BAMFORD EDGE WALK GUIDE
By far one of the best things to do in the Peak District National Park is to embark on a Bamford Edge walk. And, whilst there are many to choose from, we’re almost certain we’ve found the very best – the River Derwent, Bamford Edge and Yorkshire Bridge Circular.
This hike includes a stroll through woodland, a superb ridge walk with many daring photo opportunities, and some of the best views over Ladybower reservoir and the Hope Valley.
In this guide, we’ll give you some key information that you’ll need to know before visiting, take you through a virtual walk and give you some top tips ahead of your trip. We’ll also let you know where to stay and provide you with some more awesome things to do nearby.
WHAT IS BAMFORD EDGE?
Bamford Edge is a series of protruding rocks across a hillside in the Peak District National Park. It attracts many hikers who enjoy walking along the ridgeline, as well as paragliders and rock-climbers who are looking to level up their adrenaline fix.
Regardless of which activity takes your fancy, Bamford Edge provides stunning views over the Hope Valley and Ladybower Reservoir.
WHERE IS BAMFORD EDGE IN THE PEAK DISTRICT?
Bamford Edge is situated in the mid to north area of the Peak District, it what’s known as the ‘High Peak’. There are many popular villages that surround it – most notably Castleton and Hathersage. In addition, approximately half an hour east is Sheffield.
Below you’ll find an interactive map that shows the exact location of Bamford Edge. You can use this to zoom in and out to get a better understanding of exactly where it is.
HOW TO GET TO BAMFORD EDGE?
The Peak District National Park is made up of hundreds of fields with dozens of tiny towns and villages scattered across them – all of which are connected by country lanes. As such, by far the easiest way to reach the trailhead of almost every walk in the Peak District is by car.
If you need to rent a car, then we recommend using a platform such as Expedia which shows all of the best deals on the market.
Unlike some of the other walks around the Peak District, Bamford Edge trailhead is one that can be reached by bus from many of the other popular villages in the area, as well as from Sheffield.
Below are some of the popular routes, however, we always recommend using Rome2Rio to discover the best way to get from A to B. Alternatively, you can check out the Peak District Bus Timetable for further information.
From Castleton: Bus 256/20 minutes
From Hathersage: Bus 257/15 minutes
From Sheffield: Bus 257/40 minutes
You can get to the trailhead of this walk by train in addition to walking since the train station is roughly 15 minutes from the starting point of this walk.
Even though Bamford train station is small, it’s well connected to many of the nearby towns which you may be using as a base that also has a train station.
Below are some examples of train times, all of which require an additional 15 minutes of walking time added on top.
From Hathersage: 21 minutes
From Hope: 18 minutes
From Sheffield: 30-40 minutes
BAMFORD EDGE CAR PARK
The starting point of this hike is from Heatherdene Car Park. It’s a fairly large car park, however, it does get super busy during peak times. If there isn’t space here, then there is little opportunity to park elsewhere.
You’ll need to pay £3 to secure a spot in this car park, which can be paid by card or cash.
Bamford Edge parking postcode: S33 0BY.
BEST TIME TO HIKE BAMFORD EDGE
The best to hike to Bamford Edge is between May and September. This should mean that you’ll have great hiking conditions and if you’re lucky, some excellent sunshine pouring over the Hope Valley and beyond.
In addition, we’d recommend avoiding weekends and beginning the walk before 9 am to secure a parking spot. Alternatively, starting your walk in the early evening to catch the sunset is also a great option, however, it’s important to ensure you finish the walk before it gets dark unless you have a torch or headlamp.
BAMFORD EDGE WALK KEY DETAILS
DISTANCE OF THE WALK
At 5.8 kilometres, this walk isn’t a huge distance. This makes it a great easy walk to Bamford Edge that even the novice hiker can tackle, whilst still benefitting from fantastic views which you would usually have to walk some distance to find.
DIFFICULTY OF THE WALK
This River Derwent, Bamford Edge and Yorkshire Bridge Circular walk is graded as moderate in terms of difficulty.
However, we would argue that 90% of this walk is very easy (with the exception of the first kilometre or so, this walk is mostly flat or downhill).
As such, this is a fantastic route for almost every type of walker, including children.
ELEVATION OF THE WALK
The total elevation of the River Derwent, Bamford Edge and Yorkshire Bridge walk is 235 meters.
If you were to look at the profile of the walk, then you’d see that all of this elevation is covered within the first couple of kilometres, with a short spike initially followed by a gradual ascent along the ridge.
DURATION OF THE WALK
Although the distance of this walk isn’t huge, it takes most walkers roughly 2 hours to complete due to the many photo opportunities along the way.
We’d recommend leaving 2-3 hours for this walk so that you can enjoy every ounce of the scenery.
BAMFORD EDGE WALK: WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE DAY
FROM THE CAR PARK TO THE TOP OF THE HILL
As you leave behind the car park, the route immediately begins to ascend along a track that leads through a small forest.
Following a few twists and turns, you’ll soon reach the trickling River Derwent. It’s here where you’ll need most of your energy, as you tackle the steepest section of the walk to the top of the hill.
Whilst this section of the walk is challenging, it’s short-lived and worth taking a few pauses to admire the view over Ladybower Reservoir behind you.
ALONG THE RIDGE TO BAMFORD EDGE
Once you’ve made it to the top of the hill, it’s time to further ascend along the ridge. It’s a gentle incline for no more than a kilometre and offers excellent scenery for the entire time.
Along the way, you’ll spot the first set of protruding rocks that you’ll no doubt head towards for your first daring photo. Whilst these do warrant some level of risk, the perception of danger is far higher than the reality.
Still, these make for some awesome pictures to capture the memories of your Bamford Edge walk in the Peak District National Park.
As you continue along the trail, the route will begin to flatten out before arriving at the most impressive picture spot along the ridge – a very large piece of rock that protrudes much further than any of the others.
With the Hope Valley and Ladybower Reservoir glistening away in the background, it’s easy to see why so many take the risk of stepping out onto the edge for a picture.
DESCENDING BAMFORD EDGE ALONGSIDE THE RESERVOIR, BACK TO THE CAR PARK
The route then begins to descend. It starts off steady and then quickly steepens as you navigate your way through marshland to the country road in the distance.
Once you’ve arrived at the road, it’s a long and gentle descending walk down to Ladybower Reservoir.
You’d think that the views would be gone once you’ve left the top of Bamford Edge, however, this walk continues to provide stunning countryside views for quite some time.
Once the trees get in the way of the view, you’ll soon arrive at the edge of Ladybower Reservoir which signals that the walk is nearly over.
Once you’ve taken your last few pictures, you’ll cross the main road to head back to the car park.
BAMFORD EDGE WALK MAP
Below is an interactive map of the Derwent River, Bamford Edge and Yorkshire Bridge Circular walk.
We’d recommend creating an Alltrails account if you don’t already have one so that you can save this map for use on the day of the walk.
TIPS FOR HIKING TO BAMFORD EDGE IN THE PEAK DISTRICT
As with pretty much every walk in a popular area like the Peak District, you’ll want to start the walk reasonably early to avoid the crowds and, most importantly, ensure you get a car parking spot.
We’d recommend rocking up before 9 am to do this, and perhaps even earlier if you’re heading to the Peaks in the height of summer as this is when it will be busiest.
HIKE TO BAMFORD EDGE AT SUNRISE OR SUNSET
Since this hill doesn’t take too long to climb before providing epic views, it’s a great location to watch the sunrise or sunset.
We’d recommend getting there in good time to snag a great spot on one of the overhanging rocks.
MAKE USE OF THE TOILETS NEAR THE CAR PARK
Unlike some of the other walks in the area, there are some good facilities at the trailhead of this walk.
You’ll find a bunch of toilets close to the car park which we highly recommend making use of since there is nowhere else that you can pop to the loo on this walk.
DOWNLOAD THE MAP AHEAD OF THE WALK
As always, we’d recommend downloading the map ahead of time, just in case you lose signal (which is highly likely in the Peaks).
This will ensure you’ll have something to fall back on should you get lost on this walk. Although, you won’t be alone once you reach Bamford Edge as it is quite a popular spot these days.
DOWNLOAD PODCASTS/MUSIC IF YOU’RE HIKING SOLO
Much like the above reason for downloading the map, we’d also recommend downloading anything that you might want to listen to on your walk ahead of time.
TELL SOMEONE WHICH TRAIL YOU’RE ON
Whilst there will be plenty of people travelling along this route, it’s always a good idea to let someone know which trail you’re heading out on, just in case anything goes a little pear-shaped.
If you’re staying at a hotel or hostel, it’s worth letting the receptionist know or dropping your accommodation owner a message to let them know.
TAKE A BATTERY PACK
There are heaps of photo and video opportunities on this walk since the views are so phenomenal and you can play around on the protruding rocks.
If you add that to the fact that you’ll be navigating your map and playing music or listening to a podcast, then your phone battery is likely to run down fairly quickly.
As such, it’s best to pack a battery pack just in case you need to make any emergency calls. Again, this is highly unlikely, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
BE PREPARED FOR THE WEATHER
If you’re familiar with the great British weather, then you’ll know it’s not the most reliable – even in the midst of summer.
A waterproof pair of hiking boots and a raincoat are an absolute must when it comes to hiking, and we’d recommend throwing in a hat for good measure.
Bamford Edge is a big open ridge and so it can often be chilly up there!
BRING FOOD AND DRINKS
Bring cereals bars, bananas, trail mix and whatever else fuels you for your hikes. Plus, lots and lots of fluids!
There is nowhere to stop along this route for a bite to eat or something to drink until you’re basically back at the car park, so we’d recommend over-preparing to avoid any rumbling stomachs!
ALTERNATIVE BAMFORD EDGE WALKING ROUTES
Whilst we think this Bamford Edge walk is the very best of them all, we totally appreciate that people may want something a little more challenging. Below are some alternative options which may suit you better.
MODERATE – THE BAMFORD AND STANAGE EDGE CIRCULAR
The Bamford Edge and Stanage Edge Circular is a great walk that covers slightly further distance and elevation, however, includes another very popular attraction – Stannage Edge.
The two are fairly similar, so by doing this walk you may have less variety, but Bamford is the star of our recommended walk, so this isn’t a bad thing!
HARD – 3 EDGES: DERWENT, STANAGE AND BAMFORD EDGES CIRCULAR
3 Edges: Derwent, Stanage and Bamford Edges CIrcular is quite the challenge at just over 15 kilometres.
However, hikers get to enjoy some epic scenery on this one and have the added bonus of navigating around a section on Ladybower Reservoir – a truly stunning sight!
WHERE TO STAY NEAR BAMFORD EDGE IN THE PEAK DISTRICT
If you’re heading to the Peak District for this walk and this walk only, then the best place to stay is in Bamford village itself.
It’s a small place, but it’s got everything you’d need such as a village shop and a few pubs to keep you going for a night or two. Plus, if you were to stay here, you could walk to the trailhead which would save the hassle of trying to get a parking spot!
If you’re looking to explore the Peak District for more than a day or two, then Hathersage is a really great option.
Whilst it is a village, it has plenty of atmosphere with more than a few places to eat and drink. It’s also less than a 10-minute drive from the trailhead, so you won’t need to get up super earlier to start the walk!
For those who like to balance city breaks with bursts of the countryside, then Sheffield is less than a 30-minute drive from the trailhead.
There are some quirky parts to the city such as Kelham Island – an old industrial area of the town that has since been turned into an edgy corner of the city.
EXPLORE BEYOND BAMFORD EDGE
A Bamford Edge walk is an absolute must If you’re heading to the Peak District, however, there are some more amazing walks to add to your itinerary if you’re heading here for more than a day.
We’ve put together a bunch of other posts about equally awesome walks, which you can find below.
- Luds Church walk / an easy walk to an awe-inspiring chasm that’s steeped in history
- Mam Tor walk / a breathtaking Mam Tor walk that leads through Winnats Pass & Castleton
- Dovedale Stepping Stones walk / a picturesque valley walk to the famous Dovedale Stepping Stones
- Kinder Scout walk / a challenging walk to the highest peak in the area
- Winnats Pass walk / an unbelievable adventurous walk across two stunning ridgelines
Disclosure: any links within this blog are affiliated. This means we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you; if you use any of these links it really helps support our blog, so thank you!