SCoM Summer Walk, Dark Peak - July 4th 2010

By Steve Wardle

Following a pleasant drive over the Snake Pass a rather small but select group (OK - three men and a dog) met in the car park by Ladybower reservoir.

We set off on time and made our way NW along the reservoir before ascending Hagg Side. Turning south we went down hill to to cross the A57 then the River Ashop at Haggwater Bridge. After a short climb we were heading north west again over Crookstone Hill eventually joining Jaggers Clough for a few metres. If the short section we walked up was typical coming all the way up by that route would have been much harder work.

We continued west to the Druid's Stone, thinking of taking a lunch break there. This afforded no shelter from the stiff breeze so we turned north and headed across the open Moor to the Madwoman's Stones. Luckily the recent dry weather meant the normally boggy Moor was easy to traverse so it took little time.

After our snack we descended, passing the shooting cabin and following the line of hides, into Upper Ashop and back across the river at Rowlee Bridge. Another climb followed, past Rowlee farm and Bellhagg Barn eventually bringing us back above Hagg Side after crossing our earlier path.

At this point the party split with one heading east back down to the car park while the remainder continued south east over Bridge-end Pasture and through Crookhill Farm to meet the road. From there we walked back up by the reservoir side to the car park.

The full figure of eight route took 6 hours in total so we were back at the car park by 3.30pm having covered just over 18km.

The forecast rain didn't materialise while we were out walking and the weather overall was very good.

Unfortunately the date clashed with holidays and the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride so many of the "regulars" were absent but it was still an enjoyable walk.

Thanks to David Shepherd for organising it.