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    Derwent Edge Walk

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    12.0 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    480 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
    Overall Rating
    This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
    Physical Difficulty
    This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Technical Difficulty
    This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Panorama from the Derwent Edge walk in Peak District, England

    Derwent Edge Walk takes you from the Lady Bower Reservoir up steep, wood-lined ravines to emerge on top of the moors. On a clear day expect phenomenal views of the Derwent valley and its unique "gritstone (sandstone) tors".

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    Route Description for Derwent Edge Walk

    To start the Derwent Edge Walk from Fairholmes, go past the visitors centre in the direction of the Derwent Dam. You don't have far to walk before you are staring up at its huge stone wall supported by two gothic towers. Occasionally large amounts of rainfall cause the dam to overflow creating a spectacular waterfall.

    Follow the path as it passes in front of the dam and climb the steps at the eastern tower and turn left at the top to join a large bridleway going around the banks of the reservoir. After just 200 m along this track, just before a small bridge, turn right onto a steep footpath that climbs Hollins Clough. The path stays close to the Clough, which is on your left.

    On top of the moor, the path starts to veer right and away from the Clough to reach a track junction. Take the left grassy track and stay on it across the moor until you reach a fence and the track turns right alongside it.

    You will soon come to a stile. Behind you are phenomenal views of the Derwent and Ladybower Reservoirs. Cross the stile and follow a narrow path through the heather to emerge on another grassy track.

    Turn left onto this grassy track and continue ahead towards Lost Lad and Back Tor, which will be visible in the distance on a clear day. Ignore a track that descends gently to the right following a stone wall. Instead, continue straight ahead to the foot of Lost Lad Hillend, following the signs to Derwent Edge.

    Soon you will intercept an obvious flagstone path that leads East across to Lost Lad (518 m). From Lost Lad, you will descend briefly before climbing up to Back Tor (538 m), the highest trig point, with shortwith stone pillars on the route. Climb atop the boulders and enjoy one of the Peak District’s finest views.

    From Back Tor, the path that faces South along Derwent Edge is well defined. You will pass several unusual rock features on this path with unusual names; Cakes of Bread, Dovestone Tor, Salt Cellar and Wheel Stones.

    At 500 m, after Wheel Stones, you will reach a signed path junction. Take the path to the right that drops off the edge and back towards Ladybower reservoir. Follow this path until it intercepts a bridleway that leads down the side of a plantation and to a collection of old barns at Grindle Clough.

    Squeeze through the small farm gates and onto a steep flagstone path, down across a pasture. Emerging on the quiet reservoir road, turn right and follow the road North for 2.5 km back to Fairholmes.

    Trail highlights

    Derwent and Ladybower Reservoirs

    Derwent Reservoir is in the middle of three reservoirs that is located in the Upper Derwent Valley in the Northern end of Derbyshire. The Ladybower Reservoir sits at the end of these rivers and Derwent River flows first through Howden Reservoir and then to Ladybower.

    The Derwent Reservoir is the main water supply that nourished North East England. The Derwent Reservoir takes approximately 3- 4 hours to complete where the Ladybower Reservoir takes approximately 2.5 hours.

    Derwent Edge

    The Derwent Edge is located in the Peak District National Park in the English county of Derbyshire. The highest point of this edge is located at Black Tor and the height is 538 m.

    The Derwent Edge has unique features such as the unusually shaped gritstone tors which have been affected by frost, rain and wind over centuries and have given them the shape they are now.

    Want to find more great walks in the Peak District? Check out these amazing routes:

    Insider Hints for Derwent Edge Walk

    • Consider a sunset hike along the ridge for a truly special Peak District panorama. The crowds will be much lower too.
    • Unwind afterwards with some proper Peak District ‘pub grub’ at the nearby Strines Inn, built in 1275. You can also choose to start your hike onto the edge from here, just follow the footpath onto Back Tor.
    • You can get the 273/274 bus Sheffield - Derwent Dams - Castleton and arrive at Fairholmes.
    • Derwent reservoir was used by 617 squadron pilots in WW2 as a practice sight for low level flights required for dam buster raids. The story is worth a read at the visitors centre on your return.

    Getting to the Derwent Edge Walk Trailhead

    To get to the Derwent Edge Trailhead by car, turn off the A57 Snake Pass road at Ladybower Reservoir following the brown signposts for Derwent Valley Dams. There is paid parking at the visitor centre.

    Route Information

    • When to do

      All Year

    • Backcountry Campsites


    • Toilets

      At the trailhead (Fairholmes)

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type


    Derwent Edge Walk Elevation Graph

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    Derwent Edge Walk Reviews

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