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  The Dark Peak 4 County Tops                                 The Peak

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, self-supported 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.  


Click on icon to view/print the 10-23  schedule for the inaugural run


This is an informal challenge without registrations or time limits. Why not report your experience on facebook to encourage and inspire other runners to have a go!

Links and Further Information





UK Big 3 Rounds
Challenges by Region

Records & Logs


Route Index

Andy's  Southern Fells

Assynt Traverse
Bala Challenge

Bay Limestone Round

Bob  Baxter  Traverse
Bob Graham Round
Bowland Dozen
Bowland 1500’s
Broxap Round

Cairngorm Munros
Canary Islands 3 Peaks
Charlie Ramsay Round
Charnley Way

Cleveland Hills Challenge
Cuillin Round
Cumbrian Traverse
Dales Skyline
Dales Top Ten
Dales 2000’s

Dark Peak County Tops

Dark Peak 15 Trigs

Dartmoor Round

Denis Rankin Round

Dragon’s Tongue
Durham Hewitts

Etive Munros Round

Freeman Round

George Fischer Tea Round
Glen Lyon Corbett Round
Great North Inns Run
Harvey Howgill Tops

John Fleetwood Lakes 40

John Fleetwood Lakes Routes

John Fleetwood Scottish Routes

John Fleetwood Welsh Round

Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge

Knoydart 7
Lakes 24

Lakes 25@25
Lakes 2500’s

Lakes Sea to Summits

Llangollen Hills Run

Loch  Lomond  Round

Leventon’s Line
Meirionnydd Round
National & Yorkshire 3 Peaks
No Cure Always Hope
Over The Hill Round
Paddy Buckley Round

Peak Traverses & Rounds

Pikes of the Lakes

Rigby Round - Cairngorms

Run the Line - Dales

Ring of Fire - Galloway

Saddleworth 10 Trigs
Scottish 4000’s
Six County Tops - Peak
Snowdonia Skyline
Snowdon to Pumlumon

South Pennine 39 Trigs
South Wales Traverse

Steve Parr Round

Tan Hill to Kirkstone Pass Inn
Tranter’s Round

Tyndrum Round
Upper Calder 13 Trigs
Wainwright 7 Summits

Wainwrights 30@30

Wicklow  Round
Yorkshire Round
Yorkshire 2000’s


More Challenges

Links & Articles

Sub-ultras (under 50 km)


Where there is a recorder please contact them to log your completion. In addition, or if there isn't a recorder, you are invited to share your experience on the gofar facebook page to encourage and inspire other runners to have a go!



All the routes on this site require proven mountain running experience. You undertake them entirely at your own risk. Please take full mountain safety precautions at all times.  Always ensure you carry sufficient clothing, food and equipment to cope with dramatic changes in the weather conditions!  Appropriate insurance cover is recommended.


The object of this website is to provide a single, ready source of information on the ultra-distance mountain challenges which have been developed over the past four or more decades. It now offers a diverse range of long and "short", old and recent, formal and informal routes from around the UK to encourage runners of all ages and abilities to have a go, subject to proven mountain experience in all conditions.




Please send details of any record-breaking runs and the like to Martin Stone who maintains records on behalf of the Fell Runners Association. Email:

Please also refer to the guidelines and definitions in the FRA Handbook.


If you can improve on the accuracy of this resource, spot any errors in grid references, names, heights, spelling or punctuation, or find a link which does not work please email Tony Wimbush.:

Similarly, if you wish to submit any new (or old) routes for inclusion see the contact page for the information and format that is required:. 

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