Start Point: The layby near Little Barbrook stone circle
End Point: The layby near the stone circle.
A loop route past Barbrook stone circle, across the moorland to Curbar Edge, along to Froggart Edge, through the woods, along the road, across to White Edge then divert towards the road before following Barbrook back towards the start.
On a Wednesday morning we set out into the White Peak area, a change from our usual roamings across the moors and rock formations of the Dark Peak. Keen to explore this part of the peak District more, we selected the Curbar area as a good starting point. After spotting Barbrook stone circle on the map we decided that a route beginning around there and looping back to the stone circle would be pleasant and a more relaxed stroll with less elevation than our 426m gain route up Fairbrook Naze the Sunday before.
We parked up in a layby near Barbrook stone circle and took the path up towards it. The stone circle itself is not a particularly striking one unfortunately, but it is in fairly good condition and I find that it’s always interesting to stop and ponder for a few moments why and how these stones are here. A mystery that will never fully be solved.
Carrying on past the stone circle we kept an eye out to our left for our next path. We would need to cross Barbrook and follow another tributary for a short way. The path wasn’t signposted but it was definitely there and not too difficult to find. Once across Barbrook we followed the path through the heather. It faded at points and wasn’t entirely clear all the way, but waystones were present at intervals so it was easy enough to keep track of where we were supposed to be going without having to get the map out. We walked in a south westerly direction for about a kilometre before we saw a prominent waystone that marked the place where we would need to turn north west towards White Edge.
Following this path for just over a kilometre we then turned away from White Edge and Headed east towards Curbar Edge. We could see Curbar Edge from this point so there was no getting lost here, even if we did somehow manage to lose the clearly marked path. We reached Curbar Edge after about a kilometre and paused to take in the views over the surrounding villages. The dramatic rocks of the edge are striking, and at this time of year they are covered in purple heather, making for a picturesque view along the edge as well as looking out from it. The route so far had been easy walking and indeed it would remain so, with the route having approximately 200m elevation gain overall.
We continued along Curbar Edge to Froggart Edge. After a quick look for Froggart stone circle, we couldn’t see it, so decided to carry on down into the woods and follow the path that would link us up with the road. Upon reaching the road we found a path that appeared to run alongside the road, but it turned away from the road and ended up dissappearing. Again, we could see where we wanted to get to so some wading through the bracken was all that was needed to get us to White Edge. I would reccommend doing the section of road walk and taking the path that leads west from the Grouse Inn, to avoid having a similar bracken exploration experience.
Joining up with White Edge we found some rocks to perch on as we ate lunch and observed the darker clouds rolling through the valleys to the west. The Kinder Plateau had been visiable in the distance for most of the walk and here we could see the weather gathering atop it. Once lunch was finished we went back to the end of White Edge where we had walked up onto it and followed the drystone wall away from the edge and in the opposite direction to where we had come from. At the end of this wall our next path led off north east and we followed it towards the road.
At the road we found a path running through the field parrallel to the road, which took us through grassy fields dotted with purple thistles. The gentle breeze sent ripples of movement across the long grass, giving the fields a soft and welcoming look to them. We followed these paths for two and a half kilometres, diverging from Barbrook and then swinging lazily back towards it until we came to Little Barbrook. At the point we stopped while I took a short dip in this small disused reservoir. The swim was very short. Although swimming is permitted here, Little Barbrook is an important site for nature and I was too conscious of lingering and disturbing the wildlife to stay long. The dip in was pleasant and a nice way to end the walk.
I dried off and we wandered down the final stretch of path, walking past the stone circle again and back down to the car. Although a relatively long route, it had been a fairly relaxed one due to the lack of elevation.
A lovely walk with a good mix of scenery and gentle elevation for a range of walking abilities. Curbar Edge is worth visiting by itself. The path along it is easy going, provides good views and lots of rocks to explore. An enjoyable day.
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