Featherbed Top is an open, bleak expanse of moorland just off the Snake Pass. If you are taking part in the Peak District peak bagging challenge or Ethel bagging challenge it’s quite an easy one to tick off your list, and can be collected as part of a longer walk out to Bleaklow or Higher Shelfstones.
At 544m above sea level the route to Featherbed Top seems like it might be a challenging walk, but as you are already at that level when you start it’s a relatively gentle walk in terms of climbing. It is however accessed over open moorland which is bleak and featureless, so this should only be attempted in clear weather and with proper footwear and navigational aids.
We had a free afternoon come up so we bundled up in all our waterproof gear and set off. During this walk we learned that my waterproof trousers aren’t quite as waterproof as I would like!
After parking up in the lay-by on Snake Pass, we went through the gate and set off along the Pennine Way. It was so wet the path was under water for a lot of it! The moors were saturated and very boggy – the joys of moorland walking in November.
After following the stone path for approximately 1km you need to head off the path across the moorland towards the summit. There is nothing to mark the summit other than a nearby small stake in the ground, so you’ll need to use some sort of GPS or navigational app to let you know when you reach the peak. I would recommend the Ordnance Survey Online Maps.
I’m sure on a clear day there are amazing views across Black Ashop Moor towards Kinder Scout and across Snake Pass to Shelf Moor and Bleaklow. We had really horrible poor visibility and saw nothing but mist and driving rain!
It was the kind of walk that made you glad to get back in the car and into the change of clothes you definitely brought. Unfortunately for us, the spare clothes were still in the house so we had to drive home with wet socks and wet trousers in my case!
Here’s the route to Featherbed Top:
Parking: Snake Pass (A57) lay-by
Peak District Peaks Bagged: Featherbed Top
Peak District Ethels Bagged: Featherbed Top