Image: Derbyshire village of Bamford, between the Hope Valley and Derwent Valley Reservoirs.

Bamford village is perched high on a hillside with extensive Peak District views. To one side is the imposing Bamford Edge whilst on the opposite side of the valley lies Win Hill and the other hills surrounding the Hope and Edale valleys.

Bamford is situated at the base of high moorland a short distance to the south of Derwent valley reservoirs. Most visitors to the Peak District will drive straight through in their eagerness to reach Ladybower, Derwent and Howden reservoirs and the associated moorlands. It is worth exploring Bamford for a while, perhaps take lunch in one of the local pubs or spend time admiring the views or relaxing on the small village 'green' pictured above.

Bamford edge towers above the buildings of the village and is one of the lesser visited quality climbing venues of the Peak District. This is because it is privately owned and historically, permission needed to sought from the gamekeeper. Under the CRoW Act, it is open, however, the landowner has a dog ban in place and climbing is not allowed all year round and the crag is closed for 'land management' under the terms of the CRoW Act. Check out the BMC website to find out the up to date situation on access to Bamford Edge for climbing. The one access point is also very specific, please don't abuse the CRoW Act as it has improved greatly public access to estate lands in the Peak District. The crag itself is a great place, it is more of a series of shorter crags at different heights on the moor side rather than one continuous one. Most of the routes are fairly short, although there are a couple of taller sections. the rock is sound (at least on the routes I have done) and the grades are not 'giveaways', for example, I warmed up on a severe and found just 2 reasonable gear placements in the 25 metres or so! Maybe I just had a bad day?

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Bamford Visitor Information

Nearest Tourist Information Centres:

Castleton Visitor Centre (opening times are seasonal 9.30 to 5.30 from Easter to Nov, then 10 - 5)
Castle Street
Hope Valley
S33 8WG
Tel: 01433 620679

The Castleton Visitor Centre is also a museum and local art and crafts exhibition centre and offers the usual full tourist information services including an accommodation booking service and a theatre booking service.

Upper Derwent visitor centre (ring for opening times please they vary seasonally and on different days!)
Hope Valley S33 0AQ
Tel: 01433 650953

The Upper Derwent visitor centre at Fairholmes can accommodate wheelchair users, has a refreshment kiosk, cycle hire, fully accessible toilets and ranger facilities. Brill!

There is another one at Edale and if you really need to find the details of that click here.

About Bamford

When the reservoirs were constructed in the first half of the 20th century, the neighbouring villages of Derwent and Ashopton were submerged under Ladybower reservoir in sixty years ago by the waters of the Ladybower Reservoir, opened by King George VI in September 1945. The inhabitants were re-housed at Yorkshire Bridge whilst the dead were reburied at the Church in Bamford. The Church (of St. John the Baptist) is a William Butterfield design.

Like a number of the Peak District villages, Bamford was a mill town. The old cotton mill has seen several industries come and go and is now luxury flats. The Hope Valley railway line linked Bamford with the industrial and commercial centres of Sheffield and Manchester and the station is about half a mile from the centre.

Spring Bank Holiday sees the Bamford Sheepdog trials, summer sees the Bamford Carnival fell race where lots of fit people run up and down Win Hill in times that vary from about 30 mins to an hour for the 4.5 mile course. In the past, there has been a mountain bike weekend at Bamford but we think that this is no longer in existence. The 2011 Polaris challenge is to be centred (or if you read this after June 2011 and we have forgotten to change this page ... was centred) on Bamford.

Close to Bamford and a little to the north, the A57 Snake Road passes over the worryingly named Cutthroat bridge. The story goes that in the 16th century, local found a man lying by the bridge with face and neck wounds. Being friendly souls in Bamford, the traveller was taken to Bamford Hall but unfortunately he died a few days later. These days, the bridge is an often used start point for walks and off road mountain bike rides on the Derwent fells. Parking for a couple of vehicles is available at the bridge, but it is better to use the larger parking area a few hundred yards closer to Sheffield. The Bridleway from Cutthroat Bridge leads up to Whinstone Lee Tor and onto the Derwent moors. Another bridleway can be followed, parallel to the road back to Ladybower reservoir, and is a much safer route than the road which has no pavement.

Bamford is the location of Sicklehome Golf Club, apparently the only 18 hole course within the boundaries of the Peak District. It is over a century old and is therefore well established and a delightful place to play. Visitors are welcome but booking is essential as it is a popular golf course; please see their web site for details.

The origin of the name is by no means clear, it is possible that it comes from 'Beam Ford' though local historian Roy Christian is of the opinion that this refers to Yorkshire Bridge, the last crossing place over the Derwent before the Yorkshire border and was documented in 1599 as no more than a wooden foot-bridge. It is thought that the name Yorkshire Bridge was probably coined by Jaggers (the blokes who led pack horse teams) when the smart new stone bridge was built to replace the wooden one at the end of the 17th century.

The buildings of Bamford are of no great age, generally speaking they are Victorian or later other than a Tudor Farmhouse.

It has a little industrial heritage, the original 17th century corn mill was converted into a cotton mill, finally closing in 1965. Since then it was used for a while by a scientific instrument manufacturer and has since been converted to apartments.

A short drive to the south of Bamford lies Haddon Hall, and Chatsworth Park and House, to the west is Castleton and the various show caves, to the north the picturesque A57 Snake Road and the famed Snake Pass (usually the first road in Derbyshire to be closed by snow each winter - take a look at the pictures in the Snake Inn), making Bakewell a good centre for sightseeing. Easy access to the moorland of the Dark Peak makes it a great centre for outdoor enthusiasts, with Hitch and Hike nearby to satisfy your gear buying needs (need to drive through the Garden centre to find it at the back).

Accommodation within easy reach of Bamford - click here

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Peak District Derbyshire - Bamford

A Derbyshire town Hope Valley close to the show caves of Castleton.

A short way to the east is the popular and busy town of Hathersage, a mecca for Peak District outdoor enthusiasts with its shops, toilets, tea rooms and cafes. Near Bamford you can find outdoor shops, food shops, filling stations, restaurants and pubs. This small town also gives easy access to Kinder Scout, the Snake road and the Howden and Derwent dams which were used for practice runs by the dam busters in World War two. It is a perfect accommodation centre for the Derbyshire Peak District with easy access to the rest of the region plus the cities of Manchester and Sheffield.

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