Derwent Edge Walk From Ladybower Reservoir (Fairholmes) | 10-Mile Route

Derwent Edge walk Peak District

Derwent Edge walk is a lovely route to do from Ladybower Reservoir.

You start the walk next to Ladybower Reservoir, then make your way past Derwent Dam, which looks amazing when it’s overflowing and along Derwent Reservoir.

After a gentle start to the walk, you then start your incline up to Derwent Edge, making your way past the cairn at Lost Lad and trig point at Back Tor.

The Derwent Edge walk takes you past plenty of unusual rock formations whilst overlooking Ladybower Reservoir before descending back down to complete your 10-mile loop.

Here you will find details on how to get to the start of the walk, route information, GPX file, map, facilities on the walk, plus a detailed step by step guide of the walk.

Have you done any of the other Peak District ‘edge’ walks? Let me know in the comments below.

Jump to walk instructions

Derwent Edge from Ladybower Reservoir

Derwent Edge in Peak District
Derwent Edge in Peak District

Walk information

Walk type: Medium circular walk

Distance: 10 miles/16.5 km

Walk time: 4-5 hours

Total ascent: 624 m/2,047 ft

Highest point: 529 m/1,735 ft

Walk highlights: Derwent Dam, Upper Derwent Reservoir, Back Tor, Wheel Stones and Ladybower Reservoir

gpx file

Derwent Edge walk map

Derwent Edge map
Route map from Ladybower Reservoir
Click for OS online route here

Walk start point

Start grid reference: SK 17315 89330

Car parking address: Fairholmes car park, Upper Derwent Visitor Centre, Hope Valley, S33 0AQ

There are two levels to this car park but the cafe on the lower level which is near the toilets is the best place if you’re meeting people.

Parking Cost*

Change is required for parking

Up to 1 hour £1.50
Up to 2 hours £2.50
Up to 4 hours £4.00
All day £4.75

*Prices correct at time of writing

Public transport

Nearest train station: Bamford train station (6 mile/10 km)

There is a bus that you can catch from near Bamford station, the 273, that stops near Fairholmes car park

Facilities on the walk

There are public toilets available at the start of the walk at Fairholmes car park. However, there are no other toilets or facilities for the rest of the walk.

If you’re looking for a good place to grab a bite to eat or a drink after your walk the Yorkshire Bridge Inn is a lovely place for a post-walk stop. Of course, they’ve been closed like other pubs so go give them some support when they open.

Other useful information

The route has pretty good terrain with wide paths alongside the reservoir sections, then up on Derwent Edge much of the route is flagstoned so it’s pretty easy to follow the path for most of the route.

In late summer the heather flowers are in full bloom, it’s a beautiful sea of purple/pink flowers and looks beautiful so worth planning a walk for then if you can.

would always recommend you take a map and compass (see below).

Check the weather for your walk location and hills

Ordnance Survey Walk Map

The map for this walk is OL1 – Peak District (Dark Peak Area)

You can buy a paper map at outdoor shops or shop online at Amazon or Ordnance Survey

Check prices here with Ordnance Survey, there are options to buy either standard map or a waterproof one. You can sometimes find cheaper deals on Amazon, but the Ordnance Survey website sometimes has discounts for buying more than one map!

And don’t forget your compass.

There are lots to choose from, I recommend the Silva Expedition compass, it’s more expensive but a valuable piece of kit!

For online maps, you can get via OS Online App or Viewranger App.

Check prices here for the one month or yearly option with OS Online App. 


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Derwent Edge walk Peak District

Derwent Edge walk route

Stage 1 – Fairholmes car park to Upper Derwent Reservoir

Distance: 1.9 miles/3.1 km

Grid reference SK 17281 89317

Head out of Fairholmes car park, taking the footpath on the right. Follow the trail and within a few minutes, you’ll be walking past Derwent Dam. If you’re lucky you’ll see water cascading over the dam when it’s full (normally after heavy rain).

Derwent Dam in Peak District
Derwent Dam in Peak District

Take the path heading towards the far right tower and up the steps next to Derwent Dam.

At the top turn left and follow the footpath alongside Upper Derwent Reservoir.

Stage 2 – Upper Derwent Reservoir to Back Tor

Distance: 3.2 mile/5.2 km

Grid reference SK 17073 91942

At Abbey Tip Plantation, turn right, signposted to ‘Ewden’ and take the footpath alongside Abbey Brook.

Following the path up towards Derwent Edge
Following the path up towards Derwent Edge

Continue about 2 km along the path across a few cloughs, via mini stepping stones. Follow all the way to where the path splits at Sheepfold Clough.

Turn right here and follow the path for about 1 km to Lost Lad Cairn.

Then about 500 metres down the footpath you reach Back Tor, the highest point on the walk. Marked by a trig point on top of a gritstone formation.

Stage 3 – Back Tor to End of Derwent Edge

Distance: 2 miles/3.3 km

Grid reference SK 19751 90975

From Back Tor, you then begin to walk along Derwent Edge.

For the next 3 km you’ll walk on a flagstone path past some iconic gritstone rock formations on Derwent Edge, includes ‘Cakes of Bread’, ‘Dove Stone’ boulder, ‘Salt Cellar’ boulders and ‘Wheel Stones’.

Wheel Stones along Derwent Edge hike, Peak District
Wheel Stones along Derwent Edge hike, Peak District

From the rock formation, Wheel Stones, you then start to descend from Derwent Edge and reach a point with different paths. Take the path on the right heading down towards Ladybower Reservoir

Stage 4 – End of Derwent Edge to Fairholmes car park

Distance: 2.9 miles/4.7 km

Grid reference SK 20321 88015

Derwent Edge walk to Ladybower Reservoir Peak District
Path back down towards Ladybower Reservoir

Follow the path as it keeps descending down to the reservoir.

When you reach the lower path at Ladybower reservoir, turn right. This footpath then leads you back to Derwent Dam. From here simply follow the path back around to Fairholmes car park.

Do you have any more questions about this walk? Ask me in the comments below.

Other options for the walk

Shorten the walk

An option to shorten this walk is by cutting short the beginning section of the walk to Back Tor, to make it an 8-mile route.

Instead of walking to the end of Upper Derwent Reservoir, you can take the footpath that leads up to Lost Lad Cairn and Back Tor, this takes about 2 miles/ 3.5 km off the walk.

Full walk, including map and GPX below for you.

8-mile route here

More Walks in the Peak District

Love walking in the Peak District? You might like these Peak District circular walks.

Have you done the Derwent Edge walk, let me know any feedback in the comments. 

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Derwent Edge walk Peak District

Derwent Edge walk Peak District

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