Back Tor Walk

The Route

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Start Point: Fairholmes Visitor Centre, Derwent Valley, Hope Valley, S33 0AQ

Finish Point: Same as start point (circular walk)

Distance: Approximately 8 miles (13 kilometers)

Walk Description

Starting Point: Fairholmes Visitor Centre, Derwent Valley, Hope Valley, S33 0AQ

Key Highlights:

  • Derwent Dam: Start the walk at the historic Derwent Dam, known for its role in the Dambusters training during WWII.
  • Upper Derwent Reservoir: Follow the path along the reservoir with beautiful views and tranquil settings.
  • Lost Lad: Ascend to this prominent hill with a cairn and toposcope, offering panoramic views of the Derwent Valley.
  • Back Tor: The highest point on Derwent Edge at 538 meters, featuring gritstone rock formations and a trig point. This spot provides stunning views and a chance for some light scrambling.
  • Wheel Stones: Explore these unique gritstone formations along the Derwent Edge.

End Point: Fairholmes Visitor Centre

Practical Information

Distance: Approximately 8 miles (13 kilometers)

Difficulty: Moderate – involves steep ascents and uneven terrain.

Terrain: Mixed terrain including paved paths, rocky trails, and moorland. Some areas can be boggy, especially after rain.


  • By Car: Parking is available at Fairholmes Visitor Centre.
  • Public Transport: Buses run to Fairholmes Visitor Centre from nearby towns.

Tips for Walkers

Footwear: Sturdy, waterproof walking boots are essential due to uneven and sometimes boggy paths.

Supplies: Bring water, snacks, and a packed lunch. Fairholmes Visitor Centre has facilities including a café and toilets.

Navigation: The route is signposted, but carrying a map (OS Explorer OL1) or a GPS device is advisable for additional navigation.

Weather: Be prepared for changing weather conditions. Carry waterproof clothing, warm layers, and a hat and gloves.

The Back Tor walk is a rewarding and scenic circular route starting and ending at Fairholmes Visitor Centre.

This 8-mile walk takes you through some of the Peak District's most stunning landscapes, including the historic Derwent Dam, the tranquil Upper Derwent Reservoir, and the dramatic gritstone edges of Lost Lad and Back Tor.

Ideal for those seeking a moderately challenging hike with a mix of natural beauty and historical interest!

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