Leave the car park, cross the road and walk down on the left for a few yards to take a track on the right through the forest to a crossroads. Go left, dropping down to cross the Little Don over a footbridge, then climb out of the valley and onto the moors. This track is known as Cut Gate, an old packhorse route from the Derwent Valley to Penistone and it makes a steady climb onto Mickleden Edge before winding its way through peat hags to a small cairn on its summit (SK186961).
Head south (left) over the moor to the trig point on Margery Hill then veer right to pick up the path along Howden Edge and up to High Stones, at 550m the highest point on the Eastern Edges and the top of South Yorkshire. Continue along the edge but soon fork left on a path to the Wet Stones and contour above Gravy Clough to make a very steep descent by Foul Clough. Cross Abbey Brook in its deep ravine (SK197925) then pick up the track heading up Sheepfold Clough and onto Lost Lad Hillend where a stone-flagged path is joined.
It is an easy walk along the bumpy ridge, passing the viewfinder on Lost Lad, to the summit rocks of Back Tor, arguably one of the finest hills in Peakland. On a clear day when the extensive and perfectly balanced panorama is fully visible, encompassing plains, water, forests and mountains with civilization a satisfying distance away there are few, if any, viewpoints that are finer than this.
Descend on the flagged path down Derwent Edge, easy walking passing its many famous tors until just after the Wheel Stones where you turn left on a path signed “Moscar” (SK203880). Take this path down off the moor until after passing through a gate you climb over a stile on the right and make you way through a boggy area to the farm, emerging onto Mortimer Road (SK225878). Go right down the road to its junction with the busy A57 then left up the road for a short way to a lay-by near Moscar Lodge. Cross the road and make the steady climb on a good path up to Stanage End. There can be no denial about this section from the Wheel Stones to Stanage End. It is tedious and demoralising walking with the climb a seemingly endless drag. Once Stanage End is gained the walking picks up and the rest of the route is a delight and all the hard work of the day is done.
Simply make your way along Stanage Edge, a magnificent bound passing the two trig points, both superb viewpoints. Continue on the path dropping down off the edge near the Cowper Stone across Cam Height to Upper Burbage Bridge. Cross the two bridges then go through a gate and make your way along the top of Burbage Rocks (also Burbage Edge). There is a slight drop before the second edge is picked up and you want to leave it just before the cliffs end (SK266809), a vague path leads over a stile over the moor to the road just above the Fox House Inn.
Walk down to the Fox House Inn. Cross the road at the corner and pass through a gate into the Longshaw Estate. Turn immediately left and follow a path between the road and car park to a gate. Then climb up onto the unnamed edge. An easy walk south brings you to the road junction by the Wooden Pole. Cross the road and take the second path on right for a damp climb up onto White Edge Moor. It’s a wonderfully easy few miles along White Edge with the crowds on Curbar and Froggat below. A little beyond the trig point the path starts to descend and ignoring the turn off to Curbar Gap you pass beneath Swine Sty and over a tussocky moor to the road near a crossroads (SK277742) with Birchen Edge the final objective rising up ahead.
Go straight over at the crossroads and go through a gate on the right along a damp path which leads up towards Birchen Edge. When you near the edge leave the path and scramble up to the trig point (310m). Walk down the edge past the famed Three Ships boulders, descending steeply when the rocks end. A short walk on a grassy path brings you to the road (SK 282/721), the Robin Hood Inn a short way down on the right.
Grid Reference: SE210010 This walk was produced by Walking Britain