Robin Hood’s Cave is one of the most fascinating hidden gems in the Peak District. In this guide, I’ll share how you can find Robin Hood’s Cave, as well as all the essential info you’ll need before visiting.
Hidden amongst the rocks on the infamous Stanage Edge, Robin Hood’s Cave is one of many magical locations in the Peak District. Similarly to the famous Thors Cave, it boasts a fascinating history and unrivalled views over the surrounding landscapes.
Getting to Robin Hood’s Cave involves a short walk along Stanage Edge – the iconic gritstone ridge which appeared in the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.
While the ridge is famous for its viewpoints and unique rock formations, the cave remains a bit of a secret and can be tricky to find.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Robin Hood’s Cave, including how to get there, where to park, and the best time to visit. Let’s get to it.
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Robin Hood's Cave Walk at a Glance
Distance: 1.5 KM
Ascent: 78 Metre
Time: 30-45 mins
History of Robin Hood's Cave
We all know the legend of Robin Hood – the heroic outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. His rebellion against those in power is an inspiring tale and still relevant thousands of years later.
While there is no hard evidence to confirm that Robin Hood and his ‘Merry Men’ were real people, there are certainly indications to suggest their existence. English folklore places them in locations all over England, from Nottingham and Sherwood Forest all the way to the Derbyshire Dales.
The cave on Stanage Edge is one of those locations. It’s believed that Robin Hood used the cave as a hideout and place of refuge. It’s a plausible story considering that Little John, one of Hood’s Merry Men, is said to be buried in the churchyard of Hathersage village.
What do you think? Do you believe Robin Hood visited this very cave? Either way, it’s an epic location, made all the more magical thanks to the legendary folklore tale.
Robin Hood's Cave FAQs
Before I show you how to find Robin Hood’s Cave, let’s cover some key information to help you plan accordingly.
How to Get There
Robin Hood’s Cave is on Stanage Edge in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District. It’s 2 miles north of Hathersage, 5 miles southeast of Ladybower Reservoir, and 8 miles east of Castleton. It’s also just a 25-minute drive from Sheffield.
The quickest and easiest way to access Robin Hood’s Cave is to park at this car park. From here, it’s just a 20-minute walk to the cave. You can also try this parking area if that one is full. You could even park in Hathersage village and walk from there if you want a longer hike.
Getting here by public transport is tricky but doable. The 272 bus runs between Sheffield and Castleton, stopping in Hathersage village. It’s a 1.5-mile walk to Stanage Edge, but it’s all uphill, so it will only be convenient for some.
Best Time to Visit
Stanage Edge is one of the most famous viewpoints in the Peak District, providing unrivalled views over the surrounding hills and landscapes. It’s a fantastic location to watch the sunset and accessible to adventurers of all ages and capabilities. Understandably, it gets quite busy.
Thankfully, Robin Hood’s Cave is not quite as well-known, and it’s impossible to find unless you’re actively looking for it. We visited the cave during the week for sunset, and there was only one other person there.
Of course, the weekends and during school holidays will always be the busiest. So if you’re visiting during those times, I suggest you arrive early to secure a parking spot and enjoy the cave without the crowds.
I would avoid visiting Robin Hood’s Cave during high winds, heavy rain, or poor visibility. The rocks can be slippery, and there are some steep-drop offs that could be fatal.
How Accessible is Robin Hood's Cave?
Stanage Edge is one of the easier walks in the Peak District. While a bit of climbing is involved in getting to the top of the ridge, it’s mostly flat once you’re up there. The climb to the top is manageable, and anybody of a reasonable fitness level should handle it with little issues.
Getting to Robin Hood’s Cave is slightly more challenging. The first obstacle is to locate the hidden pathway that leads down to the cave; the second is getting inside it. There is no easy way of entering. More on that further down.
Robin Hood's Cave Map
Other Things Worth Knowing
Dogs: While the Stanage Edge walking route is dog-friendly, I wouldn’t take larger dogs to the cave. You’ll need to concentrate on what you’re doing. Dogs could be a distraction.
Kids: Kids will love the adventure and the history attached to Robin Hood’s Cave. But it could be dangerous to let them go inside. I’ll leave it to you to be the judge of their capabilities.
Pushchair/Wheelchair Access: Unfortunately, this route is not accessible with a pushchair or wheelchair.
Footwear: Supportive footwear with a good grip is essential for this walk.
Weather: Be mindful that the weather can change quickly in the hills. Be prepared for all the seasons.
Facilities: You will find bins, shops, pubs, toilets etc. in Hathersage village. Other than that, there are no facilities. Bring enough food and water for your hike, and take all your rubbish home.
Map: It’s always good to have a map handy should you get lost or lose the trail. We use All Trails for this purpose.
Hiking Essential Items
Here are some essential items I recommend you have in preparation for your walk:
- Sturdy worn-in hiking boots
- Twin Skin Socks
- A waterproof hiking backpack
- A refillable water bottle
- A waterproof jacket
- Life straw
- Hiking snacks
- Blister plasters
- First aid kit
- Power bank
Here are some other essential for your adventure:
How to Find Robin Hood's Cave
Now I will provide a step-by-step guide on how to find Robin Hood’s Cave. I’ll also share some of my favourite photos from our evening there. As you will see, we were blessed with quite the sunset.
Step 1: The Dale to Stanage Edge
We parked our campervan at the lay-by parking area on The Dale. It’s free to park here, but there are limited spaces. If it’s full up, your best bet is to try this car park instead, which is actually closer to Robin Hood’s Cave.
From the parking area on The Dale, a wide and obvious track leads all the way to the gritstone ridge. At an average pace, you’ll reach the bottom of Stanage Edge in 10-15 minutes.
Step 2: Climb up to Stanage Edge
From the foot of the rocks, there are a few different trails leading to the top. There’s no right or wrong route, though some appear easier and safer than others. You’ll have to be the judge for yourself.
We took the track on the left, which looked the most defined and well-trodden. It was a straightforward route with just a minimal amount of climbing as we neared the top. It’s a bit of a leg burner but lasts no longer than a few minutes.
Step 3: Walk Along Stanage Edge
Once you’re atop Stanage Edge, the trail along it is fairly linear. You’ll need to dodge over and around some rocks as you traverse the ridge, but there are no crazy ascents or descents.
There are loads of cool rock formations and viewpoints along this entire stretch. I snapped some gorgeous photos on our way to Robin Hood’s Cave for sunset.
Step 4: Locate this Unique Rock Formation
When you see this unique rock formation, you’ll know you’re close to Robin Hood’s Cave. There aren’t any others like it, not that I saw anyway, and it makes for some fun photo opportunities.
Step 5: Look for this Hidden Trail to Robin Hood's Cave
Shortly after the balancing rock formation, there is a hidden trail that appears to blend into the cliff face. It will be on your left-hand side, but it’s really easy to miss.
Once you find it, follow it down. You already get a great view from this point, but you will see the cave directly in front of you. You have to climb over some large boulders to get to it. Take extra care if it’s been raining, as the rocks can be slippery.
Step 6: Climb or Crawl into Robin Hood's Cave
Now all that’s left to do is crawl or climb into Robin Hood’s Cave. You guessed it; there are two ways of entering. Neither of them is what I would call comfortable, but one way is undoubtedly safer than the other.
The safest way involves entering from around the back. It’s not obvious at first glance, but when you look closely, there is a gap in the rocks which you can crawl through. It’s a tad claustrophobic, but once you’re inside, the cave opens up, and you can access the lookout point.
We couldn’t enter this way as the cave was flooded with water, leaving our only option to hop over the ledge at the front. The imprinted hand and foot holds confirmed we weren’t the first to enter this way. But it’s definitely not a climb for the faint-hearted.
Needless to say, please do not attempt to enter this way unless you are confident of your capabilities. If you slip or misjudge your footing, it could be extremely dangerous. We cannot be held responsible for any accidents.
Step 7: Enjoy the Views
Everything about Robin Hood’s Cave is enchanting. The cave itself looks like something out of a fairytale. It’s easy to imagine the folklore legends to be true.
With sweeping vistas over Hope Valley, this is easily one of the best views in the Peak District. I highly recommend watching the sunset here. You only have to look at our photos to see why.
Have Fun Visiting Robin Hood's Cave!
I hope you enjoy this Peak District hidden gem as much as we did. It’s one of the best Peak District viewpoints, in my opinion, and makes for a fabulous sunset walk. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.