I don’t think anyone who’s ever been to Stanage Edge can deny it’s beautiful. Situated a couple of miles up the hill from Hathersage, Stanage Edge is a very popular place for walkers, fell runners, climbers, and mountain bikers. It provides stunning views of the Dark Peak moorlands and the Hope Valley up towards Man Tor and Castleton. The gritstone escarpment stretches for around 4 miles and was introduced to a whole new audience recently when it was featured in the film ‘Pride & Prejudice’ (starring Keira Knightley). Locals, on the other hand, will know the edge for, among other things, The Fat Boys Stanage Struggle – the popular local fell race that starts in Hathersage and rises to High Neb before returning to the village 500 feet below (6 miles of muddy hell!)
Stanage Edge, as you can probably guess, is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Peak District. Each year, tourists from all over the world arrive to take in the magnificent views and enjoy the unspoilt countryside. Most of the visitors manage to make it there without any trouble. However, there was one notable exception.
For this story, I need to take you back to 2013. The ‘international year of Quinoa’ began with, among other things, the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the creation of a 3D printed ear by American scientists from living collagen (the two events not connected as far as I know). Winter turned to Spring, and a summer arrived, Croatia were admitted to the European Union, protests erupted against President Morsi in Egypt, and Prince Philippe was sworn in as king of the Belgians.
It was also around this time that Ash C was probably planning his trip to Stanage Edge. August arrived and he would have packed his jam sandwiches, picnic blanket, and a flask of tea before setting off. With the postcode from Trip Advisor entered into the Sat Nav, and confident in his phone’s ability to direct him to the correct destination, it was probably quite a relaxed trip for him and his labradoodle. I can only imagine to tears that welled up in his eyes when the sat nav announced ‘you have no reached your destination’ only to discover he was actually at a wooded lake and not at the 4 mile long Peak District escarpment formed 3.5 million years ago from sedimentary rocks.
Although Ash’s day wasn’t completely wasted (apparently he enjoyed his ramble around the unknown lake), the 75 mile drive home must have nevertheless mostly been taken up with the formulation of the complaint he would later go on to register publicly with Trip Adviser. No stars for Stanage Edge (even though he never made it) only redeemed with 2 stars for the miscellaneous wooded lake he spent his day walking around.
It’s at this point that some readers would say ‘hold on a minute, he’s given Stanage Edge a 2 out of 5 stars rating even though he’s never actually visited it – that’s not fair!’ and at the same time ‘he’s recommending a walk around a wooded lake he doesn’t even know the location of!’ Me? He’s taken a stand against wrong postcodes. A lone voice in a sea of apathy. Can just one man make a difference? Maybe
Planning your own trip to Stanage Edge?
Stanage Edge southern point starts around hear and heads west (this is the trig point):
Ash, if you ever fancy having another try at visiting Stanage Edge, please use these links instead (pro tip – buildings have postcodes because they get post. 3.5 million year old grit-stone edges generally don’t have postcodes as the don’t have post sent to them):
- Burbage Car Park (free parking for Stanage Edge although not many spaces and fills up quickly)
- On the road (free parking for Stanage Edge on the side of the road – also night and flat for campervans)
- Bottom of Stanage car parks (free parking but fills up quickly)
- Main Stanage Edge car parks (pay and display)
- Toilets here (although they’re not always open)
- Hathersage is here (for a coffee – try the cafe above the Outside shop next to the petrol station) There are also pubs and restaurants here
- Nearest campsite to Stanage Edge (North Lees – it’s a bit basic) It’s under a mile walk up the hill to Stanage Edge and about the same in the opposite direction to Hathersage through the fields. No shops here and the nearest pub is Hathersage. If you do decide to go to the pub, take a torch for the way home!