Five things to spot on the Big Walk 2018
This year, the route mapped out for our Big Walk participants covers some of the most striking and historically rich landscapes the Peak District has to offer.
Though the walk will be challenging, the varied trail ensures there will always be something interesting to see, from the breathtaking views of Stanage Edge to the gentle waters of Loxley Valley.
To help you take it all in, here are five top sights to look out for as you make your way around the route:
Lodge Moor woodland: home of Redmires Camp
As you head towards Redmires Reservoir at the start of the route, you will pass some woodland on your right. This woodland once housed Redmires Camp, also known as the Lodge Moor Camp, which is famed for its role in both world wars. The camp’s foundations are still visible deep in the woods today.
Redmires Camp was first established in 1914 to house the Sheffield City Battalion, whose members included recruits from the young men attending our University. The Battalion served both in Egypt and in the mud and quagmire of the Western Front.
The site is better known locally for its use as a Prisoner of War (PoW) camp during WWII. Though the Italian PoWs famously assimilated well into the local farming community while working the land, the remnants of various escape tunnels can also be explored at the site to this day.
On your way up the path to Stanage Edge, you can't miss the unmistakable shape of Stanedge Pole. While this landmark has existed since about 1550, the pole which stands today was established more recently - in August 2016.
Stanedge pole has marked various boundaries over the years: county boundaries between Derbyshire and South Yorkshire and the border between the parishes of Hallamshire and Hathersage. Some say it also marked the boundary between Northumbria and Mercia in Saxon times. Indeed, one of the tribes that occupied this region on the northern edge of the Mercian region were the Pecsaetna – after whom the Peak District (Pecsaetna lond) gets its name.
As you continue to the far northern end of Stanage Edge, look out for rocks carved with unnatural, circular bowls. These are remnants from the popularity of grouse-shooting in the late 19th and early 20th Century: the bowls were intended to collect water for the grouse to encourage them to remain in the area. You might also spot some marker stones carved with the initials 'VW', which show the former boundaries of the Wentworth Estate.
Derwent Edge Wheel Stones
While you enjoy the magnificent views from Derwent Edge, take some time to appreciate the unusual gritstone tors which line it. Formed by the effects of wind, rain and frost over many hundreds of years, the tors have been absorbed into the history of the area by the local residents who named them. The Wheel Stones are an impressive tower of round formations, yet viewed on the horizon they resemble a coach and horses.
Loxley mill ponds
As you wander through Loxley - the legendary birthplace of Robin Hood - take note of the fishing and duck ponds which line your way. From the mid-17th century there were steel and iron forging and rolling mills situated along Loxley Valley, and the ponds you see served as the reservoirs to power those mills. Enjoy this unique reminder of Sheffield's rich industrial heritage as you make your way through.