Stanton Moor & Robin Hoods Stride

Stanton Moor & Robin Hoods Stride

Stanton Moor and Robin Hood`s Stride 15km/9.4 miles

This route combines wild, unspoilt woodland, open moor full of archaeological relics, a gritstone tor, a hermit`s cave, and three lovely villages.

Winster – Cowley Knowl – Stanton Moor – Birchover – Robin Hood`s Stride – Elton – Winster
Start Winster. Park in the car park at the eastern end of the village. Grid Reference 247 606

DISTANCE: 15km/9.4 miles
TOTAL ASCENT: 340 metres/1100 feet START: Grid Reference 247 606
TIME: Allow 5 hours
MAP OS: OS EXPLORER® OL24, White peak, 1:25000 REFRESHMENTS: Red Lion and Druid Inn at Birchover. Duke of York and a cafe at Elton. Miner`s Standard and Old Bowling Green at Winster. N
NAVIGATION: Straightforward.


The Walk:

The village of Winster was established in ancient times. The Domesday Survey, commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1085, lists ËœWinsterne”, as a village of twenty dwellings. Although the architecture is of interest generally, it is the 16th Century Market Hall that is the real gem. The village expanded in the 18th Century as a result of the lead mining industry.

Not far into our walk, the ruin of an engine house at Cowley Knowl testifies to the area`s industrial heritage. The section from Winster to Birchover follows paths through a stretch of unspoilt woodland, before climbing to Stanton Moor.

Here we see a total contrast in vegetation – now mainly open heather moor with a scant covering of birch.
The moor is littered with excavated Bronze Age burial mounds and we visit the stone circle known as Nine Ladies.
After circumnavigating the moor, our descent takes in the old quarry village of Birchover. We continue from here along a combination of tracks and field paths on the approach to the gritstone tor of Robin Hood`s Stride. Cratcliffe Tor can be found nearby. At its foot, we find the Hermit`s Cave, notable for the 12th Century crucifix carved into the rock.

More field paths, a stroll down a quiet lane, then a short, sharp climb, lead us to Elton, an attractive village of stone cottages. We finish off by following the Limestone Way back to Winster.

Start: Turn right out of the car park. Walk down the road for 150m and cross the stile on the left. Bear right across fields with stiles. At two stile posts (no fence), bear slightly left to the bottom corner of the field and a stile hidden from view at first. Continue along the woodland path. On emerging from the wood bear left up a track to a gate/barrier.

2.Turn left on the path before the gate, pass in front of the engine house ruin and then continue on the woodland path. This eventually joins a track. Turn left and follow the track for 500m to a fingerpost/stile on the right.

3.Cross this and keep straight on up through fields, through Barn Farm as waymarked and up to a road.

4.Turn right and take the first path on the left. Pass the information board then fork right and continue to the stile at Stanton Moor Edge. Stay on the left of the fence and continue up to join a higher level path. Follow this around the moor, passing left of the tower folly, to the Nine Ladies Stone Circle. Pass the Circle on the left then the solitary King`s Stone, and reach a path crossroads at the corner of a fence.

5.Turn left and at the next path crossroads, then left again. The path passes right of the triangulation pillar and arrives at the Cork Stone. Turn right and walk down to the road.

6.Turn left. 300m along the road turn right opposite the stone factory and follow the descending path to the road opposite the Druid Inn. Alternatively, stay on the road to walk through the village to the inn. Cross the road. Take the lane along the left side of the inn. Stay on this, which becomes a gravel track, then follow the old walled track around the hill. At the second gate, again keep straight on. After a stile, descend through a field and climb to the main road right of a house. Cross the road and continue on the path to other houses.

7.Turn right and go down the lane. Keep straight on through a handgate on the left of a gate (Limestone Way). Follow the track uphill. Keep straight on where this bends right to where the path levels out.* Cross the stile on the left, then that in the wall on the right. Follow the path across two fields to a road.
*To visit the Hermit`s Cave, see Optional Route below.

8.Turn left. Follow the lane for a kilometre to a prominent right-hand bend, then cross the stile on the left (fingerpost on right showing the way). Follow the obvious path through fields first in descent, then uphill to Elton. On meeting a lane bear right, then right again up to Main Street.

9.Turn left. Walk through the village and continue along the road to a track on the right (Limestone Way) opposite Dudwood Lane. Follow the track, crossing a lane, and continue uphill to emerge at a road.

10.Turn left. Continue across a junction, then follow Ease Bank down into Winster. Turn right to finish.

Halfway up this section a stile in the wall to the right of the path gives access to a path to the foot of Cratcliffe Tor at the south end of which is the Hermit`s Cave. To regain the route, retrace your steps for 50m, cross a stone stile adjacent to the wooden one crossed earlier, then bear half right aiming for the prominent rocks of Robin Hood`s Stride.

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