The Toad's Mouth - Padley Gorge and the Burbage Valley
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A classic Peak District walk around the spectacular Burbage Valley and onto Stanage Edge. It is the second of a Peak District 'double-header' this weekend.
Starting off from the Grindleford Station Café, we head up through Padley Gorge, along Burbage Brook and then across onto the stark, yet beautiful Hathersage Moor. The moor and the Burbage Valley is surrounded on one side by the long, exposed gritstone edge of Burbage Rocks and on the other by the two peaks of Higger Tor and the pre-historic hill fort of Carl Wark. We trace our way around the moor along these ridges, taking in the spectacular views across the valley. The toad in the rock points the way!
Depending on weather we may also head out along the impressive Stanage Edge. After taking a break for lunch in a peaceful spot with a sweeping view of this stunning valley, we make our way back to Grindleford via the National Trust’s Longshaw Estate.
Longshaw was the hunting lodge built in the 1830s for the Duke of Rutland to entertain parties of visitors as they bagged their grouse from the nearby moorland.
This is one of a "weekend double-header" of day walks Skip is leading in this part of the Peak District. The other is The Shivering Mountain - Mam Tor and the Great Ridge day walk on Saturday 19 January. Why not make a weekend of it and do both walks?!
The leader will be staying in Castleton on the Friday and Saturday nights - there are several accommodation options, including the nearby YHA Castleton Losehill Hall as well as several B&Bs and hotels dotted around the Hope Valley. You’ll need to make your own arrangements for accommodation (and food), should you make a weekend of it. Don’t forget ODL members receive a 10% discount on advance YHA accommodation bookings using the code on the member benefits page.
Feel free to contact Skip with any questions you may have.
Image credits: Toad's Mouth: © David Pickersgill used under licence. All other photos © Skip Evans
What to bring
It will be mid-winter in the Peak District, so wrap up warm and wear windproof, waterproof clothing.
Although the paths on the hills themselves are well-trodden and maintained, it may wet and muddy underfoot after rain, or covered in a little snow, as it was last year (see pics), so you'll need decent boots and preferably gaiters too.
Note that this is only a guide and you will need to consider the weather forecast closer to the weekend.
If you're unsure about any of the items in the standard kit list, please message Skip.
Boots: Hiking boots are the most essential piece of kit when hiking just about anywhere. You should make sure that your boots are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support.
Socks: Good walking socks are essential to keep the feet warm and dry, and to prevent the development of blisters. Sports socks and other socks not designed for walking may become waterlogged, or damaged, which will in turn blister your feet.
Gaiters: Gaiters attach to the bottom of walking boots and extend to just under the knee. They provide waterproofing for the bottom half of the leg, and are essential in keeping feet dry.
Walking Trousers: Walking trousers should be windproof and made of a rip stop material that will stand up to walking through ferns and undergrowth. Ideally, they should also be water resistant, or at least not gain weight, and lose their insulation properties when wet. Jeans should be avoided, as they are heavy when wet and provide no protection from the elements.
Waterproof Trousers: Waterproof trousers are essential in keeping the legs dry, as water resistant trousers will not keep out any significant rainfall. You should look for waterproof trousers that are breathable to avoid sweating too much.
Base Layer: A breathable base layer should let sweat escape from the body. This should ideally consist of a breathable synthetic, specially designed fabric, though a cotton t-shirt would suffice.
Mid Layer: A mid-layer goes on top of the base layer and ideally should be made from a 100 weight micro fleece, or a rugby jersey style thick shirt. The layering system is important as it allows walkers quickly to adapt to changes in the weather, as well as body temperature.
Outer Layer: The outer layer should consist of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece. This is the final layer and you should ensure that this layer provides ample warmth.
Waterproof Jacket: A good waterproof jacket is one of the most important pieces of kit you will need when hiking. You should look for a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable - although not cheap, a good quality Gore-tex jacket is a sensible investment.
Hat and Gloves: a decent beanie hat and waterproof gloves are essential for walking at this time of the year.
Food & drink
Please bring a packed lunch and a flask with a warm drink!
You will be able to get a cracking cooked breakfast before the walk at the Grindleford Station Cafe.