20110320_Midland Hill Walkers_West East Traverse of The Peak District–4_B-walk
Who : Midland Hill Walkers – Walking Club
Where : Peak District from Ladybower Reservoir to outskirts of Sheffield, Derbyshire/Yorkshire, England.
Map : Ordnance Survey OS Explorer Map OL1 The Peak District Dark Peak area.
Start Point : SK 169 872
End Point : SK 285 863
Approx Distance : 10 miles, (16 km)
Heights climbed: 2180 ft (about 665m) including all the gentle bits as well as the more strenuous hills.
Summary : The Midland Hill Walkers B-Walk, March-2011 starting at Ladybower Reservoir and taking in Crook Hill ; Ashopton ; Jarvis Clough ; Moscar Moor ; Crow Chin ; High Neb ; Stanage Edge ; Stanedge Pole ; Redmires Reservoirs ; Hallam Moors ; Rivelin Dams and finishing at Lodge Moor on the outskirts of Sheffield.
This was the Midland Hill Walkers March outing in 2011 and marked the final leg of a series of walks crossing The Peak District from West to East. The 1st walk (which I missed) I think started near The Roaches and finished in The Goyt Valley. The next two legs were Goyt Valley to Peak Forest and then Peak Forest to Ladybower Reservoir; then followed this final leg from Ladybower to the outskirts of Sheffield at Lodge Moor.
As with all MHW walks, the coach left Kenilworth almost dead on 7:00 a.m. which had meant getting up very early to be out of the house before 6:30. Rather than go through all the blurb about car parks, timings, etc. please use these links to see my earlier posts about the MHW and the MHW’s own web-site.
Having left Kenilworth, we headed up to and through Sheffield to cross into The Peak District on the A57 Manchester Road, dropping down to Ladybower Reservoir and then taking The Snake Road (still the A57) up the western arm of the pretty man-made lake, to pull in at a lay-by in The Woodlands Valley, sort of no-where in particular. This was to be the start point for both the A and B walks with the A-team setting off first, their walk being longer and with an extra amount of climbing when compared with the B-teams route. I’d chosen to do the B-walk this time so had a little more time to retrieve my ruck-sack from the coach’s hold before we all moved off [very carefully] down the side of the fast main road. After a few hundred yards, we crossed the road to pick up a bridleway track climbing steadily through Grimbocar Wood. It wasn’t long before we emerged out of the trees onto an area of rough grassy moorland rising ahead. Immediately out of the trees, the bridle way headed off to the left in a northerly direction (the A-team’s route) but this wasn’t for us. No our route was up towards Crook Hill, the right hand top of two shapely craggy knolls, the gradient remained steady (but not too bad really) with views opening up off to our right and behind from where we’d come.
We soon reached the top of Crook Hill, all congregating along the short summit edge which afforded views in all directions, which demanded a little time to take it all in; which our leader duly allowed before taking us off eastwards, dropping through Crookhill Farm and then downhill on a grassy footpath heading for an attractive multi-arched bridge where the A57 crosses the eastern arm of Ladybower Reservoir. The views remained superb as we descended, passing a large group of children and adults obviously on some kind of field trip as we dropped down the grassy hillside.
Once down at road level, we crossed the bridge (heading due east) which gave more super views across the waters. The lake and its associated higher stretches of water (Upper Derwent Reservoir and Howden Reservoir) were famously used by The Dambusters Squadron for practicing their low level “bouncing bomb” bombing raids, using the dam towers to simulate those on the Ruhr Dams in Germany.
Almost as soon as we were over the bridge, we branched left to join another track (at Ashopton) rising at first and then contouring easily around the hillside on a narrower path (single file only here) with Ladybower below us. Once again there were super views and I liked seeing Bamford Moor/Bamford Edge ahead of us as this brought back some good memories of a week-end a couple of years earlier (helping lead some walks on a church youth week-end away). The path then dropped a small amount to join a much larger bridleway below Ladybower Wood and then immediately started climbing again on the wide track. Looking behind facilitated a final glimpse of the reservoir before a short drop down to the A57 to cross the main road near Cutthroat Bridge (if that name can’t conjure up some strong images in your minds eye then you’ve no imagination).
I can’t remember much about the actual route here, due to being in conversation with a lady in our party but we did pick up an easy track heading into the moors, and looking at my map in hindsight I’m pretty sure it would have been the track immediately below Hordron Edge, swinging round above Jarvis Clough. We had a short refreshment stop in a small stand of trees before heading out into open moorland where the track petered out to become a much narrower path, winding it’s way up the steepening and more wild almost inhospitable slopes of Moscar Moor, heading towards a dark line of crags up above us. One highlight of the reasonably strenuous climb were several grouse flying low away from us with their very distinctive “go-bak-go-bak” calls as our approach spooked them out of the rough vegetation.
We reached the earlier mentioned edge at Crow Chin where the line of craggy rocks is breached by a gap rising up to even more moorland stretching away from us. It was decided the shelter of the edge would be a good place to take our lunch stop, rather than on top of the edge where the breeze was much keener and decidedly chilly. Not that it was particularly warm at the base of the edge and I felt the need to done my fleece whilst finding a place to sit near my sister and bro-in-law. I felt slightly sorry for a small group of climbers who’d had the place to themselves until our rather noisy arrival; but they were quite happy to spend a few moments chatting to me I think welcoming the chance to get out of the chill wind for a short time.
Once refreshed we headed up through the afore mentioned gap through the rock faces and then once on top of the edge we turned right to follow a distinct path running parallel to the edge to soon reach High Neb. This is the highest point along Stanage Edge and also as-it-happens the highest point on today’s walk; a trig point marking this fact and we had a short stop to take in the extensive views.
It was close to here that I couldn’t resist a few lone photo’s of our leader gazing out over the moorland below. He was looking out for the A-team who were now behind us having taken a longer route around the Ladybower and Derwent Moors area. The weather wasn’t conducive to lingering very long so we were soon on the move again, the way ahead now very easy walking; almost dead flat with continuing views (especially to our right), following the line of Stanage Edge in a south-easterly direction, to meet up with a major track called the “Long Causeway”.
There were a lot more people around this area with several different routes approaching/heading off in different directions, including the named “Sheffield Country Walk”. Our route was now eastwards along the major track cutting a wide swathe through the moors to reach Stanedge Pole which became our next regrouping point. The pole marks the point where the medieval Long Causeway crosses the Derbyshire/Yorkshire boundary and a marker has apparently stood here for some 400 years (according to sources on’t’ internet).
After this we continued on the major but still very rough track, designated as a Byway Open to All Traffic according to my OS map. This was being taken advantage of by a couple of 4×4 off roader cars (Range Rovers if memory serves me right) crawling slowly up in the opposite direction and numerous scrambler motor bikes heading both up and down the now very wide right of way. On the whole, although noisy, the riders were considerate to us and to other walkers spread out along the track. I think it’d be safe to say this was the least interesting section of the walk as we dropped quite quickly down the side of some coniferous woods on our left to reach the top of three small lakes making up Redmires Reservoirs.
The track now became a proper surfaced access road, which we followed north, sandwiched between the woods and the waters to reach a car park. It was here we branched left to rise on a footpath alongside a drystone wall. This was our penultimate climb of the day heading away from the reservoir to crest over Brown Edge , cross some duck-boards across a boggy area and then steadily descend across even more moorland northwards towards Head Stone Bank. Off to our right was the city of Sheffield bathed in sunshine, which was nice for those down there, but we could have done with a few more rays up on the high moors.
We’d got quite spread out now, so another regroup was necessary as we swung right on a narrow path dictating single file. We continued to drop over Head Stone Bank into the softer wooded terrain of Reddicar Clough and Wyming Brook Nature Reserve. The vegetation was a vibrant bright-green here and the trees were showing a pretty pinky-red hue; a portent that spring was just about to really emerge from the winters slumbers. Eventually we reached another significant well surfaced track “Wyming Brook Drive”. We turned right onto the drive which soon swung almost a full 180-degrees to continue easily through the woods to eventually reach the corner of the lowest of the two Rivelin Dams reservoirs near Fox Holes Lodge.
We were now less than half a mile from our end point [and a well earned pint] but we had the final and most strenuous climb of the day to negotiate steeply up through the woods of Fox Holes Plantation; not the longest climb of the day, but it really was quite a sting in the tail! …. As we in the B-party reached the top of the rise we kind of merged into the A-team who’d taken a shorter route from Redmires Reservoirs in a bit of perfect timing. It meant we all arrived at the coach and pub at the same time (just outside Lodge Moor on the outskirts of Sheffield). All that remained was to partake of some refreshment from the bar and then have a good old snooze on the coach on the way back down the M1.
Yet another super MHW walk; it’d stayed dry; we’d seen some sunshine and had superb views for much of the route and the West-East Traverse of The Peak District was now complete.
I hope you enjoyed my scribblings ….
Next walk/post = to be decided.