Distance: 6.7 miles
Time: 4-5 hours
Terrain: Country lanes, grassy footpaths and hill trails
Accessibility: Moderate, some stiles, some uneven terrain
Start and end grid reference: SK 18095
This lovely circular walk from the train station in Hope is an absolute stunner! You leave behind the village almost as soon as you step off the train and very quickly progress up over hill trails and footpaths on to Hope Brink. This affords you the most magnificent views of the Hope Valley, the Edale Valley and even into the Derwent Valley in places. The heights of Lose Hill and Kinder Scout tower above you, and you walk as far as Hope Cross, a medieval packhorse road marker, before returning via an old Roman road. The walk starts and ends at Hope train station (S33 6RD, SK 18095) and is also very close to the Hope Station Road End bus stop on Routes 2C, 02, 66A, 101, 173, 174, 271, 272, 273, 274 and 276, so it’s easily accessible by public transport.
This is a walk of just over 6 miles. For the most part it uses grassy footpaths and country lanes, although there is some uneven, rocky terrain and a couple of stiles that might be difficult for those with reduced mobility. The walk goes right past The Cheshire Cheese Inn, which serves great pub food and real ales, and with a short detour you can walk into the village of Hope, which has many great little cafés and two further pubs. Allow 4-5 hours to complete this walk at a moderate pace, allowing for rest stops to take in the views.
1. From Hope train station arriving from Sheffield, cross over the railway line via the footbridge and take the public footpath that turns right immediately after descending the footbridge steps, walking with the station fencing on your right for a short distance. If arriving from Manchester, take the public footpath that goes straight on from the platform at the base of the footbridge, walking with the station fencing on your right.
2. Walk through an old iron kissing gate and into open fields, keeping to the right hand edge of the field. Cross over a stile at the side of a tree, and continue straight on through the next field, ignoring footpaths off, again keeping to the right hand edge of the field.
3. Continue until you reach a small wooden gate that leads on to a quiet lane. Go through the gate and turn left on the lane, then almost immediately right on to a further lane lined with trees. At the top of this lane, on reaching Edge Farm, take the footpath heading up through trees to the left. This lovely path leads on between two dry stone walls. Keep following it past a tumbledown barn on the right, ignoring other footpaths off, and eventually out on to open moorland. From here you have the most magnificent views over Lose Hill and the Hope Valley to your left.
4. The path is obvious here. Continue following it, bearing left when it is joined by Footpath No 519, eventually walking alongside a stone wall and coniferous woodland to your right. The route continues through a small wooden gate to the right of a stone wall, and then tracks between a stone wall on the left and a fence to the right. From here you can see into the Edale Valley to your left, with the slopes of Kinder Scout ahead of you. Although you can’t see it, Ladybower Reservoir lies in the valley beyond the woodland on the right.
5. Ahead of you on the left, you will soon see the distinctive landmark of Hope Cross. This medieval marker stands at the crossroads of important ancient packhorse routes through the Peak District, and is marked on its four sides with Edale, Glossop, Hope and Sheffield. The date 1737 carved below the word Hope is believed to be the date of a restoration.
6. From Hope Cross, go back the way you came, but this time following the broad track that runs to the right of the Cross. This is widely believed to be a former Roman road that runs from Glossop to Brough.
7. Follow the Roman road as far as a wide gate with a stile beside it. Cross the stile and then turn immediately right, walking downhill, keeping a stone wall on your right. At the bottom of the stone wall, cross through a small gate and follow a well-marked grassy path down through the field. The path is joined by another coming in from the right and continues heading down towards the picturesque Upper Fulwood Farm, now a National Trust Area Office.
8. Follow the path as it turns right in front of the farm and then almost immediately left, walking past the farm yard on your left and keeping a small river, the River Noe, on your right. Continue on this path and cross over a stone bridge.
9. Immediately after crossing the bridge turn right and follow a short, steep track up through trees, heading away from the river. On reaching a gate at the top, emerge (carefully!) on to the road. Although this road is quiet, be aware that cars do pass along here very quickly and there is no footpath. Turn right on the road for a very short distance and then almost immediately left, crossing under a railway bridge and up along a pretty tree-lined path.
10. At the top of the track turn left and cross a stile, emerging into open pastureland with superb views of the ridge you walked along earlier. The obvious grass path curves to the right. Keep following the path as it tracks alongside a stone wall to the left, over a stile and through a succession of gates. You will eventually reach a very narrow path that continues to the right of a fence and then through trees, to emerge beside Oaker Farm.
11. At the end of the path alongside Oaker Farm, go through a small gate and over a stile to emerge on to a quiet lane. Turn right on the lane, away from the farm. This quiet lane passes farm buildings and Losehill House Hotel & Spa, before heading down towards the village of Hope.
12. On reaching a (slightly) busier road that leads into Hope from Edale, turn right. Should you need sustenance by this point, The Cheshire Cheese Inn, a wonderful old pub, is on your right hand side. Soon after passing the pub, look out for a public footpath to your left, just before a convex mirror on a telegraph pole. Follow the public footpath down for a very short distance and then turn left when you reach the lane, to cross over a bridge.
13. The footpath turns right almost immediately after the bridge, passing through gateposts, now with the river on your right. This lovely tree-lined lane passes by some beautiful houses. When it emerges into a farm yard, follow the path as it turns left by a seat just before a stable yard. It is well signposted! The path continues up a series of steps and then turns right, with a hedge to the right and a fence to the left.
14. Continue on this path through an iron kissing gate, following the well-marked track through open fields, with the river once again on your right. As you near the main road (A6187), walk up a series of steps to a gap in the wall ahead of you, and turn left. Be aware that this is quite a busy road but there is a footpath. The road back to your starting point at Hope railway station is on your left after a short distance.
15. Note, if you want a diversion into the village of Hope, turn right on the A6187 instead of left, and the village is approx. 250 metres ahead of you. It boasts a lovely delicatessen, farm shop, a gift shop, an Indian takeaway and two pubs.