Three Shires Head Walk From Wildboarclough | 5.5-Mile Route (+ Shutlingsloe Option)

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A lovely route from Wildboarclough to the stunning Three Shires Head, complete with it’s packhorse bridges and waterfalls.

This walk begins from Clough House car park in Wildboarclough and goes via rocky a track and fields to Three Shires Head before looping back via Cut-thorn Hill where you have views of Shutlingsloe in the distance, that gradually gets closer towards the end of the walk. 

There’s also an option to do a short extra loop to tick off Shutlingsloe summit, about 1.7 miles. It’s totally worth it if it’s a good weather day as you’ll have stunning views from the top and you can bag a trig point too! There are details at the bottom of the walk description so you can decide if you want to add it on.

Here you will find details on how to get to the start of the walk at Wildboarclough, car parking options, route information, map, GPX file, plus a detailed step by step guide of the walk to Three Shires Head with the option to hike up Shutlingsloe too.

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

Three Shires Head from Wildboarclough

Walk information

Walk type: Short circular walk

Distance: 5.5 miles/8.8 km

Walk time: 2-3 hours

Total ascent: 369 m/1,181 ft

Highest point: 464 m/1,525 ft

Walk highlights: Cumberland Brook, Three Shires Head waterfalls and views of Shutlingsloe summit

Trig points: 0 (or add-on 1 – Shutlingsloe Hill)

Ethels: 0 (or add-on 1 – Shutlingsloe Hill)

Stiles: 4 + (8 metal steps over wall)

gpx file

Three Shires Head walk map

Three Shires Head walk map
Click for online map

Walk start point

Start grid reference: SJ 98722 69877

Car parking address: Clough House car park, Wildboarclough, SK11 0BD* – Google location

*Please note postcode does NOT take you to exact location, please double check on a paper map or google maps. This is free but small car park, but generally not too busy so unless it’s peak time you should get a space. 

Alternatively, there’s some car parking available further down the road near The Crag Inn at Wildboarclough – Google location

Clough House car park at Wildboarclough

Public transport

There are no options for public transport for this start point.

Facilities on the walk

There are no public toilets available at the start of the walk at Wildboarclough or anywhere on the walk.

There’s a pub a short distance from the car park at Wildboarclough – The Crag Inn, Nabbs Road, Wildboarclough, SK11 0BD – Google location

Other useful information

There are sections of this route which go via roads or across them, most aren’t too busy but worth noting if you’re walking with children.

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. It’s often good to check a few resources.

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.

See both maps that cover the Peak District here.

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

For online maps, I recommend OS Online App (I have been using for 3+ years and worth getting if you want to start walking more). Check prices here for the one month or yearly option with OS Online App. All the walks on the website are created using OS Online + you can export/import them to the App. 

Three Shires Head walk route

Stage 1 – Clough House, Wildboarclough to Three Shires Head

Distance: 2.2 miles/3.5 km

Grid reference SJ 98722 69877

From Clough House car park, walk out the back of the car park, past the farm buildings on your right. Continue to the main road, cross over and go through the gate next to the green signpost for the Cat & Fiddle Inn which leads to a wide track heading alongside Cumberland Brook. 

Road with buildings
Road exiting back of the car park

Walk along the track then over a small wooden bridge (photo below) continue heading in the same direction but on the other side of the brook. The path is rocky and takes you through a gate heading uphill initially before it flattens out. Go through another gate, then the path splits off in different directions. Take the track across the stream, bending round to the right, which begins to head uphill again.

Go across wooden bridge alongside Cumberland Brook

You’ll go past a green signpost for ‘Flash via Three Shires Head’ then shortly after through a small gate that brings you to the road. Carefully cross the road towards the fingerpost with yellow arrow. Go down the metal steps, there’s a handy rail to assist you as there are 8 steps (might be difficult with a dog).

Metal steps over the wall on the walk

Walk across the field to the metal kissing gate in the wall, continue walking where the ground dips, you’ll see the next wide metal gate (photo below) to continue the walk. From here, head up on the feint track and directly across the field towards the wall (no obvious path), continue heading towards the trees and wall on the right. The wall takes you down a wide gate and the footpath next to the River Dane.

Footpath heading across fields

Once through the gate turn right and you’re now on the Dane Valley Way, the footpath leads all the way to the packhorse bridge at Three Shires Head where you can stop and enjoy the waterfalls and maybe take a dip in one of the pools if it’s a warm day!

Packhorse bridge at Three Shires Head

Stage 2 – Three Shires Head to Road near Crag Hall

Distance: 1.5 mile/2.4 km

Grid reference SK 00948 68521

Once you’ve explored around the Three Shires Head area, waterfalls and pools, if you walked across the packhorse bridge, head back over so the River Dane is on your left. The path splits so you want to take the right-hand track which heads uphill and around the base of Cut-thorn Hill.

Small gate from road near Cut-thorn Hill

The track brings you out on a road, keep walking in the same direction up the road, past the house on the left and on the opposite side of the road there’s a small wooden gate (photo above) that you need to go through. Walk along the grassy path, towards a short way marker post, bear left here and walk up towards the wall. Go over the gap in the wall (photo below), then over the stile, you can now see Shutlingsloe Hill in the distance.

Wall with Shutlingsloe in distance
Gap in stone wall with Shutlingsloe in the distance

Walk towards the road, going through a small gate then on the other side of the road there’s another wooden stile next to a fingerpost. Follow the path here which leads across a couple of bordered sections (photo below), go through another wide gate then past a small building on your left. The footpath continues towards the trees, where there’s another gate before you head through the woods on a rocky track that leads you to a road.

Footpath leading across fields with boarded sections

Stage 3 – Road near Crag Hall to Wildboarclough (Shutlingsloe option)

Distance: 1.8 mile/2.9 km

Grid reference SJ 99041 68656

Turn right onto the road and walk until it splits, take the road bending around to the left where it goes through some gate posts keep walking, the path goes through a small area with farm buildings (Firs Farm) (photo below), head straight and through a wide metal gate. This field is private land so keep to the right of way which continues straight across the field then at the wall you double back next to the wall and go over a small wooden bridge, near the trees.

Footpath heading through Firs Farm

Walk down the narrow track, following the yellow way markers going straight on towards some more trees, go over the wooden fence (waymarked) and along the stream to another wooden bridge. This brings you to another road, turn right and then look for the road that forks off left heading uphill  (signposted Private Road).

Private road heading uphill

Head up the road, going uphill, the road splits at the cattle grids, (option to add Shutlingsloe Hill – 1-mile extra – see details below) take the right-hand lower one which takes you back past a house then over a small wooden bridge, through two gates then over the stile to the road. Turn left down the road and the car park will be on the right.

Final stile before reaching the road back to the car park

Ask me questions about the Three Shires Head route in the comments below.

Walk options

Extend the walk to add Shutlingsloe Hill

At the cattle grids instead of taking the lower option your can take the left-hand track heading off uphill towards Shutlingsloe, which adds about 1.7-miles/2.7 km to the walk, but extra ascent too, totalling 564 metres for the walk so a short but steep add on!

Online OS map link

GPX file

See instructions below:

Walk along the track until it bends round to the right (this is private), pick up the grassy path uphill (signposted with arrow markers). Walk in-between the gap in the wall, up over the wooden bridge and through the metal kissing gate. Keep walking uphill following the way markers.

Wide track where the footpath splits up to Shutlingsloe

At the next metal kissing gate go through, then you can see two paths heading up to Shutlingsloe. Take the left hand path, follow this all the way to the summit it brings you out at the trig point.

From Shutlingsloe trig point, head down from the summit via the flagstones heading north on the opposite side. It’s a steep descent, with a few large steps to negotiate on the way down. You’ll reach a wall with a small gate then three stone steps down to the path (photo below).

Flagstones leading to gate with steps

Walk along the path until you reach a metal gate (don’t go through). Turn right on the few flagstones, along the base of Shutlingsloe, the path now turns into a grassy path with views of Shutlingsloe in front of you, go over the small wooden bridge and continue on the grassy path. It then heads downhill to a section that’s narrow before you reach a metal gate, with another green signpost.

Section where the path is narrow

Go through here then follow the path alongside the wall until you reach the metal kissing gate at the base of Shutlingsloe (the one you walked through earlier).

Turn left through the gate, follow the path back down, via the second kissing gate and wooden bridge to the track which brings you out at the cattle grids. Turn left here and follow the instructions in Stage 3.

More walks in the Peak District

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