The ultimate long-distance hike in the Peak District has to be the Edale Skyline walk.
The Edale Skyline route is a well known fell running race but of course, you can do it as a long-distance walking challenge too! It takes you along the ridges and hills surrounding the Hope Valley high above Edale village.
Here you will find details on how to get to the start of the walk at Hope, route information, map, GPX file, useful tips, plus a detailed step by step guide of the walk.
Edale Skyline walk from Edale
(I’ve also included walk information and the GPX file for the Edale Skyline route from Edale at the bottom of the post, in case you prefer to start there, although Edale is a popular place to hike from so it can be very busy).
Have you done the Edale Skyline hike yet? Let me know how you did in the comments.
Great Ridge - Path Closure 2021
For information - please note that Peak District National Park have announced they will be undertaking restoration work on a section of the Great Ridge. The section of the Great Ridge from Hollins Cross to Back Tor will be CLOSED. Dates for the work are from March to May 2021 (approximately 8 weeks). Read more about the work here. There is a diversion in place via the lower paths around the work.
Edale Skyline route from Hope
Edale Skyline walk map
Click for OS online map
Walk start point
Start grid reference: SK 180 832
Car parking address: Hope Train Station
There is a small car park at Hope train station, or alternatively, you can park on the street. (Both free parking)
Nearest train station: Hope train station (0 mile/0 km) – Start for this walk!
The Edale Skyline walk that I’ve plotted starts and ends at Hope train station in the Derbyshire Peak District.
Facilities on the walk
There are public toilets available at the start of the walk at Hope station.
However, for the remainder of the walk, there are no toilets on the route. Once you reach the busy sections of Kinder Scout there are less discreet areas to go, Brown Knoll section is very open as it’s all flagstoned but around Lord’s Seat there are a few spots.
Once you reach Mam Tor and the Great Ridge there is no-where, as it’s a very busy path! But no long until you reach Hope!
Other useful information
If you’re doing this hike in summer, most of the route isn’t too muddy so you can wear hiking shoes or trail runners but for a winter hike you’re probably better with a lightweight pair of waterproof boots – (lightweight to stop blisters and waterproof to keep your feet dry!)
Cotswold Outdoor has a great range of hiking footwear – plus a footwear clearance range where you might pick up a bargain!
The Edale Skyline Challenge is a tough and challenging walk. Since it’s a circular walk of some distance there aren’t many options to shorten the route as you’re walking around the ridge.
However, for a few options to shorten the circular walk, read my ideas at the end of the route description.
The route has sections which are straightforward as you’re following the edge of the Edale Skyline but in poor weather, it’s very easy to take the wrong turn so take a map and compass with you (see below).
Water on your walk – We recommend a filter water bottle for your Peak District walks, it saves you carrying extra weight on this long hike and you can fill up safely and drink water from the streams on the route.
Other useful information
Check the weather for your walk location and hills
Edale weather up on the Skyline route can be very unpredictable so be prepared for all conditions!
- BBC Weather for Edale
- Met Office weather for the Peak District
- Met Office weather for Kinder Low (the highest point on the walk)
Ordnance Survey Walk Map
The map that covers the Hope Valley and this walk is OL1 – Peak District (Dark Peak Area)
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!
Check prices here for the one month or yearly option with OS Online App.
Want to read later? Save the walk to Pinterest
Edale Skyline walk route
Stage 1 – Hope Station to Win Hill
Distance: 2 miles/3.2 km
Grid reference SK 180 832
Start your Skyline challenge from Hope train station, cross the bridge and take the footpath on the other side. The walk takes you into a field, turn right over the small wooden bridge and over the next two fields.
Turn left up the road, then right and left again onto a footpath that takes you up to the path with views across to Ladybower Reservoir.
As you reach the path where Parkin Clough meets turn left and ascend to Win Hill summit, your first summit on the Edale Skyline route, marked with a trig point.
Stage 2 – Win Hill to Ringing Roger
Distance: 5.3 mile/8.5 km
Grid reference SK 186 850
From the trig point at Win Hill, descend down on to the path and follow this for about 4 km, all the way down a track until you reach Hope Cross.
On this part of the walk on a clear day, you have beautiful views of the Edale Skyline hills around the Hope Valley in front of you.
Then it’s time to ascend again via Crookstone Out Moor. The path here follows the edge and takes you along to Ringing Roger, where there are a large group of rocks.
From here, then take the path on your left, doubling back towards the edge.
Shorten the walk
If you need to shorten the walk you can descend into Edale village at this point.
Stage 3 – Ringing Roger to Near Edale Rocks
Distance: 3.7 miles/6 km
Grid reference SK 125 872
Continue walking along the edge, as you walk along the Edale Skyline on a clear day you can see all the way along to Win Hill, the start of your walk.
There’s also the beautiful Grindslow Knoll, not part of the route but a great hill. As you follow the path around you’ll reach a path giving you the option to go up here! (Option to shorten walk here)
Make sure you continue walking west towards Crowden Tower, which is the halfway mark on the walk. (Option to shorten hike here)
At Crowden Tower, make your way through the boulders which are dotted around on this section. There are various different ways through here, but if you stick to the lower tracks you’ll eventually make your way out onto the flagstones that lead to Noe Stool
From Noe Stool, you can see the iconic Edale Rocks, but you now want to head down a single track to a large cairn.
Stage 4 – Near Edale Rocks to Mam Tor
Distance: 4.7 miles/7.6 km
Grid reference SK 07956 86506
At the cairn, this is where you join a short section of the Pennine Way. Follow the path as it descends to a narrow track.
Once you reach the track go through the gate on your right then keep walking in a southerly direction to Brown Knoll.
This section of the Edale Skyline challenge is particularly remote, but the flagstoned path means you can’t get lost (if you stay on it!)
Follow the path, until you reach a track, turn right here for a short distance, before then turning left as you head up to Rushup Edge, then along to Lord’s Seat.
Be sure to take the lower path that descends to meet the road, before then taking the path up to Mam Tor summit.
Once you leave the Pennine Way to head up to Brown Knoll there’s no shorter way back to Hope. You can continue on the Pennine Way, heading down Jacob’s Ladder to go a lower level route but the distance is pretty much the same.
Stage 5 – Mam Tor to Hope Station
Distance: 4.5 mile/7.2 km
Grid reference SK 127 836
This is the most popular sections of the Edale Skyline walk as Mam Tor is very accessible from both Edale and Castleton, as well as a car park close by.
Follow the Great Ridge all the way, up over Back Tor, then on to the final summit Lose Hill.
Once you’ve reached Lose Hill, you can then ascend a couple of routes back down to the road that leads you to Hope Station.
Do you have any more questions about the Edale Skyline hike? Ask me in the comments below.
More options for this walk
As mentioned, you can start the route from Edale, which as you can see adds a considerable amount on to the walk, an extra 4-miles/6 km and an extra 355 metres of ascent. But if you like a challenge… 🙂
Shorten the walk
There are limited options to shorten the Edale Skyline walk unless you turn back before the halfway mark (Crowden Tower) but on a bad weather day, you can descend into Edale from various points on the walk.
From Edale, you would need to walk up over Hollins Cross and then drop down into Hope. This option is about 5 miles from Edale.
You can leave the Edale Skyline route at Ringing Roger, Grindsbrook Clough or Crowden Clough to shorten the route.
Alternatively, there is a train station in Edale which you can catch back to Hope station. The trains leave approximately 36 minutes past the hour and take 15 minutes.
Please feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below.
More walks in the Peak District
Love the walks in the Dark Peak Area of the Peak District?
Maybe you’d like to start with some shorter walks in the Peak District or you might like these Peak District circular walks. These make great training routes for the Skyline hike as they include sections of the route
- Edale to Kinder Scout via Grindsbrook
- Rushup Edge + Mam Tor Walk From Barber Booth | 6-Mile Route
- Mam Tor + Lose Hill Walk From Castleton | 7-Mile Route
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Peak District charity patches
Peak District Walks have now launched their charity iron-on embroidered patch raising funds for the Edale Mountain Rescue Team (charity no. 1138626) - one of the busiest mountain rescue teams in the UK.
Order our Mam Tor charity patch now or our latest Kinder Scout patch. Please visit our shop below. If you'd like to know when new designs are created, join our mailing list here to be notified.
More information about the charity project here.
Need more help planning your Peak District trip?
More information on the Peak District, including transport options, where to stay + other useful resources.
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Find out what maps you will need for your trip here.
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Visit our hiking recommendations page, (footwear, clothes + kit).
Or get in touch and I will help as best I can :).
Please note 'Peak District Walks' accepts no liability through any injuries or accidents that may result from walking our routes. We always recommend you wear appropriate footwear to avoid injuries and to take a paper map and compass on your walks. Read more here.