OS grid ref:- SK 138 733
The Longshaw Estate is situated on the moors above the village of Hathersage, around 10 miles to the west of Sheffield. The estate was once the Duke of Rutland's shooting estate and has been owned by the National Trust since 1931, after it was purchased from the Duke by public subscription in 1927 and presented to the trust. The Longshaw estate offers scenic Peak District views, ancient woodland, parkland and heather moorland criss-crossed by many old trackways and packhorse trails.
The spectacular White Edge Moor overlooks the beautiful Derwent Valley and forms part of the long gritstone edge stretching from Stanage Edge towards Birchens Edge south of Chatsworth House. Steeped in an industrial past, the impressive moorlands of Longshaw are scattered with archaeological remains.
Padley Gorge, (pictured below left) a popular picnic spot, is one of the finest surviving examples of oak and birch woodland which once covered many of the valleys of the Dark Peak.The woodland mainly consists of sessile oak and birch with alder along the side of Burbage Brook and holly and rowan scattered throughout the remainder of the wood. Burbage Brook is the largest water course running through the Longshaw Estate and has cut into the main valley side to create the gorge. Padley Gorge is a prized habitat for many small creatures, including the unusual hairy wood ant and rare birds, which has contributed to its designation as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).
The rocky promontory of Carl Wark is faced by vertical cliffs on all but one side and is protected by an embankment which dates back to prehistoric times. The cliffs and embankment form an enclosure which is thought to be an iron age hill fort (OS grid ref- SK259814), though the date of construction and purpose of the fortifications remains unknown.
The northwestern end of the fort has the remains of a drystone wall running across it that still survives to over 2 metres in height on the outer side, with an earth and rubble bank piled against it on the inner side of the fort. The inner area of the fort, which has been described as ‘amongst the most spectacular and easily accessible forts in the country’, covers about a hectare. There are Bronze age ring cairns and hut circles on the surrounding moors.
At Longshaw there is a tea room, shop and a learning centre called Moorland Discovery Centre, housed in a shooting lodge, which was built about 1827 to provide a retreat for the Duke of Rutland's shooting guests, amongst whom were King George V and the Duke of Wellington. The centre is a joint venture between National Trust and the Peak National Park Authority. Staff and volunteers run a range of events throughout the year relating to wildlife, the estate itself and many other topics which include guided walks, themed walks and family fun activities.
There are some excellent walks on the estate, which is also well known for the sheepdog trials which are held there every September.
A walk to Carl Wark
Distance- 4.5 miles
Duration- around 2 hours
*Commencing at National Trust's Longshaw Estate car park (grid reference SK 266 800) proceed along the track through woodland, on arriving at Longshaw Lodge, turn right along the road. On reaching the gatehouse, cross the road and go through a small gate next to a larger gate.
*Continue along the path, going through woodland until arriving at a fork in the path, turn right and proceed towards the main A6187 road. Cross the road and continue through a parking area and through a gate. Continue along the track towards the Burbage Valley to reach the foot of Burbage Rocks.
*On arriving at the northern end of Burbage Rocks, follow the track uphill to the road then turn left crossing over the bridges. Continue along the ascending track to arrive at the Fiddler's Elbow. Proceed south west then south along the top of the Fiddler's Elbow and head towards Higger Tor to the south.
* From the summit of Higger Tor continue in a southerly direction, along the track crossing the moorland to reach the summit of Carl Wark.
*Descend via the south eastern edge of Carl Wark and follow the track to Burbage Brook, cross the brook to arrive at a track. Turn right and continue to the road.
*Cross the road, continue through the gate into woodland and retrace your footsteps back to the gate house. Turn left just before Longshaw Lodge to return to the Longshaw Estate car park.