High Wheeldon, Pilsbury Hill and Carder Low Walk
This High Wheeldon walk starts in Earl Sterndale and takes in the neighbouring Peak District Ethels of Pilsbury Hill and Carder Low. At 8.5 miles it’s a nice circular Peak District walk in Dovedale. It’s also a walk with a pub stop, as it passes The Pack Horse Inn in Crowdecote. Winning!
High Wheeldon is a hill near the Staffordshire border in Derbyshire, in the Peak District valley of Upper Dovedale, which stands 422m above sea level. It’s distinctive shape means it can be seen from a good distance away. The High Wheeldon trig point has fabulous views over to Parkhouse Hill, Chrome Hill and the Dragons Back. Slightly below the summit is a cave known as Fox Hole Cave, which is protected by an iron gate. Various items including Bronze Age pottery and a stone axe have been found in the cave, which is a scheduled monument.
Our walk starts from the village of Earl Sterndale outside The Quiet Woman pub. Parking is very limited and gets really busy with people using this as a starting point for a walk to Parkhouse Hill, Chrome Hill and the Dragons Back. We set off in the opposite direction and were soon greeted with the sight of High Wheeldon, looking very much like a pyramid.
Climbing High Wheeldon from this side means you have a very steep ascent. We scrambled up on our hands and feet! If you follow the footpath round the base of the hill there is a more gentle slope and path to get to the top if you don’t fancy a short sharp scramble. The trig point on High Wheeldon has amazing views of the surrounding countryside and you can see for miles on a clear day.
Trig point photos taken and Mini Eggs consumed (our snack for the first day of Spring!) we set off down the hillside and across the fields to our next Ethel of Pilsbury Hill. Other than some limestone outcrops and a tiny cairn, there’s not much on the summit of Pilsbury Hill but it does give fabulous views over Pilsbury Castle down the hillside, next to the river. This is the site of a former mott and bailey castle, of which only some earthworks now remain.
Following the footpaths over the fields, we headed to Carder Low, the last of the Ethels on the list for the day.
We passed the summit and headed to the wall, thinking there would be a path onto the Open Access Land beyond but unfortunately there wasn’t. We followed the wall down the hillside and rejoined the footpath, then retraced our steps back to the footpath crossroads. We headed down the valley towards the river, passing by the site of Pilsbury Castle.
We followed the route of the footpath through farmland to The Pack Horse Inn for a well deserved Sunday lunch. I had the roast beef and it was delicious!
I paused my Komoot tracker here, intending to restart it when we left, but I accidentally clicked Finish rather than Resume so the last part of the walk isn’t on the map! It definitely wasn’t down to the gla
ss of wine I had with lunch! It’s easy to find though – follow the road up the hill for a short distance and take the road on the left, which will take you past Crowdecote campsite. This lane will take you back past High Wheeldon and back to where you parked. It’s about 1.5 miles in total and you can see this on the second map below.
This was a lovely walk to do in the beautiful Dovedale valley, and it was great to tick 3 more Ethels off our to do list! You can see more Peak District Ethels walks on the blog.
High Wheeldon Trig Point Walk:
Parking: On street parking in Earl Sterndale, Buxton SK17 0BX – please be considerate to local residents (who must despair at the parking situation on a sunny weekend day!)
Facilities: The walk passes The Pack Horse Inn in Crowdecote but there are no public toilets.
Walk Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: ▲▲ (High Wheeldon is very steep this way but there is a more gradual climb round the other side, and there are a couple of other steep climbs)
Distance: 8.5 miles (13.7km) in total
Trig Points Bagged: High Wheeldon
Peak District Peaks Bagged: High Wheeldon, Pilsbury Hill, Carder Low
Peak District Ethels Bagged: High Wheeldon, Pilsbury Hill, Carder Low
High Wheeldon Walk Route Map: