Barrow Stones To Bleaklow


Barrow Stones – Bleaklow 15km/9.4 miles

A walk in wild moorland, to a remote corner of Bleaklow and the source of the River Derwent.

King’s Tree – Black Dike – Round Hill – Barrow Stones – Humber Knolls – Slippery Stones – King`s Tree

Start: King`s Tree, Upper Derwent Valley.

Cars and parking only permitted on weekdays.

Access to King`s Tree by bus from Fairholmes car park at weekends and Bank Holidays.



The High Moors

DISTANCE: 15km/9.4 miles

TOTAL ASCENT: 430 metres/1420 feet

START: Grid Reference 168 939

TIME: Allow 5 – 51/2 hours

MAP OS: OS EXPLORER® OL1, Dark Peak, 1:25000 REFRESHMENTS: None on route

NAVIGATION: Proficiency in map-reading and compass skills needed


The Walk

Our route follows a steep forest track, that leads us from the starting point, up to open ground on a broad ridge. An easy trod gradually ascends within or alongside a dyke. The route crosses a track coming up from the Westend Valley. The ground is usually wet underfoot until it steepens and the path climbs Round Hill, where a windbreak of stones is well placed.

The last part of the climb, still straightforward, continues up to Barrow Stones.This remote spot boasts some magnificent panoramas, highlighted by distant landmarks.

From Barrow Stones, a diversion to the rocky promontory at Grinah Stones is well worth the extra kilometre or so it adds to the route.

The route leads past fascinating, wildly varied, weather-sculpted blocks of gritstone. 800m of pathless descent lead us to the infant Derwent, which is but a meandering stream at this point. A trod then leads to a footpath that descends alongside the maturing stream as it drops over little waterfalls, forming pools that are tempting on a hot day. The path is usually boggy in parts and a step on a steep bank is awkward underfoot.

Our walk finishes along a track that leads us back, via Slippery Stones, to King`s Tree.


Start: From King`s Tree walk back along the road for 700m to the prominent right-hand bend.

2.Turn up the track on the right and follow this up steeply to a gate at the top of the wood.

3.Bear half left across the moorland meadow. The path soon becomes more obvious as it ascends parallel to a broken wall. Keep straight on as the path enters the dike. Follow the dike. At one point there is a rightward kink, after which it is better to follow the trod on its left side. Eventually a line of posts leads to the vehicle turning point on the track from the Westend Valley.

4.Either turn right on the paved path, then turn left in 50m, or walk north on a footpath, passing pools to join the latter further on. After a wet section, the path steepens as it bears right and climbs to a windbreak on Round Hill and bears left up to Barrow Stones.

* *To visit Grinah Stones, see Optional Route below.

5.A choice of trods leads right to more outlying stones. At the northern edge of the rocks, descend to a newly constructed fence. The stile is out of sight, just to the right. Cross this, walk left to the point where you met the fence. From here, walking on a bearing of 30° magnetic, use a combination of trods, groughs and a grass slope to descend. After the angle eases, keep on the right of a shallow valley to avoid wet areas. Continue to the stream, which is narrow and easy to step across hereabouts.

6.Bear right, follow sheep trods through heather above and parallel to the stream to begin with, then bear left after 500m to join the main footpath descending from Swain`s Head to Hoar Clough. Follow the path down the valley, with one awkward step by the river`s edge, avoidable by a higher level trod through bracken. The path becomes a track after a short ascent from the stream. Follow the track back to the packhorse bridge at Slippery Stones. Cross it and keep straight on to King`s Tree.

OPTIONAL ROUTE: For Grinah Stones follow the trod to the left for 600m, then retrace your steps.

This route is an excerpt from Day Walks in the Peak District by Norman Taylor & Barry Pope.