Our walk along Bamford edge took place in two stages, first we approached it from the car park at Dennis Knoll, under Stanage Edge. It’s a slightly round-about route that takes you around the back of the copse as if you’re headed towards the larger Plantation Car Park, however when you reach the northeast corner of the woodland turn south around the back of the copse and south west across a field to Coggers Lane. We like to avoid tarmac wherever we can when walking so didn’t take the more direct route down “Long Causeway” onto Coggers Lane. Anyway, from there we headed down Coggers Lane and across country on the footpath that leads to Upper Hirst Farm and back uphill again through Bole Hill Wood to Bole Hill with the intention of walking up the south end of Bamford Edge from there.
The path we chose through Bole Hill was one of several on the hillside and probably not the main footpath, being early in the year it was littered with fallen branches and somewhat indistinct. This made progress difficult and coupled with the warm day quite exhausting for what is a relatively short distance of just 500 meters. When we reached New Road we decided to walk back to the car and drive back to find a more convenient parking spot from which to climb the edge. As it happens the small layby on New Road 60 meters east of the junction between New Road and The Clough (Bamford Clough) is perfect. Climb over the style and head north to Bamford Edge, easy, kind of.
If the layby is full when you visit we would advise walking from Dennis Knoll and taking New Road to the layby rather than the route we first attempted.
After a steep but relatively short climb to the edge proper you’re immediately rewarded with a view over the Hope Valley and across Bamford itself. The path on the edge splits into different routes and meanders around rocks, it’s relatively flat and while we were there dry too. Some parts of the paths are sandy through wear, others easy to follow openings in the heather, still green with short grass.
Being a gritstone edge it’s very much to our liking, the hard rocks giving good grip under foot and ensuring that despite the approximately 320 million years (in the Namurian bit of the Carboniferous Period) since it was laid down and the ravages of the last ice age it still juts proudly out above the valley floor like the other gritstone edges in the Peak Park.
The views do get better as you walk North in our opinion because when the Ladybower Dam and Ladybower Reservoir come into view the panorama is one of the most rewarding in the Peaks, for very little effort compared with other walks along gritstone edges. Winn Hill towers to the east and beyond it Lose Hill and Mam Tor. Around to the North Derwent Edge marches into the distance. A really great place for photo opportunities at any time of year though in winter it’s obviously going to be a bit exposed so take care.
While we were up there we spotted a grouse who tolerated us for quite a while allowing us to take some great pictures of him. He then ran off to confront another grouse, it was the breeding season after all. Skylarks were in evidence and at least two Ring Ouzels, though we were not lucky enough to get pictures of them.
A thoroughly enjoyable walk, especially when you consider how easy Bamford edge is to access when you know how to LOL. Not as big or imposing an escarpment as say Stanage Edge and no millstones due to the uneven and fractured nature of the gritstone here but I’m assuming it’s older than its larger and bigger sibling to the east because of the lay of the land so I think even more interesting geologically.