So you are planning a trip to the Peak District? Or perhaps you are a local looking for a new walk to embark on? Either way, I can wholeheartedly recommend a lil’ walk up to Bamford Edge. But what makes Bamford Edge warrant a visit over its more popular neighbours? Well, that’s what I’m here to tell you today! So get comfy, grab a cuppa and get ready to soak up Derbyshire’s finest views.
What is Bamford Edge?
Bamford Edge is an overhang of gritstone rock that lies 1.5km north of the small village of Bamford in Derbyshire. Overlooking Hope Valley and Ladybower Reservoir at an elevation of 1381 ft, Bamford Edge boasts unparalleled views across the Peak District.
How to Get to Bamford Edge
Bamford Edge has numerous trails across it so there isn’t really one way to get there. However, the easiest method is to drive as close to Bamford Edge as you can. This means turning off Ashopton Road (the A6013) to follow the narrow lane up New Road. Before long, you will stumble across a pullover area you can park up at. Parking is limited to around a dozen cars and there are no car parks nearby, so it’s simply a case of first come, first served! Once you are here, hop out of your car and jump over the stile to follow the well-worn footpath up to Bamford Edge.
If you can’t find a parking space here, your next best bet is either Heatherdene Car Park (S33 0BY) by Ladybower Reservoir or Long Causeway Car Park (S33 0BW) which sits at the foot of nearby Stanage Edge. From both car parks, you must climb New Road by foot to join one of Bamford Edge’s trails.
However, if you do not drive, visiting Bamford Edge is also possible via train. Take the 18-minute uphill walk from Bamford train station to The Anglers Rest community-owned pub (which, for the record, serves quality burgers!). Stop for a quick pint pit stop, before turning right along The Clough towards New Road, where after around 15 minutes you will find the route to go up the hill.
7 Reasons You Should Visit Bamford Edge
1. It is a quick and easy walk
If either you don’t have much time on your hands or you’re just not cracked up for a long hike, Bamford Edge is your best port of call. By the time you’ve pulled your car up to the side of the road, you are basically all the way up to the edge. Only a short, sharp 10-minute walk and you’re on top of the moor! Disclaimer: the walk will, of course, be longer if you decide – by choice or not – to park elsewhere.
Immediately, and for very little effort, you will be rewarded with the most breathtaking views across the whole of Hope Valley. At this point, the flat path on Bamford Edge splits into a few different routes for you to meander down. Follow the path left for only around 15 minutes for some ah-may-zing views of Ladybower Reservoir that make the walk totally worth it.
2. It boasts the best views of Ladybower Reservoir
Speaking of which… not bad, huh? By far the best views that Bamford Edge boasts are those across to the reservoir where you will see Snake Pass crossing over the lake. Surrounded by the lushest woods and green rolling hills, it makes for quite the picture-postcard image.
While many more tourists flock to the nearby, grander Stanage Edge, you won’t find any of these views there. So sit back on the rocks and drink in the views of Ladybower Reservoir. You deserve it after your, uhh, *checks watch*, half-hour walk…
3. It’s a great spot for rock climbing
Like many of the Peak District gritstone rock edges, Bamford Edge is very popular with rock climbers. In fact, the majority of the people we saw out on our walk were rock climbers. The rock is an excellent quality gritstone with the pebbles forming crucial holds on some of the hardest climbs. This makes Bamford Edge not only ideal for rock climbers but also for geologists.
Bamford Edge provides a setting for good climbs of all grades, from about 8 to 13m high. And the best part is that, unlike Stanage Edge, it is seldom busy, so you’ll have all the rocks to yourself! Top tip: wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting damaged because gritstone can be quite abrasive.
4. And paragliding too!
As we made our ascent up Bamford Edge, we spotted paragliders floating around in the distance. Having paraglided less than two months prior, I was dreaming of being back up in the skies, soaking up the views of the reservoir below. Instead, I’ll just have to settle on getting by on foot, admiring the paragliders from below…
5. There are some great photo opportunities
“Pics or it didn’t happen”. Yeah, yeah, I know, but just LOOK at how cool these photos are! If you are not afraid of heights, there are plenty of opportunities to take some amazing photos that will make you look way cooler than you actually are. Just be careful about high winds, yeah?
However, even if you are not willing to live life on the edge (pun totally intended), Bamford Edge offers gorgeous panoramic views over Hope Valley. And believe me, they look amazing on camera. Look out for Mam Tor, Kinder Scout and Bleaklow further behind the already picturesque Win Hill and Ladybower Reservoir! Then just wait for the likes to start rolling in…
6. It is one of the Peak District’s quietest walks
If you haven’t already got bored senseless of me rabbiting on about how quiet Bamford Edge is, then I’m just gonna say it again. BAMFORD EDGE IS QUIET AF. Okay, got that one out of my system. Despite its prominence between Stanage Edge and Derwent Valley, Bamford Edge is really oddly overlooked.
Although we visited on a sunny summer Saturday, we barely encountered any people there. I don’t understand how this place wasn’t teeming with walkers but I’m not complaining whatsoever. So if you like peace and quiet on your walks, Bamford Edge is your best bet. You can have the views alllllll to yourself!
7. And yet it is so close to Stanage Edge!
Perhaps one of the best things about Bamford Edge is its close proximity to the more popular Stanage Edge. So why not double up on your walks and make a whole day trip out of it? Whilst I personally believe the views aren’t quite as impressive at Stanage Edge, it is still popular for good reason.
Most well-known for being a great rock climbing location, Stanage is a gritstone escarpment, tucked just behind Bamford Edge. The northern part of the edge forms the border between the High Peak of Derbyshire and Sheffield in South Yorkshire, with the highest point, High Neb, standing at 1,503 ft above sea level. Stanage stretches for approximately 4 miles and even featured in the 2005 film ‘Pride & Prejudice’ starring Keira Knightley.
As you can see, we visited Stanage Edge on a different day when the weather wasn’t quite as nice, but it is more than easily doable in one day! You can either drive between each car park or walk it as they are only 1km apart. If you plan on walking, be sure to wear waterproof footwear as you cross Bamford Moor, a pathless and very boggy moor that is sure to wreck your shoes.
So have I persuaded you to visit Bamford Edge? Even if my words didn’t do it, I’m sure the photos gave it a good go! I could not recommend a walk up to this beautiful viewpoint more if I tried. The Peak District really is that pretty, huh?
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