April 25, 2014

Map Adventures: Stanage Edge

Every once in a while my favourite Englishman and I like a good walk. Not just a round through the local park but an actual walk through the countryside, where the roads are not more than the stamped down grass on sheep filled hills lined with battered signs holding the words Public Footpath. All we have to guide us are the simple maps and words of walkers who previously went along this route. I call these walks: Map Adventures.

They throw us right back into our childhood times when the preferred birthday activity was a treasure hunt through the woods behind our parents’ houses: a sketched map in our hand, chalk arrows on trees and corners and the feeling of adventure on our shoulders.

Obviously these trips are never about the destination, but always about the walk: About retracing some ones footsteps, about getting lost and found and the thrill of creating our own way. It is a hunt for nothing but fresh air and a way home and while there might never be a treasure at the end of the search, I always end up with a crispy lager and a million pictures to share.

Our latest Map Adventure led us from the picturesque village of Hathersage, Derbyshire up to the stunning views of Stanage Edge and back. The weather was beautiful, with the sun shining hot and bright on the first real spring day this year. We loaded this map to our phones, packed some water and snacks and off we went. Steadily uphill the walk leads from Hathersage through the surrounding farm fields past an old manor and then through woods up to the top of Stanage edge. Although we got lost a few times (or maybe just distracted by all the fearless climbers and paragliders), we made it there and back in 4.5 hours. Despite the climb the walk is really family friendly as long as they are all on foot.

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