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    Flash and Three Shires Head Circular 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.
    6.0 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.
    273 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Flash and Three Shires Head Circular Walk

    The Flash and Three Shires Head Circular Walk is a beautifully scenic walking route in Peak District National Park that takes you to the point where Chesire, Derbyshire, and Staffordshire converge. Along the trail, you will experience breathtaking views of the surrounding moor, and visit a serene spot alongside the River Dane that is spanned by a charming 18th-century packhorse bridge. Package all of this together with a quick pint at Britain’s highest village pub and you have a strong contender for one of the best walks in the area.

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    Route Description for Flash and Three Shires Head Circular Walk

    Although the Flash and Three Shires Head Circular Walk is a well-travelled and maintained route, certain aspects of the trail might impede travel for some visitors. Portions of the trail are often saturated with water and are very muddy, while others are more stoney, steep, and uneven. Make sure to wear proper footwear in order to stay comfortable on this walk. Additionally, there are many free-roaming sheep in the area, so keep your dogs on-leash if you are thinking of bringing them along for the journey.

    As with many of the walks in the Peak District, this route traverses the moorland and provides some breathtaking views of the surrounding terrain. Reaching the point where the three shires converge, walkers will find a charming packhorse bridge from the 18th-century, the sight of which can be viewed on many a calendar. For the minimal amount of effort required to complete this scenic walk, the scenery is an ample reward that will leave you wishing you had spent even more time out on the trail.

    The walk sets out from the village, right in front of The New Inn, which has the designation of being Britain’s highest village pub and is a likely spot to end your walk with a rewarding pint. With the pub on your left, make your way west along the road as you pass by the Wesleyan Chapel on your right. Follow the road downhill for 0.8 km until you reach the point just before it turns. Turn right and walk along the laneway to make your way past Farbrook Farm.

    Walk between the two buildings and pass through the metal gate to arrive at a junction with another gate to your left. Make your way through the gate and follow along the narrow path until you reach a stile that you will need to cross in order to continue. Shortly afterward, you will come to a small stream that you can cross via a series of stepping stones or by utilizing a bridge that is slightly overgrown with vegetation.

    Upon crossing the stream, follow the trail signs at the end of the bridge to make your way up a steep, rocky bank. From here, head across the field to a stile next to a metal gate that will lead you across another field towards a farm. Keep the wall on your right and pass through a small gate just as you approach the farm to make your way up the drive towards the road. Once you reach the road, head left and follow it for 0.4 km, where you will arrive at a small gate near another farm.

    Make your way through the gate and continue on to where the trail forks. Keep right here and continue along the stoney track for 1.2 km, ignoring any side trails that may come up. As you walk along the track with the looming hill on your right, you will pass through a metal gate and continue to the bottom of the valley, where you will come to the packhorse bridge at Three Shires Head. This is the location where Cheshire, Derbyshire, and Staffordshire all meet, and it is a scenic spot to sit and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere along the banks of the River Dane. Take some time to explore the area and view the cascading waterfall before continuing on your walk.

    To head east along the track, do not cross over the packhorse bridge. Instead, head to the right and through a metal gate to continue along the rocky edge of a lovely stream. Reaching a trail post, turn right and make your way over a small stone bridge before beginning an uphill climb for 0.4 km to arrive at Knotbury Edge Lane. From here, turn right and follow along the lane as it passes by small cottages and turns a bend to the right. When you come to a junction with a quiet road, follow it to the left and make your way around the bend.

    Reaching another junction, turn right to cross over another stone bridge and begin a climb up the moors. Follow the trail posts and use the wall as a guide to make your way up this steep and boggy section of the trail. Reaching the top of the hill, follow the path to the right of the rocks and make your way to the corner of the wall, where you will find a gate opening.

    From here, continue along the walled track and cross over the stile. Make a right at the marker and follow the wall on your right to cross over another stile and arrive at a junction. Head through the left gate by the waymarker post and keep left to cross over several fields and two stiles. After passing the cottages on your left, head through the small gate and turn left to cross another Stile. From here, continue along the stone track to return to the village and have a celebratory pint for having completed the Flash and Three Shires Head Circular Walk.
    Trail Highlights

    Three Shires Head

    The Three Shires Head is a location on Axe Head Moor, where three different regions (Cheshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire) converge on one spot. The area is characterized by the rushing waters of the River Dane, rolling green hills, and a beautiful packhorse bridge that was constructed in the 18th century.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Are there toilets along the trail?

    There are no public toilets along the trail, so keep that in mind when planning your walk.

    Is there parking at the trailhead?

    There is not a designated car park for this trail, meaning walkers will need to park somewhere in the village.

    Find other amazing walks in Peak District National Park:

    Insider Hints for Flash and Three Shires Head Circular Walk

    • Some areas of the trail can be muddy and waterlogged. Wear proper footwear for this walk to stay comfortable on the trail.
    • Keep your dogs on leash, as there are sheep roaming the hillside.
    • Stop for a pint after your walk at The New Inn, which at 463 m is Britain’s highest village pub.

    Getting to the Flash and Three Shires Head Circular Walk Trailhead

    To get to the starting point of the Flash and Three Shires Head Circular Walk from Buxton, head to the southwest on A53 for 7.4 km and turn right onto Brown Lane. After 0.5 km, make a slight right on New Road and follow it for 63 m to arrive at the beginning of the route.

    Route Information

    • When to do

      March - September

    • Backcountry Campsites


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type


    • Toilets


    Flash and Three Shires Head Circular Walk Elevation Graph

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