Once the food is gone and you’ve had your afternoon nap after the Christmas Feast, it might be a good idea to stretch your legs a bit and burn few calories on a lovely family walk. Obviously, we must take under consideration the whole family, that came to visit us, so it needs to be something accessible to people of all ages, preferably suitable for prams or pushchairs, dog friendly and not too challenging.
Believe it or not, such place does exist, and is located in the lovely Peak District! Close to the Curbar village, near a small car park (Clodhall Ln, Hope Valley S32 3YR), is a starting point of 3 walks. All four have a similar difficulty level however the easiest and best prepared track is the one leading to Curbar Edge. Do bear in mind that during the holiday season this area is very popular with hikers so you might be forced to leave your car on the side of the road.
What I personally like about these walks is that you can do each of them individually or in one go. You can spend a whole day wandering in the area, admiring the stunning views and peculiar rock formations. Moreover, if you are lucky, you can come across the amazing Highland Cows!
These beautiful creatures sometimes roam freely at Baslow Edge. If you are taking your dog with you, please do remember to keep your distance from the cattle and most definitely keep the dog on the lead. In the end, the last thing you need is to be forced to run away from charging heard of cows.
Starting from the small car park, which I’ve already mentioned above, follow the main footpath, leading away from the main road. Quickly you should come across a sign, which will point you to the direction of White Edge, Baslow Edge and Curbar Edge. From that point, all you need to do is to choose your destination and follow the main footpath. The Curbar Edge path is very wide and quite flat. If you want, you can go a bit closer to the edge and stick to the multiple, narrow paths which provide better views. This walk is also popular with climbers and bikers, so be careful not to trip over some lines or bump into a biker. If you decide to stick to the narrow footpath, closer to the edge, please remember that it gets a lot windier over there and due to the steep drops you might need to keep a close eye on your little ones. What is really special about this walk are the numerous, unique rock formations. You can easily keep your kids entertained by asking them what each formation looks like or set a challenge to find the millstones scattered in the area. My favourite rocks in the area are the Druids Cave, the Chameleon and the Ninja Turtle Rock (obviously all three names are totally made up by myself so don’t bother looking for them on the map).
You can complete the whole walk along the Curbar Edge, which later on changes into Froggatt Edge, and return the same way or do a full circle walk and return via White Edge. Both options are about 6 miles long. On a dry day you can cut the walk a bit short and once the Curbar Edge has finished walk across the fields to reach the White Edge. If you are interested in history, close to the Froggatt Edge is as an area called the Stoke Flats, which according to the archaeologists, use to be inhabited and farmed during the Bronze Age. Burial mounds, standing stones and hut circles have been discovered here as well as the ritual stone circle above the Froggatt Edge.
The access to the White Edge is a bit steeper but still well prepared if you stick to the main path. It has more of a flat land, countryside, open space vibe. There are far less rock formations there but at the same time it is more peaceful and less crowded. Ideal location for a romantic walk or if you just need some time to be on your own. The path is a bit more muddy and narrow than the rest. All in all, in terms of difficulty, it is an easy walk with few small hills that you will have to climb at the beginning. At the crossroads you will also come across a sign which will point you to the direction of another interesting walk, the Birchen Edge. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to explore that one ourselves.
After you have completed the full circle via Curbar and White Edge, you can either return home or cross the road and carry on your hiking adventure at the Baslow Edge. This is very similar in appearance to the Curbar Edge, however, especially after a rainy day, it tends to be more muddy. The view from the edge is stunning and many photographers use this spot to capture the perfect sunset or sunrise. Every now and then you will be forced to walk through some soggy area or jump fed puddles, but I think that only adds to the fun. When it comes to the distance, as before you have few options. You can walk for a bit and then return the same way, do a short circular walk just on the Baslow Edge (up to the Eagle Stone) or go all the way to Gardom’s Edge, take a short stop at Robin Hood’s Inn and the return via Birchen Edge.