With Glencoe Ring of Steall Skyrace rapidly approaching the plan for Saturday was to head out on a long run. So Wednesday night I sat down to work out a route – I fancied something different. For a while now I’ve been toying with the idea of running from Sheffield to Manchester (on fell, not road). Studying the map, although this seemed feasible, it looked a tad ambitious in terms of the distance I am up to at the moment. However, by moving the start and end points a bit closer together I found an idea micro-adventure for the weekend – Hathersage to New Mills via Kinder Scout. Not only did this take in the best bits of my original planned route across the Peak, but it also meant it would be very easy to get a direct train back.
As Saturday morning approached, so did the rain – it felt like summer was over! Not deterred I threw some extra layers in my bag and set off. The start of the route was a gentle plod along the river to Bamford and the Yorkshire Bridge. This was a nice warm up before the gradient rapidly increased heading straight up Parkin Clough to the top of Win Hill. From here it’s an undulating run across to Hope Cross and the second climb of the day which goes up Crookstone Hill round to Ringing Roger. This section has to be one of my favourite trails – even in the rain and miserable weather it still makes for great running. Plus when the sun is out you have fantastic views over the whole of the Dark Peak.
Passing Ringing Roger, next is an enjoyable section across Edale Moor to the top of Jacob’s Ladder. I added in a slight detour to include Grindslow Knoll ‘just because’ but this can easily be missed out! Be prepared for a lot of mud on this part of the route – although parts are paved with flagstones there are plenty of bogs, some of which are pretty deep!
From Jacob’s Ladder, it was time to descend to Edale Cross. Sadly this is not quite as nice as it used to be as it has been covered with a load of medium (potato sized) stones. While I am sure this preserves the track, it’s pretty uncomfortable to run (and bike) on. Don’t worry though it is over quickly and definitely worth it for the views.
After a short, sharp ascent you briefly hit the Pennine Bridleway before dropping down towards Chinley Head. Next was the hardest section of the day for me (legs were getting pretty tired at this stage) – another steep climb to the top of Cracken Edge. It’s also worth noting the footpaths this side of the route are a bit overgrown and not the most obvious at times. However, once you are at the top of this, it’s a coast to New Mills. This was lucky as I think it was at this point I was beginning to question why I had decided to run 24 miles in the pouring rain for fun!! After an enjoyable descent, all that remained were a few fiddly footpaths into New Mills and an easy last mile to the train station.
I arrived here very muddy, soggy and smelling a bit like wet dog – I bet the other passengers couldn’t wait for me to get on the train..! Having just run for 5 hours and 30 minutes it only took me 26 minutes to arrive back in Hathersage. All in all, this proved to be a really fun route. I will definitely be running it again (hopefully in better weather) and potentially extending it to go from Grindleford to Glossop.