Walk this way: Doctor’s Gate

Walk Shelf Stones
Walk Shelf Stones
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1: From Glossop’s High Street turn left along Manor Park road into old Glossop. Turn right along Shepley Street, passing the factory to the bus turning circle. Here a farm track continues east taking you into a pleasant rural glen with the partially wooded dome of Shire Hill on the right and the pine and oak-clad slopes of Edge Plantation on the left.

2: Leave the track at a ladder stile. The path, confined at first by a fence and drystone wall, climbs north east on a pastured spur overlooking the curiously named but pleasant craggy valley of Shittern Clough. In the upper reaches and beyond a second ladder stile, the now well-defined path continues the climb through bilberries, then over the heather of upper Lightside.

3: A narrow stony path switches to the spur’s southern brow high above Yellowslacks Brook. A dilapidated wire fence comes in from the right and the path goes along the right side of it before joining the cliff edges of Yellowslacks and Dog rock. The crags close in to form the rugged channel of Dowstone Clough. The path, now intermittent, stays close to the stream and away from the peat hags.

4: As the clough shallows and the stream divides among a bed of rushes (grid ref 089954), aim for Higher Shelf Stones by crossing the main stream and following its southbound tributary – just follow the bootprints along its sandy bed, which, snakes through a complex of peat hags in a southbound direction. near the summit of Higher Shelf Stones the channel shallows and widens then, suddenly, the trig point rises from a grassy plinth ahead.

5: From Higher Shelf Stones, trace the brow of Shelf Moor towards Lower Shelf Stones then on to James’s Thorn, but circumvent the naked peat that proliferates on the left. A prominent grassy channel descends just north of west and forms a reliable and reasonably dry course down over Shelf Moor to a boulder strewn edge above Ferny Hole.

6: There’s no path from here to the Doctor’s Gate track but it’s an easy enough course and you’ll see the track quite early on the descent. Just angle down to the grassy shelf west of the James’s Thorn rocks, passing a small pool before descending steep grassy flanks parallel to Little Clough.

7: Doctor’s Gate meanders through the moorland clough of Shelf Brook before passing though the fields of Mossy Lea Farm. It joins the outward route at the foot of Lightside and brings you back to old Glossop.

TIME: 4 HOURS

DISTANCE: 7 MILES

TERRAIN: TRACKS

ABILITY: HARD

PARKING: Glossop High Street car park

HOW TO GET THERE: Map aqua3 OS Outdoor Leisure 1 Dark Peak

WHERE TO MEET: SK 043947