Walk 2: Robin Hood Inn Circular
A fairly easy circular walk with fine views; passing a variety of antiquities and through different types of woodland filled with moss-covered rocks. Distance: 6.5km or 4 miles; time about 2.5 hours. This walk can be combined with walk no. 6, the Baslow Circular, to make either a longer or shorter one; see the notes after the walk descriptions.
Additional info: Like all the local edges, the rocks here are of a type called gritstone. There are many routes to climb up Birchen Edge itself, some difficult enough to need ropes and climbing gear, others suitable for children to scramble up, as well as the path described in the leaflet (although this may be overgrown at times). Nelson’s Monument was erected in 1810, while the Wellington Monument was put up in 1866 by a Dr Wrench, an army man who thought too much emphasis was placed on Nelson.
Near the Wellington Monument you may meet free-roaming but generally placid Highland cows; if there are calves, avoid approaching them as the mothers will be very protective. This is true of most livestock, but it is the farmer’s responsibility to ensure that no dangerous animals have access to areas with public footpaths. In spring and early summer, the woods below the monument glow with the fresh green of the abundant moss and bracken. Further down the path crosses a fine old packhorse bridge of unknown age, while all around the area are traces of Bronze Age settlements, although these may be hard for the untrained eye to see; the sunken track in step 9 may well date back thousands of years. Moorside rocks, mentioned in step 10, are also fun for children to climb over, and, before GW gave them their correct name, were referred to as ‘the jamjar rocks’. Their extra height gives good views across the surrounding dales. GW did several drawings on this walk which can be seen below:
For anyone looking for a longer walk, this one meets no. 6, the Baslow Circular, immediately after the Wellington Monument. Turn right towards the Eagle stone, and then follow the Baslow circular walk from step 2. The total length of this extended walk is about 12Km or 7.5 miles.