Rowtor Rocks, Stanton Moor & Robin Hood’s Stride Walk

An 7 mile Peak District walk starting from Birchover.

Start: SK 23739 62156 – DE4 2BG
Map: Landranger 119, Explorer OL24
Difficulty: 7
Refreshments : Birchover

This fascinating Peak District walk starts from the village of Birchover and explores Rowtor Rocks and Stanton Moor. Later in the walk we reach Bradford Dale passing high above the popular climbing crag Rhienstor before heading up the Limestone Way to Robin Hood’s Stride.

Rowtor Rocks is a collection of huge blocks of gritstone assembled by nature in one almighty pile. Of interest to both children and adults Rowtor Rocks situated behind the Druids Inn in Birchover is on private land but the owner has, at the moment granted permission for the public to visit the rocks.

The Rev Thomas Eyre of Rowtor Hall is reputed to have either carved the rocks or had them carved on his behalf. In the 19th and early 20th century a paid guide would show members of the public around the rocks. There are lots to explore here including tunnels, rooms carved into the rock and armchairs. At one time there were a number of incredibly heavy rocking-stones that could be rocked by a child but in the late 1700’s one of them was pushed over and although reinstated no longer rocks.

The walk continues to Stanton Moor where there are many ancient standing stones. The weathered Cork Stone is right on our walk shortly after entering the moor. Steps cut into the soft sandstone with metal grab handles enable easy ascent. The Nine Ladies Stone circle is a Bronze Age circle of nine stones that is believed to depict nine ladies, turned to stone as a penalty for dancing on Sunday.

Mock Beggar’s Hall comes into view as the walk continues along the Limestone Way. The jumble of gritstone rocks is more usually known as Robin Hood’s Stride, but it is my understanding that it is just the two outer stones both of which are about 12 ft high and about 70ft apart that give rise to the name Robin Hood’s Stride.

Rowtor Rocks, Stanton Moor & Robin Hood’s Stride Photo Gallery

Rowtor Rocks, Stanton Moor & Robin Hood’s Stride Walk Directions

This walk starts at the village of Birchover, depending on where you have parked in the village make your way to The Druids Inn a path from here leads onto Rowtor Rocks. Rowtor Rocks is a fascinating place allow plenty of time to explore the area before moving on to Stanton Moor.

Return back down the path to The Druids Inn cross the road noting the Birchover Millennium Stone and turn right along a footpath that climbs up behind the village to a quarry. At the road turn left and continue uphill a footpath leads off to the right and onto Stanton Moor.

After passing the cork stone there are a choice of paths that head north towards Nine Ladies Stone Circle. From the stone circle there are again a choice of paths that head north to the road above Stanton in Peak. On reaching the road turn left and continue on into the village.

Proceed downhill through the village where on the outskirts a footpath leads off to the right and descends across pasture to the B5056.  Here turn left and immediately right along a quiet lane.  Turn right along a footpath and through a caravan site to a lane above Alport. Turn right down the lane and left across a bridge over the River Bradford and left again along a lane by the side of the river. Turn left at the main road ignoring the first footpath through Bradford Dale and continue on for a short distance up the hill.  Here turn left along a footpath high above the dale with views of Rheinstor to the village of Bradford.

Turn left down the lane and cross the river, turn left on a footpath sign posted ‘Limestone Way’.  Follow this path up the hillside to a junction of paths, take the path sign posted ‘Robin Hood’s Stride’. On nearing Harthill Moor Farm Robin Hood’s Stride comes into view and the way from here is clear.

From Robin Hood’s Stride take the path that heads east between here and Cratcliff Tor and descend to the main B5056. Cross the road and turn left for a short distance along the road. A footpath heads off to the right up the hillside turn left below the wood and follow the path around to the right back to Birchover.

Beware – There are steep unfenced drops on Rowtor Rocks and Robin Hood’s Stride.

Copyright © Peter Cox. All rights reserved