It’s very rare that I walk at weekends, not because I’m alergic to the crowds but mainly due to family commitments. This weekend however everyone in the family had plans except me so I was pleased when an invite came through to my inbox. My twitter friend Martin Rye @Rye1966 from http://www.summitandvalley.com was heading out for a weekends backpacking in the Peak District with Andy Walker @akkw1803 from http://akkwalks.blogspot.co.uk. I couldn’t make the whole weekend so I decided to join them both for a day of wandering through some of the best scenery the Peak District has to offer.
I arrived at the Yorkshire Bridge Inn at around 9am, the roadside parking was already really packed but luckily I managed to find a spot on the road back towards Bamford. I had made it there with plenty of time to kill so put my boots on, laid back and listened to the radio. Martin and Andy arrived at around 10am and after a very quick route planning session we were off on our way along the side of Ladybower Reservoir… We headed over Ashopton Viaduct, up towards Crook Hill and then over the moors towards Rowlee Pasture.
Rowlee Pasture is another one of my favourite spots, from there you get some great views along the woodlands valley and also so great view towards Bleaklow in the north. I was here a year or so ago with my mate Andy and we were battered by the strongest winds I have get experienced. Mother Nature wasn’t quite finished with us either, she also decided to through in some hail with the wind which made it feel like we were being ago blasted 🙂
From Rowlee Pasture we then headed over towards the eastern heights of the Alport Valley, another one of my favourite spots in the Peak. There was a lot of traffic on this section today, ordinarily I’m used to having the place to myself midweek. We passed a coach load of people on our way over towards Alport Castles, we then decided to take shelter from the wind just short of the popular Castles lookout point and have some lunch. While we chatted and ate we watched a dozen or so mountain bikers navigate their way down into the valley, it was rather steep and rather slippery so hats off to them.
You must take the obligatory shot of Alport Castles while your in this part of the world, it is a rather impressive sight and I have visions of one day bivvying up there 🙂
After taking a few images and taking in the view for a moment it was time for us to go our separate ways. Martin and Andy continued on towards Bleaklow, I made my way back slightly and dropped down in to Alport Dale.
I walked down to the river, crossed over the bridge and then began walking down towards the Snake Road. In no time at all I had crossed the busy road and was ankle deep in the Ashop River. There is no bridge over this section of the river, they are doing some alterations to the waterworks here. When I was passing through around a year ago I stopped and asked one of the surveyors what was happening. He said that they are doing improvement works to the trench that runs along the edge of the river, it is used to catch the majority of the sediment that flows down off the moors so it doesn’t reach the Ladybower Reservoir. They were planning to dredge the trench and make further improvements. It looks to be an ongoing thing, even though there were no signs of action today there looked to be lots of heavy plant machinery parked up.
After crossing the river Ashop I picked up the old Roman Road that carries you up and over the eastern flanks of Kinder Scout towards Hope Cross.
While I was at Hope Cross I finished off recording a review of the Terra Nova Discovery Bivi/Bivy/Bivvy. I had started the review while up on Kirk Fell in the Lake District but today I had my old Army Gore-Tex Bivvy with me for a comparison.
After I’d finished recording my review of the Terra Nova Bivvy I continued along towards Win Hill, I passed a group of 30 or so kids sat having a rest who then began heading the same direction as I was shortly after I passed. The silence was shattered for the next 30 or so minutes as I was followed by a coach load of hyper active school kids, I intentionally kicked it up a gear and walked as fast as I could to regain some tranquility 🙂
Once again this is another great section for views, from Hope Cross to Win Hill you firstly get great views into the Vale of Edale and then down in to the Hope Valley. Lose Hill slowly hides and then reveals a new side to the Great Ridge as you make your way along. I could see another large group of people at the summit of Lose Hill, it certainly was a great day to be out.
In no time at all (mainly because I’d picked up the pace to shake of the following noisy kids) I arrived up on the summit of Win Hill. Great views in all directions once again and I paused here for 10 minutes or so, I ate the remainder of my provisions, took a few snaps and said hello to the other folks at the trig as I made my way off the rocky top. I could really feel the days exertions in my right knee today, I injured it at work at many years ago and it is always the first place to show signs that it’s been a big day out walking. I made my way steadily down Parkin Clough, the route down here is tough on the knees at the best of times so I took it easy.
Before I knew it I was back down and making my way along the Ladybower Reservoir wall. It had been another great day in the Peak District with some great company. It was great to meet up with Martin and Andy as they are both great chaps. We spoke about the TGO challenge as they are both seasoned pros with multiple crossings under their belts, I’ve got unfinished business with the Pennine Way but the TGO Challenge is definitely something I’d like to attempt. Thanks for taking the time to read, I didn’t have my DSLR with me today so all the images were taken with my iPhone 4S.