Stanton Moor Walk

A 6.5 mile Peak District walk starting from the village of Winster.

Start: SK 23876 60247 – DE4 2DR
Map: Landranger 119, Explorer OL24
Difficulty: 6
Refreshments : Winster and Birchover

This Peak District walk starts above the village of Winster and explores Stanton Moor. The walk visits the Cat Stone, Reform Tower, Nine Ladies Stone Circle and the Cork Stone.

Winster is an attractive upland village famous for its lead mining. The village developed due to its proximity to old trade routes one being the Portway visited later in the walk. The village has a number of grand houses along its main street such as Winster Hall. Another building of note is The Market House; Winster was the first property in Derbyshire acquired by the national trust back in 1906. The lower part being over 500 years old, the upper part was rebuilt in 1905.

Stanton Moor is of international significance a vast area of which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The moor is predominantly heather with some woodland, rocky outcrops and around its edges old quarries.

The Cat Stone is a 16ft high pillar of sandstone, it has footholds cut into the stone and iron rings used as handholds. The date of these additions is unknown although there are possible dates carved into the rock.

The Reform Tower built by William Pole Thornhill as a tribute to Earl Grey who carried the Reform Bill through parliament stands on the northeastern edge of Stanton Moor looking out over the Derwent valley. The tower is a square, three-storey structure built of gritstone.

The Nine Ladies on Stanton Moor are an embanked stone circle standing in a grassy clearing surrounded by mature silver birch. Traditionally believed to be nine ladies turned to stone as punishment for dancing on a Sunday, the stone circle dates back to the Bronze Age. Nearby is the King Stone an outlier of the Nine Ladies.

Like the Cat Stone the Cork Stone also stands 16ft high. The footholds and iron handholds make the challenge of climbing to the top a little easier.

The Birchover Millennium Stone sited opposite the Druid Inn carved by Mark Eaton, celebrates the former industry of millstone production in Birchover.

Stanton Moor and Winster Photo Gallery

Stanton Moor Walk Directions

From the car park above Winster wander down through the rows of former miners cottages to the main street. Woodhouse Lane leads off the main street near the old Market House, follow this lane down past the children’s play area and across fields to Stoop Wood.

Go through Stoop Wood and over fields to cross Clough Lane and then onto Barn Farm. Turn right before the farm on a vague path above Hill Wood to a stile on the lane below Stanton Moor Edge.

Turn left up the lane and immediately right onto the path along the edge of Stanton Moor. Keep to the path on the edge of the moor passing various rocky tors including the Cat Stone until reaching the Reform Tower.

Go through the stile here and head right through the Birch wood to the Nine Ladies Stone Circle. From the stone circle follow the broad path south across the moor and turn right along another broad path passing the Cork Stone to the road above Birchover.

Turn left down the road and just past the entrance to the quarry turn right into a car parking area. A path leads down the hill to the west side of Birchover and exits opposite the Druid Inn.  Here take the lane past the church beneath Rowtor Rocks. Circle the wood ahead keeping it to your left. Descend down a wide track and then over fields to cross a stream and up to the B5056.

Cross the road and through a stile to a lane, here turn left and follow the lane up the hill to a T junction.  This lane is the old Portway and also part of the Limestone Way. At the junction turn left and immediately right along a track until reaching the main road above Winster.  Here turn left and descend the hill back to the car park.

Copyright © Peter Cox. All rights reserved