The best views in the Derbyshire Peak District; the views from Bamford Edge are sensational! From Great Tor the view north stretches over Ladybower Reservoir and up towards the other Derwent Dams, north-west to Kinder Scout, west to Winhill and the Great Ridge and Mam Tor, east to provide by far the best views of Stanage Edge, and south east down the Derwent Valley towards Chatsworth. At 400m above sea level, Bamford Edge is more than 200m short of the highest parts of the Peak District (this honour goes to Crowden Head on Kinder Scout at 631m) but is so strategically positioned that the views are far reaching and relatively uninterrupted. On a clear day it is simply fantastic!
(2009-8736) View over Ladybower Reservoir from Great Tor on Bamford Edge
Whilst the views are some of the best, Bamford Edge is not the brute of a gritstone escarpment compared to the rather more challenging and nearby Derwent or Stanage Edges. It is a relatively short and easy walk from several parking places, has no particularly steep ascents and tends to be quiet.
The views from Bamford Edge are so good, in my opinion, that they should be taken in slowly. Not rushed, but enjoyed over a packed lunch or, better still, an evening meal as the sun starts to set and the light warms up. Unfortunately there is no restaurant on Bamford Edge, so a flask of coffee will have to suffice.
Given the multi-directional views from Bamford Edge, there is no single good time of day to be there to get the best light for views in every direction. The biggest challenge, perhaps, is to see Winhill from Bamford Edge in the best light and one that I have not yet conquered. Given its orientation relative to Bamford Edge it is most often in shadow (unless the sky is covered in cloud, a far too common occurrence!) That said, the warm evening sunshine in the summer months will be most rewarding.
(2008-3047) Bamford Edge
(2008-3112) Bamford Edge
(2009-8723) Winhill, Kinder and the Great Ridge from Bamford Edge
(2008-3129) Clouds over Bamford Edge
Access and Walking
Bamford Edge is now designated open access land although even so it can be restricted from time to time to rights of way only.
Bamford Edge can be taken in as part of the end to end Gritstone Edge walk by dropping down across Moscar from Derwent Edge and then turning back to Stanage Edge via Dennis Knoll. It is, however, worth taking in as a separate walk to take in the views which in my opinion should not be rushed. I can recommend two choice walks. The first starts from the A57 at Moscar and climbs slowly up to Great Tor and crosses the fields to Stanage and then north along Stanage to return to the layby on the A57 Sheffield road. The second, and my favourite, starts at the car park at Dennis Knoll, follows the road towards Bamford and up onto the fields near the disused quarry. The path follows the increasingly exposed gritstone edge to Great Tor before falling away to the north. The path can be followed back to look down across the beautiful Hurst Clough (best in May when the bluebells bring a broad wash of blue to the fields) and along the road via Bole Hill to Dennis Knoll. This route provides great views down the Derwent Valley with broad views of Stanage Edge, Higger Tor, Mother Cap, Millstone Edge, White Edge and beyond clearly visible. An alternative is to walk across the fields to Dennis Knoll as above. This provides breathtaking views of Stanage Edge.
(2008-3166) From Bamford Edge over Hurst Clough towards Stanage, Millstone Edge and White Edge
(2008-3188) Dennis Knoll and Stanage Edge from Bole Hill
Maps and Guides
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL1 - The Peak District Dark Peak Area