Start – Roadside at Ladybower Reservoir SK173889, Distance – 21km, Ascent – 850m, Time – 6hrs 45mins plus stops.
A long walk into the quieter north-eastern end of the Derwent Valley along Howden Edge. It involves a long walk in and even longer walk out, but at least these bits are relatively flat, skirting both Howden and Derwent Reservoirs. The initial ascent is taken along a track that comes off the main reservoir path just after Abbey Brook and traverses Upper Hey before climbing onto Derwent Edge. You can cut down the distance by descending Cut Gate after Margery Hill, rather than making the out-and-back trip to Outer Edge. This last peak offers little in terms of views and the ground is boggy and difficult after Cut Gate, so you wouldn’t miss much if you left it out. The legs along the reservoirs aren’t too boring really, just relax and enjoy them as a gentle stroll.

The Route described here is anti-clockwise

A long walk into the quieter north-eastern end of the Derwent Valley along Howden Edge. It involves a long walk in and even longer walk out, but at least these bits are relatively flat, skirting both Howden and Derwent Reservoirs. The initial ascent is taken along a track that comes off the main reservoir path just after Abbey Brook and traverses Upper Hey before climbing onto Derwent Edge. You can cut down the distance by descending Cut Gate after Margery Hill, rather than making the out-and-back trip to Outer Edge. This last peak offers little in terms of views and the ground is boggy and difficult after Cut Gate, so you wouldn’t miss much if you left it out. The legs along the reservoirs aren’t too boring really, just relax and enjoy them as a gentle stroll.

A view up to High Stones just before the ascent from Nether Hey. High Stones is the highest point on the walk and also offers the best views

Looking along Howden Edge from High Stones. The Edge is starting to lose it’s edginess this far north and by the time you get to Margery Hill, it’s little more than a flat, wide ridge.

The trig pillar on Outer Edge. I don’t claim to be an expert in such matters, but I think I detect a little erosion in this area…

On the descent from Cut Gate, looking north towards Bull Stones. The sun was out, it was warm but with a cooling breeze and the heather was blooming. What more could you possibly want? Well, several million less swarming black flies would have been nice…
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Looking up Cranberry Clough to High Stones on the horizon. The purple heather really changes the face of the upper moorland areas in August/September, and is one of the few good points of a wet and warm summer.