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Four Inns Walk

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Four Inns Walk
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The Four Inns was a fell race/hiking event held annually over the high moorlands of the Northern Peak District between 1957 and 2019. It took place mainly in Derbyshire (though it started in Yorkshire and, near the end, made a short detour into Cheshire), in northern England. It was organised by the Scout Association. It was a competitive event, without an overnight camp (although teams must be equipped to bivouac if the conditions are severe enough to warrant it). It was first held as a Rover Scout event in 1957, but was later opened to other teams of experienced hill walkers and fell runners.

The event last ran in 2019 when reduced interest from members of the Scouting Association caused the organisers to end the event.[1]



The event was undertaken in teams of three or four, for safety reasons, and at least two of these team members had to be at least 17 (the others may be 16) on the day of the event. An amount of equipment had to be carried by the team, including survival bags, emergency rations, a first-aid kit, and a group shelter. Any member of a team was allowed to drop out at any point, but the rest of the team were not be permitted to continue the event unless they were in a group of not less than 3, or more than 7 people (which can be formed by combining two groups together). The remaining team members had to carry all of the safety equipment. Any team that had not reached the checkpoint at Chapel-en-le-Frith before 21:15 was not allowed to complete the rest of the event. No dogs were allowed to accompany the walkers.[2]



The 40-mile (65 km) hike started at the local church of Holmbridge. The first of the 12 checkpoints was the site of The Isle of Skye Inn, then the route headed south, crossing the flanks of Black Hill. Next, it passeed through Hey Moss, Crowden, Tor Side, Bleaklow, and Doctor's Gate to the Snake (Pass) Inn. The next checkpoint was over the Kinder plateau to the Nag's Head Inn in Edale. The route then passed through Chapel-en-le-Frith, White Hall, and the Goyt Valley to the Cat and Fiddle Inn, finally descending to Buxton for the finish.[3] Usually, two thirds of the teams finished the event, in times between 8 and 16 hours (the course record of 6 hours 38 minutes was set in 2013). However, some teams took longer than this, and some have taken over 20 hours.[4] At most of the checkpoints, hot drinks and sandwiches will be given to the competitors, and several Mountain Rescue teams are on hand to ensure their safety.



A number of trophies were available for teams that completed the event.[5] These are:

Trophy Awarded for Event Record + Year
Four Inns Cup Fastest Overall team Too Much Fibre - 6 hrs 38 mins (2013)
President's Trophy Fastest Scout team Flipper's Gang - 6 hrs 45 mins (2010)
Eric Thompson Memorial Trophy Fastest mixed team Carnethy Hill - 7 hrs 48 mins (2008)
George Keeling Memorial Trophy Fastest novice non-Scout team Dicky's Dream Team - 8 hrs 35 mins (2010)
The Innsman Trophy Fastest team with all team members over 40 years of age Macclesfield Harriers - 7 hrs 19 mins (2005)
Freda Thompson Trophy Fastest Scout team with all members under 25 Viking VSU 'B' - 8 hrs 9 mins (1983)
Derbyshire Plate Fastest Scout team representing a Group outside Derbyshire Thrust - 8 hrs 8 mins (2011)
Falcon Trophy Fastest female team Run Like A Girl - 9 hrs 28 mins (2009)
Kim Gale Trophy Fastest novice Scout Team Endurance Danzz - 9 hrs 59 mins (2017)

The 1964 event


Three Rover Scouts, aged 19, 21, and 24, died in the 1964 event. The youngest was a member of the 32nd Huddersfield (Dalton) Rover Crew and the older two were from the Birmingham University Rover Crew. Travelling lightly laden and without support, they were overtaken by deteriorating weather, including 30 mph winds, heavy rain, and temperatures from 0 to 7 °C above the Snake Pass. The youngest of the group got into trouble in the upper reaches of the Alport valley. One of his team members summoned help and he was brought down to Alport Castles Farm by the Glossop Rover Crew. He was taken to hospital but died later. The two other scouts who died were in a separate team, but in the same area. A third member of that team was found in the Alport valley and taken to safety, but he was unable to give accurate information about where the rest of the team were. Because of the worsening weather, the search had to be called off during the night, but it was resumed on Sunday morning. However, it was not until Monday afternoon that the first body was recovered. By Tuesday, 370 people were involved with the search and the second body was recovered later that morning.[6] (In that year, when the event fell in mid-March, only 22 of the initial field of over 240 finished.)

The incident was partially responsible for the foundation of the Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation.[7]

A respiration and metabolism project, devised to identify the metabolic and biochemical basis for this tragedy, was performed during the 1965 event by the Medical Research Council, with young volunteers. There is a memorial tablet to the three Scouts in Holy Trinity Church, Edale, dedicated in a memorial service held on Sunday, 22 May 1966. There is also a small memorial cairn in the Alport valley, at approximately 53°25′40″N 1°48′31″W / 53.4278°N 1.8085°W / 53.4278; -1.8085 (Memorial cairn). Presumably this is near to where the two scouts were found.

See also



  1. ^ "The Four Inns 1957 - 2019". www.facebook.com.
  2. ^ "Four Inns Walking Information". Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2008.
  3. ^ "The Route and Walking Information". Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2008.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "The Trophies". Archived from the original on 5 August 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2008.
  6. ^ "Mountain rescue in the Peak District". Archived from the original on 24 September 2006. Retrieved 2 January 2007.
  7. ^ "Mountain Rescue". Peak District Online. Archived from the original on 22 April 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2023.