and back to Cutthroat Bridge.

This is definitely a walk to have on a to do list, the views are great, in good weather, and the features are stunning.


  1. Back Tor is one of my favorite peak locations.

  2. It is a great area up there, not one to miss.