Peak District Walks
Date: 11th June 2015
Distance: 3 miles
Ascent: 300 feet
Time: 1 hour 30 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SK241624
A short evening walk visiting some of the many features of interest on Stanton Moor including the Cork Stone and the Nine Ladies Stone Circle.
Route Summary: Birchover Road - Cork Stone - Stanton Moor Trig Point - Stanton Moor Plantation - King Stone - Nine Ladies Stone Circle - Earl Grey Tower - Stanton Moor Edge - - Cork Stone - Birchover Road
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: This short evening ramble was my third and final walk of a super day in the Peak District. After walks over Sir William Hill and along the length of Lathkill Dale earlier in the day I'd checked into the youth hostel in Youlgrave then had a (somewhat disappointing) thai curry in the Bulls Head Hotel in Youlgrave before the short drive to Birchover for this walk.
Starting from the car park on Birchover Road, opposite Birchover Stone Ltd, it was a short walk north along the road to join the public footpath accessing Stanton Moor. Passing beneath a large dead tree above the path I soon arrived on the moor by the Cork Stone, the first of many interesting features packed in to the relatively small space of Stanton Moor.
The Cork Stone is a large and solitary gritstone outcrop. Although it has footholds carved into the rock and metal rungs I didn't fancy my chances of a successful ascent so I settled for taking some photos at ground level. Leaving the Cork Stone it was then a short walk north-east to reach the trig point which, at 323m above sea level, marks the highest point of Stanton Moor.
Continuing north from the trig point I passed the remains of Stanton Moor Quarry to enter the woods of Stanton Moor Plantation. I was aiming to follow the path to the northern tip of the plantation but without meaning to I ended up on a short cut through the woods which took me directly to the King Stone and the Nine Ladies Stone Circle. The stone circle was nice although by this time the sun had already begun dipping below the nearby tree line so I didn't get the lighting I'd hoped for some photos. The nearby King Stone was a small and rather disappointing affair.
From the stone circle I walked north to the edge of the woods to take in the view of the Derwent valley before doubling back on a thinner path that led me along the steep eastern flank of the moor. Interesting features of note on this section of the walk were the Earl Grey Tower, built to commemorate the Reform Act of 1832, and another large boulder called the Cat Stone which like the Cork Stone had handholds carved into it.
Emerging into a more open moorland I visited some more rocky outcrops loitering for a while on one with a particularly fine view of Darley Dales. I later discovered this outcrop is known as the Duchess of Sutherland Stone (though I've no idea why it is called that). A recurring feature of this latter stage of the walk were the large and fairly random clumps of rhodedendrons growing amongst the heather and bracken. Finally a track led me back to the Cork Stone and the start of the walk.
I'd planned on staying on the moor until sunset but after almost 17 miles of walking on a hot day I was pretty tired out by this point so I decided to head for my bed at the Youlgrave youth hostel. Despite not staying for the sunset this was a nice little walk and a fine end to what was one of my best days yet in the Peak District.