The Burbage Valley in the Peak District is a favourite of mine for some great climbs on superb rock. Its proximity to Sheffield and the short walk-ins only serve to increase its popularity, although quieter times can be found away from the crowds even on the busy days. Burbage North gets all the sun going and this page describes how to get there for a (hopefully sunny) days climbing. The rock is good solid Peak Gritstone, although getting a bit polished in places due to its popularity.
The photos show 20ft Crack (right) in the First Walls area (left) of Burbage North, given the name in a ‘Ronseal Quick Drying Woodstain’ type manner: ‘it does what it says on the tin!’ (OK bad joke I know but I couldn’t resist). This gets a grade of ‘Severe’ in the English grading system which remains one of the most convoluted and confusing systems on the planet for beginners to grasp, but we work with it anyway.
This map shows the Burbage Valley and the surrounding area. Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.
To climb at Burbage North the best place to park is in the ‘P’ at the top centre of the map. Sheffield is off to the right side; Hathersage is off to the left side; Stanage edge is off the top left; the all important Fox House pub is down near the bottom right corner.
The first description is intentionally very detailed (Route ‘A’) so you won’t get lost if you don’t know the area and there’s a second description (Route ‘B’) for those of you that do know some of the area.
Coming from Sheffield you want to drive out on the A625 Hathersage road that goes through Hunters Bar. Drive along this for several miles as it winds its way out into the countryside, take note of where you are when you come to the Fox House pub on your right hand side on a ‘T’ junction with a sharp corner. Got here? Good, you’re on the red road along the bottom of the map where it says Fox House (strangely enough…).
From the Fox House, follow the road round the sharp right-hander and head down the hill to the sharp left at a bridge. The road levels off for a bit, passes a car park on the right before bending round sharply and heading down hill some more. This road will carry on down into Hathersage, but we want the first right turn, doubling back on ourselves a little bit and now driving along the yellow road coming up from the bottom left of the map. Don’t miss the turn - its the first one on the right after the Fox House - if you do, you’re in Hathersage and had better backtrack or call me.
Follow the yellow (country) road up over the hills (heading diagonally across the map) until it starts to descend again and the Burbage Valley becomes visible on the right. Park in the main car-park (properly surfaced with parking bays and everything…) that’s on the right immediately after a very sharp right-hand bend. I’ll probably be standing there if we’ve arranged to meet up.
If you know the western side of Sheffield reasonably well then head out along the mentally long and straight Ringinglow road, go through Ringinglow itself (past the Norfolk Arms pub) and carry on out into the Peak. This brings you along the yellow road on the top right of the map. The main car park is the second one on the left, just after the small bridge.
This route is easier to describe from the Ringinglow road, but I’m not going to try to describe how to get on the Ringinglow road in the first place. If you’re unsure of this one go for Route ‘A’ above - its easy to follow.
On a final note, remember to watch out for the local sheep population if you aren’t familiar with driving in the Peak, thay have a habit of strolling in the road…!