Distance 2.2 miles
Time Approx 2 hours
Terrain Hill tracks, rocky, uneven, ascents and descents, woodland trails, quiet lanes
Accessibility Moderate: uneven terrain, one gate, no stiles or squeeze stiles
Ideal For Adventurous kids aged 10 and over
Start and End Point Grid Ref SK 24496; Postcode S32 1BR; /// shout.enjoyable.runs
Map Ordnance Survey Explorer OL1
This walk is short but the terrain is a bit challenging, so it may be best suited to older kids or those with a fair bit of stamina! There are great climbing opportunities on the rocks at Stanage Edge – it’s a natural parkour course! – but do make sure your kids stay away from the edge as there are steep drops. A little way along Stanage Edge there’s the chance to crawl and climb into a hidden cave to emerge halfway up the cliff face. It’s a little short on headroom in places and it’s wet underfoot, but the fantastic views make it well worth it. And on the return journey there is a great rock in the woods to clamber on.
This is a walk of just over 2 miles. There is one gate but no stiles or squeeze stiles. The terrain is uneven and rocky. There is an uphill section to get on to Stanage Edge, and obviously then a downhill section to come off again. There are toilets en route. The pretty village of Hathersage, only a mile away from Stanage Edge, is well served with cafés, pubs and shops. Parking is free although donations to maintain this wonderful landscape are appreciated. Allow around 2 hours to complete this walk at a moderate pace for little legs, depending on how long you spend playing on the rocks and in the cave!
This is a natural environment with all the natural hazards that come with that. Rocks are hard and it hurts if you fall on them or off them, and the drops here are steep and high. There are also gaps in the rocks that nobody would ever want to fall down and get squeezed into. On sunny days adders like to bask on these rocks as much as people do. Robin Hood’s Cave is right on the edge of a sheer drop. The ceiling is low in places and it’s made of rock, which hurts if you bang your head on it or scrape your bum on it. It can be wet underfoot so make sure your shoes are waterproof. Wear waterproof clothes if it’s rainy and sunscreen if it’s sunny. Take water with you. Kids, please make sure you and your adults wear proper walking shoes or boots, not flip-flops. Please respect this beautiful area and leave no litter. Finally, we try as hard as we can to make our instructions detailed and accurate, but it’s a good idea to carry a map of the area with you as well in case you go off course.
All walks are undertaken at your own risk. Remember, we provide the walk, you provide the common sense!
1. Park at Hook’s Car car park (SK 24496 82904, S32 1BR), with Stanage Edge in front of you. Walk from the car park up the obvious paved trail over the moor and on to the Edge. Turn left when you reach the top, so that the edge is on your left and the moor is on your right, and follow the path along the top.
2. The surface of Stanage Edge is made up of flat, smooth, gritstone boulders, which are great for parkour practice or playing games like ‘The Floor is Lava’. Also, have a look out for unusual shapes in the rocks. There are plenty that look like giant footprints, with a little imagination!
3. The rocks towards the edge of Stanage Edge are also great for climbing on, or for recreating sweeping movie scenes (Pride and Prejudice, Titanic, The Lion King…?!). There are steep drops, however, and also gaps between the rocks, so do keep an eye on your kids at all times.
4. Continue walking along the path on the top of Stanage Edge. There are no signs into Robin Hood’s Cave, but if you want to explore it watch out for the entrance as pictured below, and check your location on your map for its exact whereabouts. Follow the path down from Stanage Edge and to the right to enter the cave.
5. There is a bit of a squeeze point to get in, where the ceiling is low. Mind your head! Splash through the water or hop on the handily-placed rocks, and then emerge on to the balcony, halfway up the cliff face. You can imagine you’re on the bridge of a giant ship here, and the views are great.
6. When you’ve finished in Robin Hood’s Cave, retrace your steps back up on to Stanage Edge, turn left and continue along the path with the edge on your left and the moor on your right. You’ll need to climb over or around a little fence. Soon after the fence, look out for a path going down on your left. Again, there are no signs down, but watch out for the path as pictured below and check your location on your map for its exact whereabouts.
7. Follow the natural curving staircase down from Stanage Edge and over the moor. You’ll go through an old gate hole. The gate is no more but you could recreate one?!
8. Follow the path down through a pretty patch of woodland, Stanage Plantation. There are trees to climb here and a wonderful gritstone boulder that’s just perfect for scrambling over. Remember that rock is hard and scratchy though, and it hurts if you fall off it in an unplanned way.
9. Carry on down the path through a gate and then through the bracken to reach a quiet lane. See how fast you can race down the path. When you reach the lane, there’s a toilet block directly in front of you if needed. Turn left on the lane. It’s a very quiet lane but it is accessible for vehicles so watch out for cars.
10. When you reach a T-junction, turn left again and walk along the quiet road with Stanage Edge very visible on your left. As you return to your car, look at the Edge and try to pick out Robin Hood’s Cave and any rocks that you might have climbed on. Your car is on the left a few hundred metres ahead.
With big thanks to Rose (aged 13), Billy (aged 11) and George (aged 11) for walking, running, climbing and scrambling so enthusiastically on this walk.