Where: Edale, Derbyshire.
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL1
Parking: There is a large pay and display car park in Edale.
Overview: A classic loop containing the "must do" trails of Rushup Edge, Roych Clough and Jacob's Ladder. Don't let the distance make you think this is an easy route! There is a lot of climbing on it. The terrain is typical Peak District and is ridable all year round though some sections can be boggy in wet conditions..
View video clips of parts of this route here
symbols on the map to view photographs of the route)
(click on a grid reference to centre the OS map above on that point)
1. (0 miles) SK123852 Turn right out of the car park then take the
first lane on the left. Just before the end of this a gate on the left
leads to the bridleway ascent to Hollins Cross. The climb goes through several gates. It starts on
gravel, turns to grassy ruts/steps and then becomes steeper and rocky near the top.
At Hollins Cross turn right and follow the paved bridleway along the
ridge. At the second gate the bridleway goes to the right and the paved
path straight on over Mam Tor. Follow the bridleway around to the road.
2. (2.2 miles) SK125835 Turn left onto the road and go up over the crest.
As you begin to drop down the other side there is a gate to a steep
bridleway on the right. This is Rushup Edge and the first section now has a graded surface. Once the bridleway levels off beware wheel swallowing bogs!
After the third gate go through the gate on your right and turn left. This is where
the bridleway joins the footpath and the fun begins. The ground is now
rocky and descending slightly and so obviously best taken at speed!
After the Chapel Gate track joins from the right things get even rockier
and through the gate sections of the trail feature brilliant rock steps
to go down. At the end there is a short narrow trail beside the wall next to the road.
3. (4.5 miles) SK091824 Turn right onto the wide track. This descends a
little then goes through several gates before a fun descent down to Roych Clough.
It's then climbing all the way to Mount Famine with a nice rock section to finish. Descend down
through a gate to a double gate at a junction with a gravel track. Route finding should not be a problem along
4. (7.9 miles) SK052849 Turn right onto the track and descend for about
a quarter of a mile. Be ready with the brakes for the right turn signposted
"Pennine Bridleway". The bridleway goes across a field to
a gate at the top of the descent to Coldwell Clough. The bridleway descent is obvious from here and after some some water bars it takes the left fork which leads to a gate.
5. (9.1 miles) SK052864 Through the gate go straight on and then descend to Hayfield. When you meet tarmac follow the
road straight on along side the river. At the end of the road turn right.
Just down the hill are a pub, shop and chippy to cater for any appetite
you have worked up. Go past these and over the bridge before turning
right into Bank Street then right again. Climb up the road until you
see the sign for Snake Path on your left.
6. (10.4 miles) SK040868 Climb Snake Path, steeply at first, then less so
as it crosses several fields to middle Moor. Just before the white shooting
cabin there is a junction with another bridleway. Turn right then right
again at the wooden signpost. Descend to a gap in a wall. Go through
this descending towards the reservoir to another wall. Turn right and
descend on cobbles. Beware! They are slippy when wet and there is a
gate hidden around the corner at the bottom.
7. (12 miles) SK052880 Cross the reservoir road and take the bridleway
opposite across a bridge and up a steep climb to a road. Cross the road
and enter the field through the gate. Follow the tractor wheel trail
up. In the second field the ruts are pretty deep. Once these reach a
semi broken dry stone wall on the left the angle eases and the trail
goes leftwards to a gap in a fence/wall. Riding across another field
brings you to a gate in a wall. Go through this and turn right following
the wall to where it turns right. Turn right with the wall and then
go straight on to a gate. The trail is pretty obvious down to it's junction
with Oaken Clough but does fork to form a footpath going left before
the junction. Be careful not to end up on this.
8. (13.8 miles) SK066860 Turn left onto Oaken Clough. This is the last
climb of the ride and follows the obvious very rocky trail. At the summit
carry straight on down to a gate. Through this lies the start of the
excellent Jacob's Ladder descent. The first section is fast up to a
step into the steepest section. After this things remain rocky but less
steep down to a gate on the right. Here the footpath goes left and the
bridleway goes right. Follow the bridleway down to the bridge at the
9. (15.4 miles) SK088861
Over the bridge (or through the ford to the left) a fast blast down fire road type terrain turns to tarmac
after Lee Farm. Follow the road down to Barber Booth. Turn left here
to head back along the road to Edale.
Possible extensions: The most obvious is to extend the route
out beyond Hayfield to Rowarth and then back across Middle Moor but there
are plenty of other options.