Axe Edge Trig Point and Three Shires Head Walk
Looking for a walking route for the Axe Edge trig point? This walk takes in Axe Edge trig point, Oliver Hill, Cheeks Hill and heads back via Three Shires Head. With 3 Peak District Ethels, a trig point and the beautiful surroundings of Three Shires Head, this circular Peak District walk is 15km.
We started this walk with the intention of getting the three Peak District Ethels of Oliver Hill, Cheeks Hill and Axe Edge before heading back over Axe Edge Moor back to the car. The walk should have been 10km but when we came to cross Axe Edge Moor, it was so boggy and wet, and the visibility was really poor so we decided to detour back via Three Shires Head instead. It added another 5km onto the walk but it was definitely worth it.
Our walk starts in the village of Flash outside The New Inn with the claim to being the highest village inn in Britain. Unfortunately for us it was closed, so no pub lunch for us today! Parking in the village is very limited so if you do park here please be considerate to residents.
We headed off up the public footpath to Oliver Hill at 513m above sea level. This unassuming peak is surrounded by farmland and has a tiny cairn to mark the top. The footpath runs to the west of the summit and then Open Access Land is used to access the cairn.
From Oliver Hill we took the Open Access Land back to the footpath and headed towards Cheeks Hill. This part of the walk is on tarmac driveways and gravel tracks, which makes the going quite easy. Cheeks Hill is a featureless summit at 520m above sea level but is actually the County Top of Staffordshire. There is a small sheep fold nearby, but other than that it’s just open moorland.
Our route then heads out onto the road and through the gate onto Axe Edge Moor. Axe Edge trig point is about 0.5km from the road over bleak, boggy moorland. Hols tripped over a grassy tussock and fell into the peaty puddles, soaking her gloves and legs. Luckily we had spare clothes and gloves for her as it was freezing cold!
Photos of Axe Edge trig point duly taken, we set off back to the road to try and cross Axe Edge Moor. Unfortunately the visibility was really poor and the moors were really wet and boggy, so rather than get lost on the moors or end up soaking wet in a peat bog we decided to detour to Three Shires Head. You can see on the route map where we tried to cross the moor and aborted our mission!
We went back via Cheeks Hill and followed Dry Stones Edge Road. There is a footpath that leads off alongside the river which flows through a really picturesque valley. Follow this path which will take you down to Three Shires Head, so called because it’s where three counties border each other. This former packhorse route is a beautiful place to explore and is a favourite place among wild swimmers. Despite the weather and the cold temperatures when we went it was still a really popular place with walkers and photographers – I had to wait an age for there to be no-one in this picture and still had to blur some people out of it!
We didn’t hang around too long here as it was quite busy, so we headed off back along the packhorse trails alongside the River Dane. The route takes you through farmland and then back up the hill to the village of Flash. It is a bit of a slog up the hill, especially as this is the last climb up after walking all that way!
You’ll end up back in Flash at The New Inn, which may or may not be open. It would be best to ring beforehand if you wanted to make this a Peak District walk with a pub stop.
I have a list of Peak District Ethels with walks that we have done to bag them, if you fancy taking part in the Ethel Bagging challenge too.
Here’s the route for this Peak District walk:
Parking: Limited parking outside the New Inn, Flash SK17 0SW
Facilities: None if the pub is shut
Walk Time: 3-4 hours
Terrain: Road and very boggy moorland near Axe Edge trig point
Distance: 9.5 miles (15km) approximately
Trig Points Bagged: Axe Edge Moor
Peak District Peaks Bagged: Axe Edge Moor, Cheeks Hill, Oliver Hill
Peak District Ethels Bagged: Axe Edge Moor, Cheeks Hill, Oliver Hill
Route Map: Please note this has the bits where we tried to go over Axe Edge Moor and couldn’t, so if using Komoot as a sat nav style guide ignore those bits. After the trig point visit, get back onto the road and head down towards Three Shires Head.