Climb to this wonderful Millstone Grit escarpment and enjoy fabulous views back down to the numerous beautiful reservoirs below. It's a challenging circular walk climbing to a height of over 1700ft around Back Tor. You will be rewarded with stunning far reaching views over the Peak District.
The area is also full of interesting flora and fauna. Look out for rare plants such as common cottongrass, mountain strawberry and crowberry. Wildlife includes Eurasian golden plover, red grouse, ring ouzel and mountain hare.
The walk starts from the Fairholmes car park in between Ladybower Reservoir and Derwent Reservoir. Here you will find a great visitor centre which makes an excellent base for exploring the Derwent Valley.
The trail heads north along Derwent Reservoir towards the impressive Derwent Dam. Just after Abbey Bank you turn east and start the climb to Lost Lad Hill, crossing Little Howden Moor and Greystones Moss. At the summit of Lost Lad there's a toposcope showing the surrounding hills. You can also see up to Back Tor, the next destination on the walk. From here there are fabulous views over the reservoirs below, Stanage Edge and the Kinder Plateau.
From Back Tor you head south to Dovestone Tor and along the fantastic ridge path towards Derwent Edge. Around here there are some wonderful geological formations including the impresive Salt Cellar stone. It has a striking resemblance to a certain condiment holder! Even more impressive are the Wheel Stones (or Coach and Horses) which resemble a coach and horses on the horizon when viewed from the A57 road to the south.
Shortly after passing the Wheel Stones you turn west and descend back to Ladybower Reservoir. The final section takes you along the water back to the car park. The visitor centre has a good cafe where you can refresh yourself after your adventure.
To extend your walking in the area you can follow the waterside trail along Ladybower Reservoir and visit Lower Ladybower Reservoir.
If you are interested in more exhilarating climbs then look no further than Stanage Edge and Bamford Edge which are both nearby. For geology enthusiasts Alport Castles with its spectacular formation of rocks, is a must see.
Derwent Edge Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Derwent Edge Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Derwent Edge OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Derwent Edge Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
The Ladybower Inn is a good local choice for some post walk refreshments. This traditional stone-built pub dates back to the 18th century when it served as a Coaching Inn. There's also a nice beer garden with views over the Ladybower reservoir. The pub is located on The Snake Pass, at the eastern end of the lower Ladybower reservoir. Postcode is S33 0AX.
The Fairholmes Visitor Centre at the start of the route also has a refreshment kiosk with nice picnic tables outside. Inside there's a wealth of information on the area including interactive exhibitions for all ages.