Starting in Hathersage, you leave the town via small paths through allotments and past farms before passing Bronte Cottage, a cottage where Charlotte Bronte once stayed, and North Lees Hall, the inspiration for Jayne Eyre. The path climbs steadily through the woods before the valley opens up and you see Stanage Edge in all it's glory, coarse gritstone pushing up and out of the short grassy slope and framing the horizon. If the day is dry you will see many daring rock climbers pushing their bodies and their courage on this world famous crag. Heading east you will follow much of the base of the cliff edge, a great place to watch the climbers. Rising up to the top of the cliff, you will follow the edge enjoying breathtaking views of the Peak District, even crossing the border into Yorkshire momentarily. Finally, you will descend on paths and roads back into Hathersage.
Stanage Edge is a clifftop walk, if visibility is very bad, do not risk the walk. Be aware of the drop at all times and also of loose rock.
There are some road crossings, always be aware of traffic and be sure to use a pavement/sidewalk where possible, where it isn’t walk on the right-hand side of the road,
Some of the ground can be uneven, with steep descents and muddy/boggy ground. Ensure you have suitable footwear and step cautiously where needed, the mud is especially tricky in wet weather.
A note about farms and animals: Be very aware of closing gates behind you. Remember, animals on a farm are not pets and can be closer to a wild animal than a domestic pet - particularly for dogs. The main risk today is horses as the path often crosses fields with grazing horses.
When crossing the streams, be wary of slippery and loose stones, if you feel unsure bring walking poles for support, and you can always find a more suitable crossing a little up or downstream.
Tips and hints
Food and Drink
There is no food available en route, so make sure you get a packed lunch in Hathersage and enjoy it with some of the most beautiful views int he peaks at Stanage Edge.
Places of Interest
North Lees Hall, Bronte Cottage and the George Hotel
Charlotte Bronte is usually associated with the village of Haworth in Yorkshire as this is where most of her novels are set. But possibly her most famous novel, Jane Eyre, seems to be set in the small village of Hathersage in Derbyshire. In the summer of 1845 Charlotte visited this village in the heart of the Peak District.
During her stay she took the opportunity to explore, walking on the moors and visiting many of the houses scattered around the area. One of these houses, the crenellated North Lees, is said to be the model for Thorn Field Hall, home of Mr Rochester and the place where he and Jane fell in love. Charlotte herself is said to have stayed with an old school friend in Bronte Cottage.
Situated north of Hathersage, Stanage Edge is a popular place for walkers and for rock climbing with stunning views of the Dark Peak moorlands and the Hope Valley. The gritstone edge stretches for approximately 4 miles and was recently featured in the classic film ‘Pride & Prejudice’ starring Keira Knightley.
Sturdy waterproof boots as the path can be slippery and wet in parts.
Walking poles for stream crossing and muddy descents if the weather is wet.