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Peak District Walks

Axe Edge Moor & Shining Tor

Date: 27th July 2013
Distance: 15.1 miles
Ascent: 2453 feet
Time: 9 hours 10 mins
With: Tim and Jack
Start Grid Ref: SK018715

Walk Summary:
A hill-bagging expedition above the upper reaches of the Dane and Goyt valleys including Axe Edge Moor, Cheeks Hill and Shining Tor.

Route Summary: Goyt's Moss - Axe Edge Moor - Cheeks Hill - Three Shires Head - Danebower Hollow - Whetstone Ridge - Cat and Fiddle - Shining Tor - Cats Tor - Pym Chair - Foxlow Edge - Errwood Reservoir - Goyt's Lane - A5004 - Cold Springs Farm

Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.

Looking across Goyt's Moss towards the Cat and Fiddle on the skyline
Jack on a prominent outcrop on Axe Edge Moor
The trig point on the top of Axe Edge Moor
Approaching Cheeks Hill
Tim on Cheeks Hill
Whetstone Edge from Cheeks Hill
The lovely scene at Three Shires Head
Looking back down into the upper Dane Valley
On Whetstone Ridge
Approaching the Cat and Fiddle
The path leading up on to Shining Tor
On Shining Tor
By the trig point on Shining Tor
Heading towards Cats Tor on the flagged path from Shining Tor
Shining Tor and Cats Tor
Looking towards Windgather Rocks and Eccles Pike
Looking towards Windgather Rocks and Eccles Pike
Looking back towards Errwood Reservoir and Foxlow Edge
The Shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary on Goyt's Lane


Walk Detail: This was the first walk of a two-day trip to the south-western Peak District, an area that I'd not visited on any of my previous walks and which also contained a number of Dewey tops I wanted to bag. With heavy rain forecast later in the day we decided to set off early from our campsite. Having left the car at the parking area just above Derbyshire Bridge from where it was a simple walk across Axe Edge Moor to the trig point where we treated ourselves to a cooked breakfast of sausage and beans.

After filling ourselves up for the walk ahead we crossed Dane Head on the way to our next objective - Cheeks Hill. Cheeks Hill is really just a bump on the western flank of Axe Edge but has the distinction of being the long standing county top of Staffordshire. Having dutifully stood at the fairly uninspiring highest point we then enjoyed an extremely pleasant descent towards Orchard Farm.

One of the highlights of the walk was Three Shires Head, the meeting place of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire, and an idyllic combination of some nice waterfalls with a fine packhorse bridge. From Three Shires Head we followed the River Dane upstream before climbing steeply up past a large chimney to cross the A54 to join the bridleway leading up Danebower Hollow.

With nice views westwards towards Shutlingsloe we marched along the bridleway for a mile or so before making a short detour to the unmarked top of Whetstone Ridge, one of the Deweys on my to-do list. Back at the bridleway it was then an easy stroll as far as the Cat & Fiddle, at least it was easy for me and Tim, unfortunately by this point Jack was suffering some pain in his knee which ultimately led to him cutting his walk short.

For the time being though he soldiered on until we reached the summit of Shining Tor. The county top of Cheshire was a much more impressive affair than Staffordshire's. A short distance to the west of the summit trig point there was a small gritstone edge, modest by Peak District standards, but dramatic enough to make this the finest spot of the day.

It was at this point that we parted ways. Jack's knee was too painful for him to continue along the planned route over Cats Tor. As Tim and Jack were heading home at the end of this walk anyway and I was staying another night at the campsite I continued on to bag Cats Tor before descending into the Goyt Valley via Foxlow Edge.

From Errwood Reservoir I then faced a long road walk back to the campsite climbing out of the valley via steep Goyt's Lane. It was a bit of a slog on a very hot and humid day and though I didn't realise it at the time I was getting some bad blisters. The only real points of interest in these final few miles was the small attractive reservoir half-way up Goyt's Lane and the unusual Shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary that was built by some locals in the 1950s.

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