The gritstone escarpment known as Derwent Edge majestically lords over the Derwent Valley in the Dark Peak region of the Peak District. Hikes to Back Tor take you to its highest point, a majestic viewpoint for gazing into the beating heart of the national park.
This is a proud summit. Its vegetated, west facing crags fall splendidly, giving the impression of a mountain in miniature. With scenic and geological delights hidden around every nook and cranny, this is surely one of the finest adventures in the Peaks.
Undoubtedly the finest walking routes to Back Tor begin from the west, climbing on good paths with wonderful views of the glistening Howden, Derwent and Ladybower reservoirs. Stone slabs pave the way along the top of Derwent Edge, making for easy going and protecting the moorland from erosion.
There are a number of beguiling rock formations to discover. To the east of the Ladybower reservoir are the Wheel Stones (also known as the Coach and Horses), a tight collection of tors that rise like stacked pancakes. Closer to Back Tor itself is the gritstone hourglass of the Salt Cellar, magnificent foreground for your snaps.
A short scramble to Back Tor’s summit earns you some huge views. Bleaklow and Kinder Scout’s extensive moorland plateaus dominate business in the west. To the south, other Peak District icons can be seen, such as Stanage Edge, Win Hill and the Great Ridge dividing Edale and the Hope Valley.
One of the reasons for Back Tor’s popularity is its accessibility from Sheffield, which is a magnificent base if you are after a vibrant city stay. For something more rural, Hathersage, Hope and Castleton are all beautifully nestled amidst Peak District grandeur and give you almost endless options for further adventure.
Standing at 1,765 feet (538 m) tall, Back Tor marks the highest point on Derwent Edge. As such, you are afforded utterly breathtaking views over the Peak District from this spot. There are some interesting rock formations to explore here, too.
March 25, 2019
In the know? Log-in to add a tip for other adventurers!