Routes: Crowden Clough and Chrome Hill

Parkhouse Hill Copyright Jen and Sim Benson

by Trail Running staff |

Each issue we feature 10 trail running routes, including one "weekender" of two nearby routes so you can turn it into a two-day adventure. Here's one we featured from the Feb-Mar 2022 edition.

Routes supplied in association with Jen and Sim Benson and OS Maps. You can download the route directly to your phone on the OS Maps app.

(Pic: Jen and Sim Benson)

DAY 1 Crowden Clough, Peak District

Crowden Clough, rising enticingly from the Vale of Edale, is a classic Grade 1 scramble that takes you right up to the Kinder Plateau. Thoroughly enjoyable on a dry, sunny day but slippery in the wet, there’s a path that runs all the way up the side of the brook, regularly changing sides as it climbs, so you can easily miss out any sections you don’t feel like tackling. This route begins in Edale, where there’s a station and café, and follows the Pennine Way to Upper Booth. Leaving the Pennine Way it follows Crowden Brook, from a gentle start through woodland and drystone-walled fields to the steep, rocky end section that tops out at Crowden Tower – look out for peregrine falcons, which can sometimes be spotted here. The descent is via Grindsbrook, an easier scramble and a good route up if you’d prefer to avoid the steeper ground, straight backdown into Edale.

OS link to route

DAY 2 Chrome Hill, Peak District

Chrome Hill and its neighbouring Parkhouse Hill are ‘atolls’ – the remains of 340 million-year-old coral reefs that once edged a shallow pool of water. These intriguingly sculpted outcrops, which rise to a high point of 425 metres straight from the relatively flat surrounds, are enjoyable to explore and make for a great photo, too. This run begins in the nearby village of Earl Sterndale, taking in a pleasant loop of the surrounding limestone countryside before heading up and over the spines of first Chrome Hill and then Parkhouse Hill, with plenty of steep ascents and descents along the way. Aside from the great running there are other reasons to visit: the hills are a Site of Special Scientific Interest for their limestone flora. If you’re lucky, a mysterious double sunset can be viewed from nearby Glutton Bridge, over the River Dove.

OS link to route

How to do it

Get There The Crowden Clough route starts from Edale train station. The nearest train station for Chrome Hill is Buxton, then take the 442 bus south to Earl Sterndale (about 20 minutes).

Eat Here: The Penny Pot café or Old Nags Head in Edale. The Old Original Bakewell Pudding shop or the Lavender tea rooms in Bakewell. Café Adventure in Hope.

Sleep Here: Camp at North Lees near Hathersage, or Upper Booth farm near Edale. Or try one of the YHA hostels (www.yha.org.uk).

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