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The Edale Skyline Challenge is a Peak District circular walk. It includes some of the Peak District’s most beautiful areas, including Hope Valley, Edale Rocks, Win Hill and Mam Tor.

It’s a very long Peak District walk and includes a fair few climbs so a decent level of fitness is required. It is a good training walk for the Yorkshire Three Peaks or the National Three Peaks.

Edale skyline challenge the ultimate Peak District walk

I completed the Edale Skyline Challenge earlier in the year, and although it wasn’t the easiest experience (more on that later!), it’s a great Peak District walk. I’d recommend people take part in it, so here’s my guide to completing the Edale Skyline Challenge. 

Check out some of my other favourite Peak District walks.

EDALE SKYLINE CHALLENGE: THE ULTIMATE PEAK DISTRICT WALK


How far is the Edale Skyline Challenge?

Altogether the route is 20 miles which is just over 32km.The total ascent is 1399mm / 4590ft. 

How long does it take to walk the Edale Skyline?

Allow around 7-10 hours to complete it. There will definitely people doing it a lot quicker, but I just like to take my time as I get more enjoyment out of it this way. I took around 9 hours altogether.

Edale Skyline Challenge Essentials

A good pair of walking shoes – you’re going to be walking for a long time so make sure you’ve got a good pair of shoes on your feet.

Some shoes for afterwards. Get some flip flops in the car, or comfier shoes that you can drive in once you’ve completed the challenge. Your feet will tahnk you for it!

High energy snacks. Remember you’re going to have to carry everything with you, so you don’t want to be lugging lots of food around. But make sure what you do take is energy dense. I even took some protein bars :O

Edale skyline challenge mam tor

Plenty of water – hydration is key on a challenge like this! A rucksack with a bladder pack will work to your advantage here too.

Portable charger. You’re going to be out all day, and likely using your phone a lot either for photos or for directions. Make sure you have some sort of portable charger or battery pack.

A map – because you need to know where you’re going! The OS map you need for this is Peak District OL1:

Alternatively, you may find it easier to have a map on your phone. OS Maps offer a subscription service where you can have access to any OS map on your phone for just £2 a month.  

Download the OS app on your phone and then you can follow routes on maps on your phone, as well as gain access to pre plotted routes to follow.

Sunhat and sunglasses – if it’s set to be a sunny day, the last thing you want to be doing is spending 20 miles walking whilst squinting.

Suncream – if it’s a sunny day it is PARAMOUNT that you put sunscream on! There is little shade on the route so you’re very likely to get burnt. And don’t forget your neck – I learnt this the hard way and ended up with heatstroke and a neck that looked like a drumstick squashie sweet.

Portable fan – a real saving grace if it’s a hot day.

Extra water in the car – you may well have drunk all your water by the time you finish the Edale Skyline Challenge, so leave some extra in the car for when you’ve finished. Put it in a cool bottle so it doesn’t get warm in the car during the day. 

Edale Skyline Challenge Route

I did the Edale Skyline Challenge from Hope Station. As it is a circular Peak District walk, you start and end in the same place. I parked my car at Hope Station Car Park – parking hear is free.

Hope Station postcode – S33 6RU what.3.words – ///rejoiced.deprives.jars

Alternatively, trains run into Hope Train Station from Manchester and Sheffield. Check out train times here.

I used the OS map app to find an Edale Skyline Challenge route which I followed on my phone. The first part of my journey saw me walk from Hope Station, into Hope village and then up Lose Hill.

lose hill Peak District Edale skyline challenge

Some significant spots on my Edale Skyline route were:

  • Lose Hill
  • Mam Tor
  • Edale Rocks
  • Kinder Downfall
  • Win Hill (with views over to Ladybower Resevoir)

You can follow the same route that I did here – don’t forget that you need to be subscribed to OS to get access to all their maps and routes.

My Edale Skyline Challenge Experience

I found the Edale Skyline Challenge very tough. It was the first long distance hike I’ve ever done and I happened to choose one of the hottest days of the year for it. The temperature must’ve been well over 30 degrees in the sun and I stupidly forgot to put suncream on the back of my neck once I’d tied my hair back. I ended up a bit ill with heatstroke the next day. So yeah, look after yourself, especially when the sun is out!

I found by the end of it I was so dehydrated. I’d taken a fair amount of water with me, but as I was sweating so much and was so hot, it just wasn’t enough. The last 4 miles were very tough and I had to shout at myself a lot to get up the hills – fortunately there were only a few sheep around to hear. My overall moving time was 8 hours and 16 minutes, but I took around 9 hours altogether allowing for rest, drink and snack stops.

All this aside, I’m so glad I completed it and had the experience. This isn’t meant to put anyone off. I’m just being totally honest about my experience! Now let’s be honest a lot of the issues were self-inflicted by my lack of sun cream, and things would’ve been very different on a slightly cooler day.

Looking for some more Peak District walks?

Check out some more of my Peak District posts:

5 of the Best Peak District Walks

Cycling along the Monsal Trail

Find any OS map for anywhere you’re heading to in the world:

The Edale Skyline Challenge is certainly one of ultimate Peak District walks. I would definitely recommend giving it a go if you’re up for the challenge. Even if you don’t fancy all of it just yet, certainly check out sections of the route as there’s some beautiful parts of the Peak District to see. If you do decide to give the full 20 miles a go, good luck (I don’t mean that in an ominous way!) and remember to just enjoy yourself!


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