Derwent Watershed: Howden Edge (18 miles/29 km)

Sometimes I like to just get out to the wilderness, where I can walk on my own and enjoy the solitude and Howden Edge offers this in bucket loads. This is a tough walk through some of the most challenging terrain that the Peak District has to offer requiring good navigation skills and legs of steel. However, the wild and remote nature of this route means that you will enjoy perfect peace, seclusion and solitude! Be warned: doing this walk on anything but a perfectly dry day, will see you victim to the man-eating bogs that will eat you up!

General Information

Start / Finish LocationFairholmes Visitor Centre Car Park, Derwent Reservoir

Distance: 18 miles / 29 km

Height gain: 2540 ft / 774 m

How tough? Almost nails (tough, long day out)

Local pubs we would recommend: Ladybower Inn and Yorkshire Bridge Inn

Recommended kit list for UK hill walking

Personal experiences

The first time I attempted this walk along Howden Edge, was one autumnal week-day in October. The weather was grey and overcast and the ground was seeping with water. Along the way, there were many boggy sections that I had to jump across. Then, I came to one section where I could see the roots of heather and grass poking through the top and I considered it a safe bet to walk across without the need for a leap. As I stepped forward, I sunk into the bog right up to my waist. I told Monty (my dog) to get back, and looked about. I was on my own: I’d seen nobody else all day. Amazingly, only a few days before I had read (in Trail Magazine) how to extricate myself from such situations, and managed to lean back enough to drag myself out. The next time I was out on this walk, it was a freezing cold January day and I was leading a guided walk with a group. The ground was frozen hard and the going was easy! Pick the right day and you’ll enjoy a fabulous walk!