Stanton Moor Plantations + Oaker Hill Trig Walk from Birchover | 10-Mile Route

Large gritstone rock Stanton Moor

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This two trig walk takes you to the southwestern border of the Peak District above Darley Dale, deep in the Derbyshire Dales. Starting near the village of Birchover, the route circles around the historic sites and trig pillar of Stanton Moor before dropping down to the modest rise of Oaker Hill in the valley below to bag a second trig before looping back up to Birchover.

From the starting point at the Birchover Stone works, you can circle around Stanton Moor Plantation, taking in such sights as the Cork Stone, Nine Ladies Stone Circle, Earl Grey Tower as well as bagging it’s trig pillar. Descending from the moor you reach the bottom of the River Derwent valley at Darley Bridge before climbing back up once more to Oaker Hill that stands above it, bagging your second trig while you’re there.

The route back takes you along Wensley Dale before climbing once more to loop around the west side Birchover, with views of Robin Hood’s Stride and Cratcliffe across the valley before cutting by Rowtor Rocks on the climb back to the start.

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

Let me know in the comments if you’ve done this walk and what you think!

Stanton Moor + Oaker Hill from Birchover

Walk information

Walk type: Medium circular walk

Distance: 10.3 miles/16.6 km

Walk time: 4-5 hours

Total ascent: 584 m/1,916 ft

Highest point: 323 m/1060 ft

Walk highlights: Stanton Moor, Cork Stone, Nine Ladies Stone Circle, Earl Grey Tower, Views of the Derwent Valley, Wensley Dale, Views of Robin Hood’s Stride & Cratcliffe, Rowtor Rocks, Druid Caves

Trig points: 2 – Moor Plantations + Oaker Hill Trigs

Stiles: 10

gpx file

Stanton Moor + Oaker Hill walk map

Peak District map route
Stanton Moor + Oaker Hill Trig walk map
Click for online map

Walk start point

Start grid reference: SK 24104 62442

Car parking address: Birchover Stone car park, Birchover Road, DE4 2BN – Google maps location

Birchover Stone is a free car park with approximately 20 spaces off the main road, parking with a small P sign. You can find additional free parking along the roadside further up the road.

Public transport

Nearest train station: Matlock train station (7 mile/11 km)

The local Number 172 bus runs through Birchover which can be caught from various stops along the A6 or via a train link at Matlock.

Facilities on the walk

There are no public toilets available at the start of the walk at Birchover car park.

Whilst on the walk you do go past Three Stags Pub in Darley Bridge and The Druid Inn in Birchover.

Birchover car park
Birchover car park

Other useful information

The area is famous for its stone and has been quarried heavily for hundreds of years, if exploring off piste in any of the old workings, extra care should always be taken.

One short 320 m section of the walk along Oldfield Lane on the run into Darley Bridge is on a small road without pavement, there is limited traffic however extra care should be taken in this area.

The Cork Stone is a classic lump of Peak gritstone festooned with iron hand grips and carved footholds allowing the brave to clamber atop it. Pleas note the lower footholds are well worn and the top has a large eroded bowl at its centre, so take great care should you attempt it.

Please keep the Peak District beautiful and take all your rubbish home to dispose of. Picnics are welcome but please, no disposal BBQs due to the high fire risk. Thank you.

 

Peak District weather

Check the weather for your walk location and hills.

Ordnance Survey walk map

The map required for this walk is the Ordnance Survey OL24 – Peak District (White Peak Area). Check prices here with Ordnance Survey or Amazon. If you’re hiking in all weathers the Active OS maps are pretty good to have.

And don’t forget your compass, I recommend the Silva Expedition compass

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.

 

Stanton Moor Plantation + Oaker Hill trig walk route

Stage 1 – Birchover to Stanton Moor Plantation

Distance: 2.2 miles/3.5 km

Grid reference SK 24537 62532

From the car park entrance turn left and head north 320 m along the road, past the Birchover Stone works, until you see a number of large rocks flanking a path into the woodland. Follow this cut through until it meets the main path at a gate into the plantation.

Note – There are no right or wrong paths around the plantation, the route that takes in the highlights but you could spend longer exploring the various pathways and rocky outcrops.

Cork Stone Peak District
Cork Stone on Stanton Moor

Upon entering and climbing the short rise you will come to the classic gritstone formation known as the Cork Stone. Walk beyond the stone following the path northeast toward the higher ground. At the fork of grassy paths, take the right hand path and follow it upward as it leads to the Moor Plantations trig pillar.

From the pillar continue northeast through the heather toward the heavier treeline beyond. After approximately 500 m from the trig and after entering the trees, you will come to a larger path cutting across the one you’re on, turn left and follow this path as it leads you to the Nine Ladies Stone Circle.

This late Neolithic/early Bronze Age monument is one of several archaeologically significant sites in the area and is regarded as a sacred site to Pagan and Druidic groups.

Nine Ladies
Nine Ladies on Stanton Moor

From the Stones, take the path beyond the information board to the southeast and follow it into the trees as it winds its way to the Earl Grey Tower. (You can’t enter the tower but you can walk around its base via a nearby stile.)

From the tower, continue on the path you were on as it circles around the edge of the upper moorland to the most southern point of the plantation. After 1 km, you will reach a crossroads, take the right hand path that leads south and follow where it meets the road. Exit the plantation via the stile.

Stanton Moor Information Point
Stanton Moor Information Point

Stage 2 – Stanton Moor to Oaker Hill

Distance: 3.4 miles/5.5 km

Grid reference SK 27131 61305

Turn right down the road from the stile, there is footpath sign a short way ahead on the other side. Follow the path down past the Barn Farm bunkhouses, at the last bunk called “Hill Carr Barn” follow it around behind to the right across the gravelled area and alongside the wall beyond.

Follow the footpath

Head south across two fields until you reach Clough Lane, turn left and follow the lane eastward for 1.5 km until it joins with the driveway of Oldfield Lane. Continue until it meets the larger road. Turn right down the hill and follow the road into Darley Bridge. (There is no pavement on this section so take extra care.)

At the junction, the Three Stags Heads pub is on the right. Cross over the road and take the path between the pub and the outdoor seating area towards their parking. A small cut through at the rear of the car park will lead you to an archery field beyond. (If you look to this hill behind this you will catch your first glimpse of the Oaker Hill trig).

Keep the archery field on your right and take the path at the far end, exiting onto an open field. Bear diagonally right in a southerly direction, the stile can be seen in the treeline ahead. Walk up the steep ground ahead across the field to a gate, go through and turn left up the lane.

After two stiles turn bear right at the stone gatepost and head upward through the treeline and over one stile before joining with another path at the next boundary.

Heading southeast through the next treeline the ground levels off and the views open up toward Matlock to the south, Riber Castle can be seen up on the far southern hills.

Drop down slightly around the ruined farm building and take the steep path up the bank to the right of the trees. Once up the bank, a path will turn northwest and head into the trees as it climbs to the high ground of Oaker Hill. Keep on the higher ground, you’ll find a stile that leads to the final section of path up to the Oaker Hill trig pillar.

Stage 3 – Oaker Hill to Clough Lane

Distance: 2.7 miles/4.4 km

Grid reference SK 24739 61762

From the trig, retrace your steps back over the stile. It’s then a short steep path that drops down into the woodland to the right. Follow it down until you the fence boundary.

Turn left and follow the fence line to a stile leading to a path down westward away from the hill. Pass through two small gates and across a driveway before crossing onto the road below.

Walk down the driveway opposite and through the larger gate into the farm, head past the barn to the gate into the field beyond. Bear left diagonally down the field to the narrow stile at the far end, go through and head towards the gate in the boundary opposite.

Head towards the far corner of the next field, you will cross over a light grassy track near the far side, turn left at this point and follow it south to the small gate down the slope.

Through the gate you will find yourself in Wensley Dale, unfortunately there is no cheese in sight but if you drop to the base of the dale and turn right you will see the path to follow up the dale towards the village of Wensley.

At the head of the grassy section of the dale, go through the gate and follow the path up to the driveway, follow this to the houses at the end. Keep to the left of the far house, following the path around behind it and through the gate. A new section of fencing will guide you up to a small run of steps that lead up to the road.

Turn right up the road where you’ll see a path signposted on the other side. Follow this up the hill towards the house, crossing the twin gates at its drive, bearing right after the second to follow the fence line down the stile. From here the path drops steeply through Cambridge Wood to the bottom of the valley. (Take care as sections of the path could become loose after a rainfall.)

At the bottom follow the signpost onto the gravel track, turn right follow this track as it winds its way upward to the northeast. Near the gate at the top a footpath will double back on you, take this path and follow it toward the ruined facade of a building.

Continue on this path through Clough Wood for 1 km where it will join with another path, keep right and follow the path upward until it rejoins with Clough Lane.

Stage 4 – Clough Lane to Birchover

Distance: 2 miles/3.2 km

Grid reference SK 24104 62442

Turning left onto Clough Lane, follow it westward for 770 m to the far side of Uppertown Farm, where you will see a footpath signposted leading to the left of the farm buildings. Follow this path as it drops through the farm to the road beyond.

Cross the road and continue down the track on the far side, keeping to the right of Birchover Wood as it passes through 3 boundaries. Bear right and left again past Rocking Stone Farm, shortly after remembering to keep to the right of the stone wall as the path begins to rise again.

The path then drops to a gate which leads down to a vantage point looking across the valley to the distinctive “twin chimney-stacked” gritstone outcrop of Robin Hood’s Stride and the stone rock faces of Cratcliffe on the other side.

Continue through the open gate along the track as it bends around to the right. Head over the stile and keep to the lower lane as you join it at the hairpin. Walk along the lane until you reach the first house, opposite you will see the imposing Rowtor Rocks, underneath which can be found a number of old Druidic Caves, worth exploring!

Go up the lane past the Druid Inn to the main road through Birchover. Turn left, a short way on the other side of the road there will be a path that leads upward into the woodland. This path winds its way through the old Barton Hill Quarries and will eventually lead back to Birchover car park.

Ask me questions about the walk in the comments below.

More walks in the Peak District

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