Robin Hood’s Stride and Rowtor Rocks Walk

A 4.5 mile Peak District walk starting from Elton.

Start: SK 22172 60961 – DE4 2DA
Map: Landranger 119, Explorer OL24
Difficulty: 3
Refreshments : Elton and Birchover

This short but exciting Peak District walk starts from the village of Elton. The walk explores three unusual outcrops of gritstone rock – Rowtor Rocks, Cratcliff Tor and Robin Hood’s Stride, sometimes known by the name, Mock Beggar’s Mansion.

Behind the Druid Inn in Birchover is a jumble of rocks piled on top of one another as if a giant had dropped them upon the ground. Once thought to be a Druid stronghold Rowtor Rocks is an intriguing place. As you explore you will find carved into the rocks, a font, armchairs, rooms and tunnels, many of the rocks have cup and ring markings on them a form of prehistoric art.

Mock Beggar’s Mansion or as it’s more widely known Robin Hood’s stride is another collection of gritstone rock on the Limestone Way. The Limestone Way follows the route of the Old Saxon Portway. The two pinnacles of rock that rise up on either side of Robin Hood’s Stride when seen in silhouette look like the chimneys of an old hall or mansion hence the name Mock Beggar’s Mansion.

Found at the base of Cratcliff Tor and dating back to the 14th Century is the Hermit’s Cave. On the wall of the cave is a crucifix carved into the rock. Above the cave rock climbers can be found clinging onto the sheer rock with just their fingertips. The climbs on Cratcliff Tor are particularly famous one in particular, ‘Suicide Wall’ graded Exceptionally Severe when first climbed by Peter Harding in the early 1940’s is featured in the film Hard Grit.

Robin Hood’s Stride and Rowtor Rocks Photo Gallery

Robin Hood’s Stride and Rowtor Rocks Walk Directions

Beware! This walk may not be suitable for young children, there are steep unfenced drops on both Rowtor Rocks and Robin Hood’s Stride. I would advise everyone to take care.

From Elton go through the church yard and follow the way marked path to a minor road. Turn left down the road and after passing a cottage turn right through a driveway across a field and onto the main road.

Go straight over the road onto another driveway and pick up the path that first crosses a small stream then heads up the hill to a wood. Turn right here keeping the wood on your left. At the end of the wood just past Bradley Rocks turn left down a wide track, bear right passing the vicarage and into Birchover. Access to Rowtor Rocks is through the garden of the Druids Inn.

Retrace your steps down the track past the vicarage keep to the right of the wood and follow the track round to the left. Go over a stile and descend to the main road, cross the road and follow the path towards Cratcliff Tor.  Go over a stile and follow the path through the wood to the Hermit’s Cave. Make your way to the top of Cratcliff Tor.

Follow the path above the woods and onto Robin Hood’s Stride. Cross Harthill Moor along the Limestone Way to the entrance of Harthill Moor Farm. Turn right down the lane and left into a wood.  Follow the path through the wood to a stile. Bear right over a field to another stile, turn left here and follow the way marked path back to Elton.

Copyright © Peter Cox. All rights reserved