Bamford Edge – A Peak District Wild Camp

For a long time  i had been wanting to walk Stanage Edge to Bamford Edge for a wild camp. Two of my previous attempts had not worked out very well, the first time, i smashed my phone, and with the bad weather as well, i called time on the overnight part. The second time, my horrible anxiety chest pains made me not want to risk a long walk and camp, as i didn’t fancy having a panic attack out on the hills. This time though, it all came together, and even the weather was better. Although it had forecast rain, it wasn’t hazy like previous times, which meant the beautiful views would be clear for a change.

So back to the trip in question…….. I arrived at the upper Burbage bridge car park at 10:00am, and quickly changed into my boots and put my pack on in excitement at finally getting to do the walk. Whilst the sky was cloudy, there was still patches of blue and i was very happy that for once it wasn’t hazy, as its always better for my videos and photography when its nice and clear. After a quick look at Burbage brook, i set out on the path towards Stanage edge, and i was soon making my way up on to its rocky gritstone edge. IMG_8864[1]IMG_8865[1]IMG_8866[1] There are quite a few paths that have been cut by the many walkers that enjoy Stanage Edge, and i decided to head for the one closest to the edge itself. This first part was very rocky, and i found myself winding between and stepping over the many boulders strewn around. I then came to the first Trig point on the walk, i stopped for a short while to take in the views. The more i come to the Peak District, the more i recognise places I’ve been to or wish to visit, and from my vantage point, i saw a lot of both. IMG_8872[1]IMG_8873[1] As i carried on with my walk, it did start to get a bit busier, but not so much with walkers, of which there were a few, but with climbers. Stanage Edge is a very popular spot for climbing, and they were out in force today with lots of groups mid climb and plenty still setting up. After an hour or so of walking and filming, i made it to a place id wanted to visit for a while, Robin Hoods cave. I made my way down the path to the cave, ready to explore, Id seen this place on many videos on YouTube, but had never seen it in person. The first section was more over hang than perhaps cave, but on the other end of the path was a stone like balcony, with a very narrow ledge leading to it. I didn’t fancy making my way across the ledge, and thankfully i didn’t have to, as the adjacent cave led right to this balcony of stone, and that cave was of course Robin Hoods cave. I took off my bag, as it was quite a tight entrance, and once inside it was very wet, but fortunately i was able to keep to the side as i made my way out on to the stone balcony. As i made it out, the views were great, i could see why lots of people had chosen this spot for a wild camp.IMG_8879[1]IMG_8880[1]IMG_8881[1]IMG_8882[1] I admired the view for a while, and read some of the rock graffiti that had been left over the many years, but i was still conscious of the fact my journey had only just begun and i still had quite a few miles to go. So i made my way out of the cave, put my pack back on and carried on with my route. I made good time along the edge, and i was soon at the area i joined it last time near the Stanage plantation. On that occasion id had my lunch sheltered behind the rocky outcrop where the lower path meets the top of Stanage edge. This time however, i decided that i would carry on for at least another hour or so as it was only 11:40. IMG_8885[1] Up until this point i had been happily walking along with my coat on, but now the clouds were slowly parting and the sun was now giving out some real heat. I spotted a waist height boulder a short distance away, and decided to stop there to remove my coat. I undid my clips and swung my pack off on to the top of the boulder. I placed my coat under the lid and closed it up. It was then i saw it, a small lizard, lying motionless upon the gritstone boulder. I was surprised i hadn’t noticed it before, or that it hadn’t ran off when i put my bag down. This was the first time id ever seen a lizard in this country outside of a zoo, so i quickly got a picture of it before it scurried away into the undergrowth. IMG_8888[1] Thinking how lucky i was to see a lizard in the Peak District, i carried on my way, already feeling much cooler now my coat was off. The next point of interest, apart from all the great views along the way, was High Neb Trig point. It didn’t take me long to reach the trig point, and i was soon there readying myself for the compulsory trig selfie photograph. The views were great from here, and i could just make out the top of the great ridge with the mass of Kinder also visible. IMG_8892[1]IMG_8893[1] Whilst at the trig point, i made a fatal error……. i mentioned how lucky i had been with the weather so far. Tempting fate is never a good idea, as id only left the trig point for about five minutes when it started to rain. Typical i thought, and i had no choice but to stop and put on my waterproofs. Thankfully it was only heavy rain for a couple of minutes, before it slowed right down to just a fine mist. However, it was still visibly raining heavier over towards the vale of Edale, so i couldn’t relax just yet, as that rain was bound to find me. I carried on route, passing the spot where on my last trip, my tripod fell in the wind with my phone on top, smashing my screen. This time the wind wasn’t as bad, so i risked the shot again, and thankfully the tripod didn’t fall and my phone survived 🙂 Back on track i passed Stanage end, before then reaching the A57 road, where the route i had chosen took me straight on and in a loop back around to Cutthroat bridge. IMG_8895[1] Just short of Cutthroat bridge i stopped next to the stream for lunch, i had ended up walking for around an hour or more longer than i had originally intended to. This was due to me not finding anywhere fully suitable, as i really wanted a good view and a water source. In the end i had to settle for the water alone, as i ended up in quite a low clearing, with the high ferns blocking any view, but at least it was sheltered from any breeze. For my lunch on this trip i had brought out an American MRE (meal ready to eat) ration pack, this had very kindly been gifted to me by Jay “GoonieBushcraft” what seemed like forever ago. It wasn’t the first time i had brought this ration pack out, i had carried it on at least 3 separate occasions, but all these trips had ended before i got chance to use it. I had almost began to think that the MRE was cursed 😉                                 The American ration pack meals use a flame less heater, requiring water to make a chemical reaction to heat the food, so i got out my sawyer filter and collected some water from the stream. I added some of this water to the heater bag, placed the meal inside and waited for the food to heat up (for more detail on this, please watch my video, link at bottom of this blog). This worked surprisingly well, and after about ten minutes my meal was ready to eat and plenty hot enough.IMG_8900[1]IMG_8905[1]IMG_8904[1]IMG_8906[1] The meal was very nice, so a massive thanks must go to Jay 🙂    After eating a packet of corn bread which also came with it,  it was time to pack up and carry on to Bamford Edge. No sooner had i got ready, when it started to rain again, i quickly got my waterproofs out my bag and put them on.  This shower didn’t last very long though, and with the humidity i was soon stopping again to take off my waterproofs before i melted inside them. The path from here was lined with chest high ferns, and it wasn’t long before my legs were soaked. Thankfully the path began to widen and my trousers soon began to dry. I wasn’t far from Bamford Edge now, and i was really looking forward to the views over Lady bower reservoir. However a glimpse of the reservoir came much sooner than i expected, and i stood admiring the view for a while before moving on.IMG_8910[1]IMG_8909[1] I soon arrived at Bamford edge, which also had a few groups of climbers making their way up its rocky crags. I stood watching them  for a while, i must admit i was quite impressed, whilst not massive cliffs,  you still wouldn’t catch me on that side of the rock. The time was around 16:45, so i had plenty of time for a good explore of the area, whilst waiting for the climbers to leave so i could set up my tarp for the night. The views from here were every bit as good as i expected and better, i had Win hill directly opposite me with the village of Bamford below. The view over the reservoir was incredible, and i couldn’t wait to wake up to that in the morning.IMG_8912[1]IMG_8915[1]IMG_8917[1]IMG_8918[1]  By around 18:00 everyone had gone, and looking on the horizon the weather didn’t look to good, so i decided to set up my tarp before it decided to rain. It was quite windy in my chosen spot, and whilst there were other areas more sheltered, they didn’t have the view over the reservoir, so i decided to put up with it. With my tarp up, i began unpacking the rest of my gear, and it was then it began to rain again. It seemed my decision to set up early was a good one 🙂 IMG_8920[1].JPG With everything now set up it was time for food. This time it was a dehydrated meal on the menu, which had been gifted to me by Mike “GINGERBUSHCRAFT” on our Yorkshire 3 peaks trip. Upon opening the meal, i must admit it smelt awful, but once the boiling water was added, and id left it for the stated 10 minutes, it was really nice. It might not be restaurant quality, but with a pack weight of 125g it was awesome 🙂 After eating i didn’t stay up much longer, i made a quick call to my partner, as i had signal for a change, and i then decided to call it a night. It wasn’t the best nights sleep though, as the rain and wind beating my tarp all night made such a racket i kept waking up every hour or so.

Soon though, morning came and i awoke to dry, yet still breezy conditions. I got my breakfast done and made a much needed coffee, and got out my tarp to admire the morning view. IMG_8923[1]IMG_8924[1]  To say id not really had any proper sleep, i didn’t feel to bad, and by 7 o’clock i was back on the trail back to the car. As i got to the end of Bamford edge, i noticed a tent, it appeared i wasn’t the only person to stay the night. Though with their more sheltered pitch, i reckon they got a lot better sleep than i did. My plan was to make my way back to Stanage edge via a small track passing Buck stone. On route i was in awe of the absolute silence of the area, no distant car noise, no wind, nothing at all but the occasional calling of the birds, complete bliss. I was soon back on Stanage edge, only this time i was going in the opposite direction, and with it only being 08:00 on a Monday morning i had it all to myself. IMG_8927[1] From where i joined Stanage, and all the way back to the car, i saw only 4 people, it was a really peaceful walk back, in cloudy but reasonably clear weather. I’d had a really great time despite the broken sleep through the night, and i was really happy to have finally got my wild camp on Bamford Edge. Though my fun wasn’t to be over yet, my plan was to drive into Edale and have a night on field head campsite and have a lazy day, before then doing another walk the following day, but more on that in a future blog 🙂

So here ends another blog entry in my outdoors adventures, id had an amazing time, and it was great to get another solo wild camp in. The fact that it  was a location id wanted to do for a long time made it even better 🙂 . So as always if you read this far down the page, thank you very much, it really means a lot,  i’ll put a link to the accompanying video below if you wish to check it out. Thanks again for reading, and until next time, goodbye 🙂

Regards Mark

Bamford Edge Wild Camp Video

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