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Peak District walk from Youlgrave to Robin Hoods Stride, Derbyshire

This walk goes from limestone dales at the bottom of the valley to gritstone moor above. There are several interesting features along the way - Robin Hood's Stride, Cratcliff Tor and the Bronze and Iron Age remains on Harthill Moor.

Youlgreave to Elton via Harthill Moor


Route Info
walk mapDifficulty level: 2  (1 to 5 scale - 1 is easy)
Distance: 10.00 km    Ascent: 250m
Estimated time: 3:00 hours
Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 map sheet(s): 119
The Outdoor Leisure 24 - White Peak 1:25000 scale
map covers this walk also

This short but varied walk covers an area of different landscapes with rapidly changing scenery - from limestone dales at the bottom of the valley to gritstone moor above. There are several interesting features along the way - Robin Hood's Stride, Cratcliff Tor and the Bronze and Iron Age remains on Harthill Moor. It is an ideal walk for a crisp winter's day, or a summer evening.

Youlgrave Church
Youlgrave Church
Start in Youlgreave, by the church. Descend Bradford Lane to the river, cross it and continue up the road for another 100 metres before turning off at stile in the fence on your left. Cross this field diagonally to another stile. Turn left here and follow the wall to the top of the field where there is a gate and track leading through to another field. Again, follow the left wall through this field to another gate and stile and then branch right to follow a well-trodden path which heads diagonally across the field, over the brook and continues up the hill.

You should now be climbing quite steeply with the outline of Castle Ring silhouetted against the skyline slightly to your left. This is an Iron Age hillfort, and from this angle you can clearly see why this site was chosen. A track comes in from the right - follow it around and up the hill, then pass left through a stile to take a path which passes diagonally up the hillside just below Castle Ring, which is on private ground.

Robin Hoods Stride
Robin Hoods Stride
You emerge in the farmyard of Harthill Moor Farm. Go through the yard and out along the farm drive to reach the small road which crosses Harthill Moor. The path continues the other side of the road, heading straight for the weird rock formations of Robin Hood's Stride and passing the 'Nine Stones' stone circle in a field on your left.

The stride is well worth a visit and a scramble, as is Cratcliff Tor, which lies about 200 metres to the east. However, the route takes the track which passes to the north of the stride and continues down to the B5056 below. When you reach it, don't go on to this road but turn right up the tiny lane which heads to the south. This is called Dudwood Lane and it leads up the hill towards Elton, which is to the right of the top of the lane, about a kilometre and a half distant. If you prefer, you can cut the corner by taking a path which turns off the lane to the right and traverses across the fields to the village. Go through Elton on the road to Gratton and at the end of the village turn right along the road to Alport - this is the Harthill Moor road again. After 500 metres it makes a sharp right turn - take a track which continues straight on, to the west of Anthony Hill - a prominent hill which has been heavily quarried. Pass the spoil heaps and exit via a stile at the end, then turn right to contour around the hillside, following a wall.

The route first heads straight for a prominent feature - the Cliff - and then crosses the fields below it. Then fork right and head for a saddle on the skyline to the right of a clump of conifers. From here continue across three fields, cross a line of trees which hide a track, and go diagonally across the next field, heading for a prominent tree on the skyline.

You emerge at the top of the hill overlooking Youlgreave, and there is a splendid view of the village. Follow the farm track down to Mawstone Farm and take the path to the right (east) of the farm buildings and descend the fields directly towards Youlgreave. This leads onto the track which goes up to Mawstone Mine, a now abandoned lead and spar mine, and then back to the road from whence you started.

Youlgrave church - exterior view
0 - Youlgrave church - exterior view
Harthill Moor - The Nine Stones
1 - Harthill Moor - The Nine Stones
Robin Hoods Stride
2 - Robin Hoods Stride
Elton cafe
3 - Elton cafe