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Over the Hill Series

THE DARK PEAK 4 COUNTY TOPS                             UK Ultras

Black Chew Head (Greater Manchester county top) with Holme Moss transmitter on the skyline

© Copyright Karl S and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Dark Peak is the only upland area in the UK that can boast as many as four county tops all of which can be readily encompassed within a single run. The circuit linking them together was devised to mark the first anniversary of the extended right to roam in the Peak which came about as the result of the 2000 CROW Act.  The start is located at Hayfield's Bowden Bridge car park under the plaque which marks the Kinder Mass Trespass of 1932, the first milestone in the long road to freedom of access which can now be rightfully enjoyed throughout this route.

The original route was devised Tony Wimbush and completed in 2005 as a solo, unsupported run in 10 hours 23 minutes. Since then Alan Yates has devised a DPFR version starting from the Strines Inn in the east.  Over in the west Steve Leach (Rolls-Royce Harriers) extended the original concept by including the county tops of Cheshire and Staffordshire to create a Six County Tops - a linear route from from Fairholmes to Axe Edge - see the index on the left. Another variation would be to bag the original 4 tops in a shorter linear run from Edale to Crowden..


The start and finish is at Hayfield's Bowden Bridge Car Park (GR 049869) under the plaque dedicated to the 1932 Kinder Trespass. The inaugural route linked together the 4 county tops going via the Snake Inn, Alport Castles and Snake Top to maintain high ground but these points are optional; an alternative start my also be used.  

OS Explorer Map: Use OL1 The Peak District - Dark Peak area.


gofar - uk ultras - Dark peak 4 tops schedule.pdf

Click on icon to view/print the schedule for the inaugural run


The Dark Peak 4 County Tops was originally part the Over the Hill Series.  That has been discontinued and all its former routes are now independent informal challenges without time limits, certificates or registrations.  An archive of registered completions (2002-2012) for the series is available together with the background (see below). Although there are now no further registrations news would be welcome of any future attempts on any of the routes.  Email:  

Links and Further Information

□   County Tops  - Comprehensive details of all county tops past and present.

□   English Counties by highest point - Wikipedia listings of current county tops.

□   Over The Hill Series - An archive of registrations (2002 to 2012) plus some background to the series.


Kinder Scout


GR 086876

South Yorkshire

High Stones


GR 188943

West Yorkshire

Black Hill


GR 078047

Greater Manchester

Black Chew Head


GR 056020