Sunday, 15 January 2012

Walk 2 - Curbar Gap-White Edge-Froggatt Edge-Curbar Edge (approx 5.5 Miles

This is another local walk, about 15 min drive from the house.  There is a Car Park at Curbar Gap but nine times out of ten its full so you have to adapt and overcome and do a bit of Off road parking!   

The walk starts from Curbar Gap Car Park.  Again, as this is a circular walk you can do it anyway round, this time we decided to start with White Edge.  Its been a cold day, when I parked my car the outside temp was -4 so it was pretty chilly up on the exposed White Edge so warm clothing is a must.

At the entrance to the car park go through the gate on the right hand side.  The path is well worn so there's no mistaking where it is which is a bonus if your map reading is pants.

Diane and the dogs keen to get going

The path rises slightly before dipping down to a bridge that crosses the stream in the gully, if your dog likes water they will head for this as it stinks and we all know dogs like to swim in stinky water!

After crossing the wooden bridge the path starts to climb up towards White Edge.  When the path splits, take a left, White edge is well signposted at this point:

Take the left path and begin a stead climb up to the top.  Its not hard work but its worth stopping to have a look behind at the view, something you should do anyway unless you walk backwards.

Looking back towards the start point

Follow the footpath all the way along White Edge, it doesnt have steep edges like Curbar and Froggatt but if its misty care should be taken.  White Edge is very exposed to the elements so if its a cold day be prepared for it to be much colder up here than the car park, so take that scarf just in case.

We have done this walk many times, in all weathers but one walk that particularly sticks in my mind is when I was up here in the driving rain, barely able to lift up my head when about a hundred metres away in the direction of Curbar Edge I saw a massive Stag, couldn't believe my luck.  We have also come across an Adder and a few Grouse.

A nice steady walk along White Edge takes a little over one hour but don't rush, take time to admire the views, they really are worth it.

Approaching the highest point on White Edge

There is a Trig Point on the top of White Edge, you have to take a minor detour to get to it but hey, why not, I dont know why but I always get a good feeling when I touch a Trig Point.  How weird!

After the trig point continue along the path which follows the edge down and round to the right.  In freezing weather the path can get treacherous as it freezes over to create what can only be described as an uneven ice skating rink.  

My Goodself with Milly and Monty

The path along White Edge eventually comes to a wall in front, here you have three options, go straight on, go left, go right.  On this walk we go left heading down toward the A625.  

Heading down off White Edge

As you come down off the Edge you approach a small wood.  Its a good time to take your first coffee break as it offers some good shelter from the wind.

As you get to the wood you turn left into it, there is a signpost indicating The Grouse Inn, this is where you want to go (after your coffee)

First Coffee Break (signpost behind Diane's right shoulder)

Dont know why but Milly and Monty felt the need to be on guard while we took on coffee!

Follow the path through the woods down to an open field which during Spring and Summer contains lambs so keep an eye on the dogs.  In the winter however be prepared for another ice rink as you enter the gate to go into the field.  I have known it be so slippery we have had to climb onto the fence and shimmy down to the gate.

As you cross the field it would be a good time to put the dogs on leads as there is a main road on the other side of the field (A625) which can get very busy.

As you come out of the field to the road you will see the Grouse Inn across the road:

The Grouse Inn

On a couple of occasions, mostly in the summer, we have called in here for some lunch, they have an outside seating area incase you want to drag the dogs along.  The food is nice and reasonably priced.  Anyway, onwards and upwards.

Cross the road to the pub and walk down to the style on the right just after the large tree in the photo above.  Its not a dog friendly style so if your dog cant squeeze under the fence, then a helping hand will be needed.

Follow the path across two fields to the woods on the other side, go through the gate and into the woods and turn immediately left.  Walk along the path keeping the car park to your left.

Walk along the path which dips down to a stream its a cobbled path so you cant miss it.  Cross the stream then head upwards back to the A625.  This little detour saves you having to walk along the road, its much safer this way and more pleasant.  When you climb up to the road, cross it with caution and go through the gate on your left, this takes you up onto Froggatt Edge.  This is where it can start to get busy with walkers, even in winter.  White Edge is much quieter because its more exposed.  Continue along the path.  This eventually takes you back to the car park.

Looking back towards Froggatt Edge

The walk along this section of Froggatt Edge is mostly through woods so there is not much to see.  Come the right time of year though and this is the place to collect Sloe berries for that Sloe gyn you have been wanting to make.  As you come out of the woods continue along the well worn path.  As before don't forget to look behind you now and again, some of the views are really nice.

There is no distinct line that I know of between Froggatt and Curbar Edges.  I may well be wrong and am happy to be corrected but where we stood for the photo above looking back towards Froggatt is pretty much where I put the dividing line, so now we enter Curbar Edge.

Diane and Milly on Curbar Edge

Ok, Curbar Edge....  This is, I suppose my favourite Edge, I just love the views from up here.  I remember watching a program on TV about Curbar Edge hosted by Alan Titchmarsh where he described how the edge was formed.  It was formed in the Ice Age when massive Glaciers were pushed down from Scotland and came to an abrupt halt.  Geologists have discovered that the rocks that make up the Derbyshire 'Edges' have exact matches up in Scotland hence the theory.  When you look at the Edges from a distance its easily understood how this theory can stand up.

Curbar Edge looking down toward Chatsworth in the very far distance

The walk along Cubar should be done slowly to enable you to take it all in, the views on a clear day are stunning and if you have some binoculars you may get luck and see the giant water fountain down the valley at Chatsworth house but thats normally in the summer.

The path along Curbar goes up and down and in some areas can get a bit tricky underfoot if you are not careful.  The path also, in places is set back from the actual edge but feel free to wander to the edge and watch the many rock climbers who learn their trade on these steep rock faces.  There are many viewing points as the edge curves inwards and out.  On this particular day we didn't see any climbers probably due to the cold weather (They need to man up!) but in summer you can sit for ages watching them with fingers crossed they dont slip.

Sunset from Curbar can also be a bit special, I have spent the night up here before on a Lad and Dad weekend with my son and the sunset was spectacular.  Sat on the Edge on a warm summers evening with a beer in hand.... nah, you can't beat it.

As we walked over the edge this time, although the sun didnt set the lighting was really nice and I managed to grab a nice silhouette of a man stood on the edge:

Looks all nice and moody but he was actually sending a text!

You follow the path all the way back to Curbar gap making sure you take time to sit down and finish off the coffee you have in the flask, be a shame not too. 

Curbar Gap - Monty knows the way

As you arrive back at Curbar gap take the path on the left (where Monty is in the photo) this takes you back to the car park where you can get those boots off and in our case, get the bloody heater on!

This is a fabulous walk, its not hard work considering what you get out of it.  Its a special place for us and one we never get tired of walking.  Oh how lucky we are to live so close to this place.  You should try this walk whether in the Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter.  Each season throws something different at you.  Once you have done it, I guarantee you will want to do it again.

It does tire you out though, just ask Milly and Monty ---------->

Monty back from Curbar all snug

Milly all worn out!!

If you would like more information on this or any other of our walks please feel free to contact me.  

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  1. enjoyed the walk I could almost feel it like monty & milly I fell worn out Alan

  2. Hello Alan, They were absolutely shattered, hopefully they recover for another one next weekend!