Rushup Edge – Crowden Clough A Peak District Walk

This walk took place 2 days after the trip in my last blog, and as mentioned in that blog i shall fill in on a few missing details. To start off with, when i reached my car after the Bamford edge wild camp, i didn’t drive home, instead i made my way into the village of Edale. Once there i set up at the Fieldhead campsite with the secondary gear i had left in my car, this middle day was to be a lazy one, or at least a day with no massive hill miles. I will not be going in to huge detail on this day, infact all i will say is that i spent most of the day in Castleton, with a visit to Perveril castle before returning to the campsite to relax. I will add though, before moving on to the titled blog, that i had a great day, and i’d definitely recommend a stay at Fieldhead and/or a trip to Castleton ūüôā

Ok so back to the main story…… I had a relatively slow start in the morning, but i didn’t have far to travel as my journey was going to be starting from the base of Mam Tor, ¬†a mere 2 mile drive or so from Edale. I decided to park on the old road section outside Blue John Cavern, for the main reason being it was free, and secondarily it would add a little extra to my days mileage ūüôā ¬†The walk i had roughly planned was to start with Rushup edge, a section of the Edale skyline i had been wanting to do for a very long time, and i was finally about to do it. The only downside was the weather, the previous day had been beautiful, with sunny blue skies. Today however was misty low clouds and even stood virtually at the base of Mam Tor i could hardly see the summit…… if at all.¬†IMG_9093[1]¬†I set off on my walk, and made my way towards the gap where the road cuts through the great ridge, and then turned towards Rushup edge. Soon i was at the National trust sign and the walk up to the top of the edge began. I was very excited to be finally doing this walk and the only downside was the poor visibility, i could only hope that it would get better throughout the day. IMG_9095[1]¬†On top of the ridge the views were not as bad as i expected, and whilst Kinder scout was pretty much obscured the views lower down, like Edale were still visible. Whilst i am happy to walk in the mist, i do prefer top be able to see the views, especially as i film the walks too, and its much more interesting if you can actually see something ūüôā ¬†So as you can imagine i was pleasantly surprised when there was actually a bit of view to see….. bonus i thought. ¬†IMG_9097[1]¬†After just less than a mile on the ridge, i came to the highest point of Rushup edge, Lords Seat. Lords Seat is an ancient barrow, which is a late neolithic or early bronze age burial mound.¬†¬†The Burial mound had been fenced off due to erosion, and the sign said it would remain so until the ground had fully recovered. I stopped for a short while, shooting a bit of footage for my video, and then carried on my walk. After Lords seat, the height of the ridge slowly drops, and after about 1km i was at the junction where i would be taking the path towards Brown Knoll. I however wouldn’t be going that far, as i would be taking another fork in the path and heading down Whitemoor Clough to Dale head and Upper Booth farm. Before reaching the path down the Clough, i was met with a very wet obstacle, the hole path was completely under water. As i approached the water, i couldn’t see any way around without going through the grass, which i also expected to be saturated. Thankfully as i got closer i saw a way past , i was very relived, as on this trip i had worn my Columbia walking trainers, and i didn’t fancy water coming in over the top at this early stage of the walk.¬†IMG_9102[1]¬†Shortly after passing the watery obstacle, i arrived at the path for Whitemoor Clough. As i followed the path downhill it got steeper and steeper, and i soon began to wish i’d brought my walking poles. My knees were really starting to hurt and i could’t wait to get back on some level ground for a short while to recover, however i did take some comfort in the fact that the views were starting to get better as the air started to clear. IMG_9103[1]¬†¬†Thankfully i soon made the bottom, and passing through Dalehead and crossing the stream i was in to open fields. These were quite wet in places with lots of large puddles from the previous night rain. The route was then to take me past Tagsnaze farm, and it was here the path disappeared. I’m not sure if it was due to fence repairs, but there was no stile where it should have been, and looking around i couldn’t see a replacement anywhere. I decided to just follow the path most used, and to what looked like a gate on a wall in the far side of the field. As i got to the gate it just went to a small drystone wall enclosure……. not this way then i thought. I consulted the map, i knew exactly where the path should be, i just couldn’t get to it. I approached the farm house hoping to see the farmer and ask for his help, but unfortunately there was nobody around. Now stood at his gate, map in hand, i knew the path was on the other side of his yard and past the far gate. With no other obvious way around i decided to go through his yard, taking care that i closed his gates properly behind me………. at last i was back on track ūüôā¬†IMG_9108[1]IMG_9109[1]IMG_9110[1]¬†Finally back on track again, time was pressing on, it was already about 13:00 and i was starting to get hungry, but i was determined to reach Crowden Tower before stopping for lunch. On the plus side, the low cloud and mist had gone now, which meant when i did reach the tower, the views would be great. I made quick work of the next section, partly due to my hunger and partly down to losing time around the farm building. After passing through a small wooded section and across a stream i made it to Upper booth farm.IMG_9117[1] Walking past the farm and across a bridge, i came to a small gate which was the start of the Crowden Clough path. A short way down this tree lined path was a small waterfall in the brook, it was a irresistible photo opportunity, so i stopped for a moment to get a few shots before carrying on. Leaving the trees, the landscape opened up, and crossing the style, there it was before me….. Crowden Clough ūüôā¬†IMG_9118[1]¬†IMG_9119[1]¬†IMG_9120[1]IMG_9121[1]¬†IMG_9122[1]¬†¬†Being so hungry made the Clough look really long, but at least Crowden tower was finally in sight, and i was really looking forward to the scramble, as i’d heard it was a bit more difficult than the Grindsbrook one ūüôā Despite my hunger and eagerness to reach the top, i couldn’t help but stop and take lots of photographs of all the small waterfalls in the brook.¬†IMG_9124[1]¬†Eventually though i did reach the scramble, it didn’t seem quite so long as the Grindsbrook one, but it did look a bit steeper. So with a quick look back at the beautiful view, i started the ascent. IMG_9128[1]¬†It wasn’t as hard as i had imagined in my head, though if there was a lot of water i imagine you’d get very wet. Around the half way point, i did find a short section that i didn’t want to do with my tripod in hand, so with a quick stop to stow my tripod on my pack i carried on, feeling much safer with both hands.¬†IMG_9129[1]¬†IMG_9130[1]¬†I soon made the top after a great scramble, and my lunch stop was now within touching distance. The view from the top was pretty special, made even better by the fact i’d climbed up from it ūüôā After a few photographs i set off on my way to Crowden tower, and for a well deserved rest.¬†IMG_9134[1]¬†IMG_9135[1]¬†IMG_9136[1]¬†Settling down on the top of Crowden tower, i perched myself on the edge, my legs dangling down into the Clough below. I set my camera to time lapse while i ate my lunch, and boy did the food taste good. It was a very late lunch, i had originally hoped to get to the tower for 13:30 – 14:00, but after losing the path at the farm and taking LOADS of photographs¬†on route it was now 15:00. Still it did not matter, there was no rush, the weather was great now, and with the clear skies the views were amazing.¬†IMG_9139[1]¬†IMG_9140[1]¬†After half an hour i decided it was time to carry on, my plan for the rest of the route was to head to Grindslow Knoll and then back down to Edale via Grindsbrook Clough. The weather was so much better now, and following the edge of the kinder plateau, the views over the vale of Edale were awesome. If fact i could also see Rushup edge, where earlier in the day you couldn’t see one from the other due to the low cloud. Its not very far between Crowdon tower and Grindslow Knoll and it was soon in sight. I pressed on to make the top and i must admit in the heat i got a bit of a sweat on as i made the final climb to the Cairn.¬†IMG_9145[1]¬†IMG_9146[1]¬†IMG_9148[1]¬†¬†At the top the Views were awesome, i could just about see my entire route that i’d done, and also my route back. I remember thinking i wish i could do Rushup edge again, as visibility was so good now, but i knew by the time i got back over there again my legs would not want to. Whilst at the top of Grindslow Knoll, i had a great conversation with a lady from Sweden, she was quite taken with the Peak District, and this was her second trip, having been here many years ago. We said our goodbyes, as she headed down towards Edale via the direct route, i however was taking the scramble down Grindsbrook.¬†IMG_9150[1]¬†Approaching the Grindsbrook scramble i passed one of the many gritstone mushrooms before reaching the top. I’d been up this scramble quite a few times, yet id never been down it, so i was quite looking forward to the descent.¬†IMG_9153[1]¬†IMG_9154[1]¬†Making my way down the scramble wasn’t as bad as i expected and i made quite good time down, and before long i was out of the rocky section and onto the normal path. Down in the Clough was like a sun trap, up on Kinder there had been a nice breeze, but now it was really hot and stuffy. ¬†I decided to kneel down at the edge of the brook and splash my face with the water, and what a welcome relief it was, it felt great to be a few degrees cooler, even if it was only fleeting ūüôā¬†IMG_9157[1]¬†IMG_9158[1]¬†As i got up from the stream, i met a man with his son passing in the opposite direction, and i just happened to notice he had a small microphone attached to his shirt. So i asked him if he also made YouTube videos, to which he replied yes. He told me his name was Nigel Danson, so after a quick chat and exchanging channel names, we went our separate ways (i later found out at home he has over 2k subscribers, he kept that quiet ūüėČ ) I will leave a link to his channel below in case anybody is interested in checking him out. As i carried on, it wasn’t long before i was roasting hot and sweating like mad in the glorious sunshine. The rest of the journey was now pretty straight forward, all that was left was to reach the village of Edale, and the carry on towards the great ridge via Harden Clough and to the Blue John Cavern car park. As i neared the end of the Grindsbrook path, i past the site of my first videoed wild camp, and i knew Edale was very close.¬†IMG_9558[1]¬†IMG_9559[1]¬†It was around this point that i ran out of water, and being the clever chap i am, id forgotten my Sawyer water filter. So my plan was to make my way to the shop in Edale village and buy a couple of water bottles and fill my hydration bladder that way. It didn’t take long to get to Edale, and i promptly made my way to the shop……… Closed…. gutted i thought. So i decided to make my way to Fieldhead campsite where i had stayed the previous night, and ask them if i could use their tap. They were more than happy for me to get some water, so a massive thank you to them for helping me in a time of need ūüôā¬†IMG_9561[1]¬†With plenty of water on board it was time to carry on back to the car. Passing through the village, i made my way up the farmers track towards Harden Clough. Once on the path it was nice and shady from all the trees, providing some much needed respite from the all powerful sun. It wasn’t long though before the trees ended and i was back in blazing sun. I’ll be honest, i was starting to struggle now, my route had been very up and down, and with a combination of the heat and distance of the walk, i couldn’t wait to sit down and rest. Thankfully though i was almost back, and with a bit of help from the amazing views i knew id be finished soon.¬†IMG_9564[1]¬†IMG_9565[1]¬†Looking down into the Hope valley from the gap in the great ridge, i was almost back, and it was all down hill from here. I was soon back at the car, from what had been an incredible walk, from the morning mist on Rushup Edge to the glorious sunshine on Kinder. Id had a really great day, and despite wishing my first walk on Rushup Edge had been in the clear, its still got a certain appeal walking in those eerie, mystical conditions.

So here ends another blog, i really hope you enjoyed it. I was really happy to do Rushup edge and Crowden clough for the first time and i definitely recommend doing them if you haven’t already. As always if you read this far, thank you very much, i really appreciate all the support ūüôā I will put all links below, to my video of this trip and also to Nigel Danson’s channel as promised. So thanks again for reading, and until next time, goodbye ūüôā

Rushup Edge Crowden Clough Video

Link to Nigel Danson channel

Advertisements

A Walk in the Peak District Millstone edge – Burbage rocks

We all love a mid week walk in the beautiful countryside, i’m sure you’ll all agree with me. Its always a lot easier to park and you are much more likely to have the hills to yourself…… selfish i know ūüėČ

So this is exactly what i did mid June, with a rough route planned the night before, i made my way to the Peak District the next morning. My walk would start from the National trust car park next to Millstone edge. True to form, the car park was all but empty, i picked a space and made my way to the pay and display machine. It was upon reaching the machine, i realised the mistake i had made. The pay machine way a card only, and i had left mine at home…..Doh! ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† I decided to head for one of the lay-bys around the corner instead, so i got back in my car and started to make my way out. As i got to the entrance, there was a woman returning to her car, i decided on the off chance, to ask her if she would get me a ticket if i gave her the change……. she agreed, so i made my way back into a space. I met the woman at the machine, who very kindly got me a all day parking ticket, and i handed over the ¬£4.50 in change. It turned out, she had come back to the car park, as she was unsure where the gap in fence was to get to the rocks at Owler Tor. I happily led the way to show her where the footpath entered into that area. At the gate i decided to visit the rocks at Owler Tor myself, taking care not to get in her way as she was taking Photographs using the rocks as the foreground. IMG_7636[1]¬† After a quick wander around the rocks, i made my way to where i was going to start my walk. Cutting back through the car park on my way, i entered the moor land via the gate nearest the road. From there it was only a short way to “Surprise view” at the end of Millstone edge, this was the beginning of my walk. The view was not as good as it could have been, as the weather was particularly hazy, but it was still great, and i was able to pick out a few places i knew on the horizon. Some of the places visible from here were, Win hill and the great ridge and the outline of Kinder just barely visible on the horizon.IMG_7640[1]¬†IMG_7641[1]¬†After a good few minutes soaking up the view, i decided to carry on with my walk. My route would know take me along the length of Millstone edge and then following the boundary line all the way to the back of Over Owler Tor. I decided not to go up the Tor just yet though, as i wanted to come back this way later. Looking to my left here, or North if you prefer, i could see Stanage edge jutting out from the landscape. A far cry from the last time i was here in February, when i had brought my partner and kids to see the snow fall. Back then, not only was the place covered in snow (obviously) it was also extremely misty, so the views were limited to a mere 100 meters or so. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Anyway, back to this walk, I was now heading pretty much straight towards Higger Tor, but i didn’t want to head up there first. I was actually looking for a place marked on the map as Sheepfold. I soon found it, it was a large drystone walled area, and it reminded me of a sheep dog trial arena. Upon reaching this point, my next destination was revealed, Carl wark fort.IMG_7647[1] It is widely believed to have been the location of a Iron age hill fort, and also possibly to have been re used as a defensive position during the Roman period. On the approach you can see why they would have chosen it, and i’m glad i was just visiting and not an attacker. I made my way up via the western slope and not by the marked path, this meant i passed through what was like a gritsone gateway, which was pretty cool. I was soon on top having a good explore of all the rocky outcrops, trying to imagine what it may have looked like thousands of years ago.¬†IMG_7648[1]¬†IMG_7649[1]¬†IMG_7650[1]¬†After a good explore, i was starting to get hungry, and so my attentions turned towards Higger Tor, i had ear marked this location earlier as my lunch stop. It was not very far from Carl Wark to Higger Tor, and i was soon at the top, sat out of the wind, in the shelter of one of the largest rocky outcrops on the Tor. As usual, i had wraps for lunch, though this time they were un prepared, as i had only brought them on the way. So making them up one at a time, with the cheese and salami slices, i ate my way through three wraps, before sitting back to let them digest while i enjoyed the view. IMG_7653[1]¬†Once i thought my food had sufficiently settled, i decided to have a go at climbing the big gritstone outcrop i had been sheltering behind. Now i’m no big climber, and i will always shy away from anything too technical, but I’ve always loved a good scramble up rocks since i was a small boy. So having a good look at the rock in question, i decided it was definitely on my level of ability, so up i went. Around half way up there was a little bit of a precarious section, but i managed to get past it, and before long i was on top, and surveying the land before me.¬†IMG_7654[1]¬†After climbing down, it was time to plan some more of my route. I hadn’t really got an exact plan from here, and with the weather being a lot cooler than i had expected, the possibility of extending my walk further had arisen. Out came the map, i decided that i would make my way to Upper Burbage bridge, that would then open up my walk to return via Burbage rock. So that settled it, and off i went. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†There was only really one obvious path to Upper Burbage bridge, and that was via Fiddlers elbow, i did however chose the higher of these paths. It was only roughly 1km to the bridge, and with most of it being a gradual down hill i thought it probably wouldn’t take me very long. On route i passed two groups of kids, all with climbing helmets and with a guide. Im not sure if they were young scouts or out with school, but they were definitely being educated in the surrounding geology by their teacher/leader. From this moment on, i would occasionally hear their shrill cries blowing on the wind, as they excitedly went about their activities. Sure enough i soon arrived at the Bridge, where i stopped for a little while to record an update for my video before carrying on.¬†IMG_7656[1]¬†IMG_7658[1]¬†Crossing the brook, i was greeted with Burbage rocks, and a choice between the high path along the edge or the low path along the base. I opted for the former and took the high route along the edge. I was glad i did join the high path, as despite the haze, the views were excellent. I had decided though, i wasn’t going to walk the entire length of the edge, i was going to walk as far as the end of the woods and drop back down and recross the brook then make my way back up to the gap between Carl Wark and Higger Tor.¬†IMG_7660[1]¬†My junction was soon upon me, and i made my way down to the brook. The woods in this area had recently been cut down, well nearly all, just a few small sections remain. I believe the notice board said it was 2014 when they had been cut down, making way for other species of plant, but to me it still looked quite an obvious scar on the landscape, and personally i think the woodland would have been more pleasing to the eye. But give it time, and i’m sure nature will have its way and it will all be looking beautiful again. Well i was soon crossing the brook, and before long i was stood next to Carl Wark once again. IMG_7662[1]¬†Back next to Carl Wark, i had decided from here i would retrace my steps back to Over Owler Tor, as i wanted to look for a spot i had my picture taken in the snow earlier in the year. It took me around twenty minutes to reach the Tor, and despite a good look around, i was never totally sure i found the exact spot, as it all looked very different without the snow. The next spot i wanted to see was mother cap, this was only two hundred or so meters down from the Tor. It wasn’t quite what i was expecting, but there was a great view and a rather large gritstone outcrop standing proudly on its own. IMG_7664[1]¬†From here it was a short journey back to the car, but not before passing what looked like a new species for the Peak District, a gritstone turtle. It looked very similar to one i’d seen on kinder scouts southern edge, (more on that in a future blog). Also in this area were a few discarded millstones, apparently abandoned after people started buying cheaper imports. After recording a bit of video footage, and having my picture taken with the turtle, i carried on my way. IMG_7667[1]IMG_7668[1]¬†Well after my turtle discovery, i was back at the car after roughly 9 miles of enjoyment. It had been a really great day, and it was now time to rejoin reality and drive back home.

So here ends another blog, i really hope you have enjoyed reading it. For those that have read this far, a very big thank you to all of you. As always this blog is available in video form, link at the bottom of this page.

So until next time goodbye ūüôā

Regards Mark

Millstone edge – Burbage rocks video

Peak District – Derwent Edge – Lost Lad

On the 21st of may 2017, i had planned with my supervisor from work and two other work mates to go on a map reading trip in the Peak District. My supervisor also has another job with the TA, and he teaches outdoor skills to solider’s in the British Army. So he seemed like the perfect person to help me and my work mates, learn a bit more about map reading. Well, at least this was the plan, as only two days before our planned trip he informed me that he would be unable to make it, and that we would have to re arrange. This was due to the other training man at the barracks who trains in the same field of expertise had finished, and in doing so had passed the baton on to my supervisor. Not to worry i thought, and i planned my own trip. So the next day I looked over my map of the dark peak area in the Peak District, and decided i’d drive to the lay-by near Cutthroat bridge, and head ¬†towards Derwent edge. With a rough route planned out, and all my gear packed, i decided to ask my cousin Dan if he fancied a walk, and if so, he could stay at mine so we’d be ready to go in the morning. Dan agreed and came round in the evening, and we were all set and ready for the morning.

The next morning Dan offered to drive, which worked out great for me, as that meant i could get some good footage out the window for the intro of my video. The journey took slightly longer than normal, this was due to a diversion in Hathersage village which had backed the traffic up quite bad. Once we arrived at the lay-by it was very busy, and we were quite lucky to get a space. Well, with a space acquired, boots and packs on, we set off down the road back towards cutthroat bridge. It was only a few hundred meters to the bridge, and we were soon on the trail. The first part of the path was uphill, and with the sun beaming down, we soon had a sweat on. Whilst planning the route i had decided to take a slightly more direct route to Derwent edge, because if we followed the footpaths the whole way we would have to back track at some point. As our walk would be long enough anyway, i had decided we should follow the stream up Highshaw clough, and join the next path that followed a series of grouse butts. Well it seemed that i wasn’t the only person to have had this idea before, as there was already an established path leading ¬†the way. ¬†IMG_6982[1]¬†Whilst walking this short section, the heat got the better of me and i was forced to take off my thin showerproof jacket. With my jacket safely stowed in my bag, we carried on, and we were soon on to the official path we had been heading for. Following this path roughly westwards, we headed uphill towards the beginning of the path that would take us up to Derwent edge. As we carried on up hill, i had noticed that the clouds seemed to be moving in a lot quicker, and were getting darker. This was slightly worrying, and i mentioned to Dan that i was glad i had my waterproofs with me. It was then that the dreaded realisation kicked it…. whilst i did have my waterproof trousers, i had left my coat at home. Why oh why do i keep forgetting things i thought. Almost immediately after this realisation, it started to spot with rain. Deciding i didn’t want to risk waiting, i thought it best to stop and put my thin jacket back on, and my waterproof trousers. It was a good job i did, as the spots turned into a full on shower. With the weather coming in like this, and only being just less than two miles from the car, i asked Dan if he was happy to carry on. I also pointed out that the direction we were going still had blue sky, he replied he was happy to if i was, so on we went. It seemed fate was on our side, as we were soon out of the rain shower and back into the sun. I must admit i felt quite lucky at this point, as my thin jacket had kept me dry. ¬†Looking around the sky, it seemed that our direction of travel was all into blue sky territory, whilst most other areas still looked very grey. So when we arrived at the junction where we would head for Derwent edge, i decided to take my waterproofs back off. As we continued up the new path, i saw the wheel stones come into view, as it was approaching mid day i said to Dan we should stop here for lunch, to which he agreed. IMG_6984[1]¬†The wind was quite high in this exposed area, so we found a sheltered spot among the Wheel stones to eat our food. The spot i chose gave me a really amazing view. From my vantage point among the stones, i could see down upon the Lady bower reservoir, whilst also being able to see all the way down the vale of Edale, which is flanked on both sides, with Kinder scout to the north and the great ridge to the south. Whilst eating my lunch, i took a few time lapses of the incredible views for my YouTube video. After eating we had a good explore of the area, and then decided to carry on with our journey. It is around one mile from the wheel stones to Derwent edge, and on our way we passed many other interesting rock formations which we checked out on route, including ¬†white tor and the Salt cellar boulder.¬†IMG_6986[1]¬†It wasn’t long though before we reached Derwent Edge, and with the sun still on our side, we had a good explore around its many crags before we reached Dove stone boulder, where we stopped for a break. Whilst taking a break, i was called upon by a group of Chinese tourists to take a group photo for them, which i did, and they seemed quite happy with the result. I then decided i should probably have a look at my map, to see where we should head to next. Whilst i had planned a rough route, i hadn’t really planed much past Derwent edge. So looking at the map i thought it would be nice to head towards Lost lad cairn, then make our down towards the Derwent reservoir. We would then follow that to Lady Bower, before cutting back up the hillside again and back to the lay-by.¬†IMG_6990[1]IMG_6989[1]¬†So with our rest over, it was time to carry on, first passing the cakes of bread, which do stand out quite a lot on the relatively flat terrain, before eventually reaching Back Tor. At the top of Back Tor is a trig point, so for me, like many others (i hope) it was time for a trig point photograph. It was extremely windy at the top, and whilst taking the photo, i also decided to record some video footage. For this i had to try and hide in the shelter of the trig pillar, as otherwise all that would have been heard was the wind noise. The views however were pretty amazing, as the top of Back Tor was the highest we had been on the journey so far. Looking around i could see most of the walk we had already done, and also the Lost Lad cairn was now in view. Before setting off for the cairn, we had a good look around the rock formations of Back Tor, with both of us agreeing it would have been a cool place to bivvy up for the night, though perhaps not in this wind. It was only a short trip from Back Tor to the Lost Lad cairn, and we made short work of the mainly down hill walk. Next to the cairn is also a viewing point, with the usual platform and metal disc, designating various landmarks and their distance from our location.¬†Lost lad also has a bit of history to it, not that i know the exact full story, so for a better account see links in my YouTube video to Dean Reads or Andrew Beavers videos, who tell a ¬†far better account than i can. For what i do know though, is that a long time ago, a young shepherd boy got lost on the hills in very bad weather, and subsequently died. His body was then found in the following spring, with the words “Lost Lad”written on a near-by rock.¬†IMG_6993[1]IMG_6994[1]¬†So after telling Dan the story of Lost Lad, it was time to head back down in to the valley towards the reservoir as i had planned earlier. We had nearly two miles of open moorland to cross. This bit of the journey was pretty featureless, with my eyes mainly fixed on the distant landmarks visible on the horizon. We slogged this section out, and we were soon at the top of Walkers clough, with amazing views of Derwent reservoir. It was then i realised how low it seemed, now i’m no expert on how high the level should be for this time of year, but it didn’t seem that long ago it was high enough to be flowing over the Derwent Dam wall. With as much of the view soaked in as my eyes could take, we made our way down the clough to the reservoir.¬†IMG_6998[1]¬†IMG_6997[1]¬†Once at bottom of the clough, it became more apparent how low the level was. We followed the path towards the dam wall, and after around fifteen minutes, we arrived at the bridge at the base of Hollin clough. The stream that would normally flow under the bridge was all but dry, so we decided to head down the side of it, and into the reservoir. We made our way to the new waters edge and found a small ruin of an old building. I have no idea what it would have been, but where we were stood would have been at least fifteen foot deep under water if the reservoir was full. We made our way back out of the reservoir, and carried on to the dam wall. On reaching it we made our way down the steps at the side to get a better view. It was a really impressive sight, and anyone who finds themselves in the area should definitely check the reservoirs out. As a small side note, Derwent reservoir was used by pilots in 617 squadron during the second world war to practise the low level flights needed for the “Dam Buster” raids on the German Dams. ¬†IMG_7008[1]¬†IMG_7010[1]¬†Leaving Derwent reservoir behind, we then came upon Lady Bower reservoir. This we would follow as far as Grindle clough, which was the point we would head back up the hillside, and back towards the lay-by. At roughly just over half way to the clough, we came across a sign that told us about the old Derwent village. This village had been abandoned and was demolished to make way for the creation of the reservoir in 1943 . Originally they had left the church tower standing, and at low levels you could see it sticking out of the water. Though it was then demolished long before i was born in 1947, no doubt due to health and safety concerns. IMG_7014[1]¬†IMG_7013[1]¬†Leaving the site of the old village, it wasn’t long before we reached the base of Grindle clough. After spending the last four or so miles walking downhill or on level ground, it was a bit of a shock to the legs to be going back steeply uphill again. Whilst time was getting on now, it was still quite warm in the sun. That was not to say the sky was completely clear though, in fact there was quite a lot of clouds. We had made it up the clough as far as the shelter, and then those clouds decided to start raining. Not really heavy, but enough for me to decided to put my waterproofs back on. This was all we needed, just when i thought we had been lucky enough to avoid all the rain. We carried on up the path, waiting for it to get heavier, but it never happened. In fact, it stopped completely, and walking uphill in waterproofs meant that i rapidly started to over heat. So as quick as my waterproofs had been put on, they were soon back off again, ah well, its better to be safe than sorry. We were soon back on our way again, and taking a look behind us, we admired the view of the valley below, where we had been only moments before.¬†IMG_7016[1]¬† As we followed the path higher, we soon reached the top. This was a familiar spot, it was the path junction where we had turned for Derwent edge earlier in the day. This meant we was almost back at the car after a great day out. The walk had been a lot longer than i had originally planned for, not that this was a problem, but our legs were certainly feeling it. We followed the same route back as we had come up at the beginning, ¬†passing the long line of grouse butts, and we were soon walking back down Highshaw clough towards Cutthroat bridge. From here it was only a few hundred meters to the lay-by.¬†IMG_7018[1]¬†Well back in the lay-by, i checked my tracker, and we’d covered just over eleven miles, quite a few more than the six or so i told Dan we’d be doing……sorry Dan ūüėČ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† All in all it was a awesome walk, and my first time at Derwent edge, and i will no doubt be going back again in the future. We were really lucky with the weather, and who knows, maybe one day i’ll do a trip without forgetting something.

So here ends another blog, i really hope you enjoyed it.  A massive thank you if you made it this far through, and as always this blog is available as a video on my YouTube account, follow the link on the side menu under social. So thanks again for reading, and until next time, goodbye.

Regards Mark

White Peak – Middleton top to Harboro rocks

IMG_5565[1]

This journey in the great outdoors starts at Middleton top car park in Derbyshire. Middleton top is situated on the High peak trail, and is the location of a steam powered winding station on the High peak route. This would have been one of many in the 1800’s. ¬†These winding stations used to haul trains up the steep inclines in their heyday, this one being for the Middleton incline. The railway line is now disused and the High peak trail is now a popular walking and cycling route. As i approached the pay and display machine in the car park, cash in hand, readying to lighten my load, i notice on its display the words “not in use”. Now this would normally please me greatly, ¬†but when i know i’m going to be away from my car for a extended period of time, i can’t help but think, what happens if the machine magically repairs itself and i find myself with a ticket when i get back. So i decided to whip out my phone and quickly take a picture to prove that the machine wasn’t ¬†working when I arrived. I then hurried back to the car to change into my walking boots, and gave my cousin Dan the good news about the parking fee. ¬†So with boots on feet, and rucksacks on backs we set off, on what was to be around a 7 mile circular walk. The route we were going to walk was one i had done previously with my parents when i was a lot younger and smaller, and i can still remember how my legs were aching on the way back. So i was quite excited to do the walk now, happy that my legs were now more than up to the challenge of the day ahead. As we made our way past the old quarry and up through the first field, it soon became apparent that we may not have the weather on our side. As nice as it looked, with the sun shining beautifully in the sky, there was a fierce wind to go with it, and a alarming amount of black clouds on most horizons, threatening in the distance.¬†IMG_5567[1]

Well it wasn’t long before we met with some of the clouds and their contents. We were around a mile or so into the journey, passing the top of the now disused intake quarry. I had stopped to record some footage for my YouTube video, when it started to snow, typical i thought, but luckily for us, we were right on the edge of it and missed the worst of the inclement weather. As quick as it came, it soon passed, i suppose that is one benefits of having high winds, it blows the bad weather away quicker. As we continued on, the land and trees provided a small respite from the incoming wind. When out of the wind, you could really feel the heat from the sun, and it was very welcome feeling indeed. We soon passed the first farm, and being careful not to get in his way whilst the farmer was using his big yellow tractor, i placed my camera down on my tripod to shoot a walk by for my video. As i went to retrieve it, he started talking to me, ¬†at first he thought i was filming for A university, then i told him about my YouTube channel, we had a great conversation together, then we said our goodbyes and we left him to finish his work. Shortly after leaving him i realised id taken us on a a wrong turn,¬†when the road appeared in front of us. There were no roads on the route i had planned, I quickly checked the map, found where we were and corrected accordingly. After a quick detour past a industrial processing area, we were soon back on the right path. This next part of the path saw us go back up hill again, through a sheep filled field, which was very steep, but thankfully quite short. As the path leveled out, a good number of wind turbines came in to view, and as we drew closer, it became clear that our path was going to take us right next to them. I have seen a lot of these wind turbines over the years, but i have never been as close to them before, and¬†we were about to be literally right next to them very soon . As i mentioned before it was a very windy day, so i imagine that the turbines were in full flow, and the whooshing noises they made as the immense blades sliced through the air was very impressive indeed. We stood and watched them in awe for some time, taking photos and video footage, whilst soaking up the sun that was still shining brilliantly in the sky.¬†IMG_5570[1]IMG_5571[1]

After leaving the wind turbines behind, the path took a steady decent, and took us out ¬†the worst of the wind. It wasn’t long before Harboro rocks came into view on the horizon to our left, this was roughly the half way point on the walk, and our chosen location for our lunch. We carefully chose the correct path up to Harboro rocks to the trig point, which you could just see from where we were. Between us and the top was another farm building, and from the map, it wasn’t 100% clear which side we should pass it on to stay on the path. As we got closer i saw the way marker and a gate, puzzle solved. The farmer then came out with his dog, a small coffee coloured pug, who ran up to greet us, as the farmer jokingly shouted “he’s not been fed for a week”. I laughed, and told him my partners brother has a dog exactly the same. After a little chat, we said goodbye to the farmer, and proceeded through the gate and started the climb up to the top of Harboro rocks. It was only a short walk to the top, passing over two stiles and puffing and panting our way up the steep final 100 meters or so. Standing at the trig point, which is 379 meters above sea level, the view of the surrounding area was very good in the clear conditions. However, what wasn’t as good, was the immense wind that kept threatening to blow us off our feet if we weren’t careful. Yes it really was that bad, you could almost lean into it and not fall over. We both took a few photos, and i got a bit of video footage done, which was extremely hard in the wind. Then we both decided to retire to the westerly side of the hill out of the wind to eat our lunch.¬†IMG_5573[1]¬†After lunch we passed back over the top of Harboro rocks, down the other side towards the High peak trail. Before reaching the trail we investigated some old ruins part way down the hillside, which i now believe to be old mining ruins, though very little is actually known about them, the area is known to have been mined for lead over the years. After the little investigation, we headed onto the High peak trail and back towards Middleton top, which according to the nearby sign post, was only 2 miles away, which seemed really close, but then¬†the trail is more of a direct route back, so off we went. On the way back we passed a rusty old cylinder lodged in the bank side. It looked like the body of a steam engine, and in fact it turned out to be an old boiler from a wooden winding house for the Hopton incline. Nothing is left of the old building anymore, just the boiler, as the winding house was demolished in favour of lessening the incline. This was to enable the trains to tackle the incline under their own steam in the late 1800′ s. ¬†IMG_5575[1]¬†Shortly after reaching the bottom of Hopton incline, we passed through a tunnel and came up to the base of intake quarry, the top of which we had been at earlier in the day, when we’d had the brief snow shower. A nearby information board informed us that the police sometimes used the quarry for live ammunition training, so probably best not to wander in there anytime, just in case. ¬†This now left less than a mile, which we soon¬†covered, and before we knew it, the familiar sight of Middleton top visitor center ¬†was in full view, with the winding house’s distinct chimney looming behind it.¬†IMG_5577[1]¬†We both had a really great day out on a thoroughly enjoyable walk, in what was, apart from the wind, very good weather. So here ends the latest blog, which I hope you have enjoyed reading, i would certainly recommend doing this walk to anyone finding themselves local to the Matlock area. Also a big thank you to all my followers on here, it really means a lot to me, and to anyone interested you can also watch the video to this walk on my YouTube channel, link to my channel on the home page under social. Please feel free to comment, and thanks again for enjoying my content,

Regards           Mark IMG_5579[1]