Peak Walks 8. Ashopton Viaduct and Derwent Edge circuit.
A splendid walk giving reasonably easy access to the escarpments on the east side of the upper reservoirs.
Start at Ashopton viaduct over Ladybower reservoir at SK198864; there's parking along the roadside though it soon fills up at weekends. Alternative parking can be found at Heatherdene car PAD car park off the Bamford road alongside Ladybower reservoir. Cross the road into an obvious driveway by the reservoir, follow this, do not pass through the gate but swing right and continue for about 300m to a footpath on the left leading into the woods. Follow this, undulating then rising to a rough track leading to a col at SK198874 where there is a sign post. Avoid the well worn bridleway from Cutthroat Bridge to the reservoir. The route from here is obvious in clear weather and takes a well-worn footpath which rises along escarpment, north at first then soon NE with superb views across to the reservoirs, Kinderscout and Bleaklow hill on the left, and Strines area down to the right. After about 1km pass the Wheel Stones, a curious collection of gritstone towers. Here the track trends NW and passes other strange boulders such as White Tor arriving above Derwent Edge and Dovestones Tor (below left) in another km or so. The track becomes flagged and trends north, passing Cakes of Bread, three prominent boulders on the moor to the right and after a further 1.5 km arrives at Back tor SK198910, characterised by a white trig point on its summit. North is the wilderness of the Derwent Watershed.
Just before the tor, a flagged track heads off on the left, follow this over Lost Lad, a small hill with directional cairn. Continue along the often wet path for another 800m or so heading west then at a fork follow more tracks as they trend leftwards, eventually heading slightly east of south. In clear weather one can see the escarpment followed by the walk. Keep straight on near a plantation and eventually drop down past Lanehead Farm to the side of Ladybower reservoir. Turn left and follow the obvious track back to the viaduct.
Points of interest. Gritstone escarpments and rocks, stunning views.