Alport Castles from Fairholme

This Peak District Walk starts from Fairholme and includes Ladybower and Derwent resevoirs, a moorland section and the dramatic Alport Castles where a large landslip was the cause of the current scenic interest.

Technical sheet
No. 292955
A Hope Woodlands walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 06/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h00[?]
Distance Distance : 8.81mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1102ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1086ft
Highest point Highest point : 1568ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 722ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Peak District
Location Location : Hope Woodlands
Starting point Starting point : N 53.40044° / W 1.74312°
Download : -


(D/A) After parking head back to the road and walk north with the dam wall of the Derwent Reservoir on your right. Used as a practice area for the Lancaster bombers popularly known as the "Dambusters" there is a memorial to the aircrew. (There is also a small museum to the Dambusters aircrew, which is open on most weekends. There is no admission charge although donations are welcome.) Stay on the road, which offers good views across to Back Tor and Margery Hill to reach another dam which holds back the waters of Howden Reservoir.

(1) The majority of the road walking is over and turning west you reach a sharp bend in the road where it doubles back on itself. Just before the bridge over the river turn left along a forest track. After two hundred metres turn left again to join a signed footpath that climbs steadily out of the plantation and on to the moors. Reaching open country the views improve dramatically in all directions especially to the east and north. Stay with this footpath/track to reach Alport Castles. Formed from a massive landslip the location is quite dramatic with a superb view up the valley containing the River Alport towards Bleaklow.

(2) From Alport Castles turn south and follow the ridge path. This descends steadily to bring you to a cross-roads of paths at the western end of Hagg Side Plantation. Here you follow the southern edge of the wood for just under a kilometre to reach a fork in the path (grid ref. 171886) where you turn east and descend to the shores of Ladybower Reservoir. Rather than follow the road take the path that skirts the shore of the reservoir. This is a far more pleasant way to regain your transport at Fairholme(D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 758ft - Fairholme car park
1 : mi 2.43 - alt. 951ft - Turn west
2 : mi 4.57 - alt. 1539ft - Alport Castles - Turn south
D/A : mi 8.81 - alt. 764ft

Useful Information

The area around the Derwent valley just north of the A57 from Sheffield to Glossop offers a good starting point for many excellent walks. The starting point, Fairholme car park, is often busy and at peak times (weekends and bank holidays) the road alongside the reservoir is closed to traffic north of this point. This does have benefits as the road walking is surprisingly pleasant on traffic free days. Fairholme also offers an information centre, bike hire, a refreshment kiosk and toilets.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 4.2/5
Number of opinions : 5
Description quality : 4.2/5
Routemap quality : 4.2/5
Walk interest : 4.2/5

on Mon 06 Sep 2021 17:02:00 CEST

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 01/08/21
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Good

From Fairholme car park a good walk taking in views of the reservoir and dams, steepish climb up onto the heather clad top, great views and so peaceful, fun to watch the birds and see the strange formation of rocks of Alport Castles - great for rock climbing.

on Mon 30 Sep 2019 16:51:22 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 29/09/19
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

This was a taxing walk made even more problematic because of truly adverse weather conditions - mainly heavy rain - which made the hill paths virtual mountain streams.
It was a simple walk to navigate and the details on the website regarding map, ascent, descent,length of walk, time taken to do it - were accurate. I would do this walk again in better weather conditions because the views were obscured by rain and mist. Your description needs to mention that to park at Fairholmes car park for more than 2 hours will cost £5 (Cost for all day parking). To avoid this charge, mention should be made of the various parking lay bys after the "cattle grid", which seem to be free and without a ticket machine but with limited space.

on Mon 09 Jul 2018 09:25:06 CEST

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 17/06/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

A lovely walk on Father's day,

on Mon 18 Jun 2018 09:29:55 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 17/06/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

Father's Day 2018: me & my 71 yr old dad did this walk in reverse; starting @ the pay + display carpark(£3), climbing up the graded path towards Hagg Farm.
A lovely walk which included us both descending + scrambling up the Alport Castles detour off the main path. Approx 10 miles when back at the car.
A great day, a memorable Father's day. Thanks

on Wed 04 Apr 2018 22:52:53 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 24/03/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

We were a party of 17 adults of various ages above the half century mark. Staying at the Lockerbrook outdoor centre. I was looking for a walk that was interesting but not too strenuous. Also ideally it needed to encompass the centre. This walk was spot on in all departments. I did decide to do it in reverse to give our party the chance to get the highest climb out of the way whilst still fresh.
Usually I try to encompass a pub on route for a refreshment stop, this one did technically have a pub but unfortunately it was in Tin Town and had closed its doors about a century previously ha ha.
Great day though, thanks again hikideas.
Steve (little skip)

Other walks in the area

distance 6.51mi Vertical gain +630ft Vertical drop -627ft Durée 3h35 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Hope Woodlands - Derbyshire

A hill walk followed by a stroll along the reservoir makes this a worthwhile outing.

distance 6.5mi Vertical gain +1178ft Vertical drop -1191ft Durée 4h00 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Hope Woodlands - Derbyshire

This Peak District walk comes with a warning as it's not suitable for those who don't like scrambling along the side of vertical banks or who are not happy crossing streams. It is undoubtedly easier to do the walk by going up Blackden Brook - rather than coming down it - and it is easier in good, dry weather. The reward is some great views!

Win Hill & Hope Cross
distance 7.91mi Vertical gain +1211ft Vertical drop -1211ft Durée 4h40 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Bamford - Derbyshire

Win Hill occupies a strategic position and as such offers great views over the heart of the Peak District.

Win Hill from Hope
distance 6.7mi Vertical gain +892ft Vertical drop -892ft Durée 3h50 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Hope (Derbyshire) - Derbyshire

A rewarding ascent of a Peak District hill that offers fine views into Edale. An ascent of Win Hill includes a stiff climb onto the ridge but otherwise this a an easy and relaxing walk.

Castleton Ridge from Hope village
distance 7.92mi Vertical gain +1424ft Vertical drop -1401ft Durée 4h55 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Hope (Derbyshire) - Derbyshire

The Castleton Ridge in Derbyshire is one of the great ridge walks in the Peak District. Starting from Hope the walk includes Lose Hill and Mam Tor before returning via Castleton to the start.

distance 9.64mi Vertical gain +1683ft Vertical drop -1686ft Durée 5h55 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Edale - Derbyshire

This Peak District walk starts from Edale and explores Rushup Edge, Brown Knoll, Edale Cross, Crowden Tower and Grindslow Knoll. The route contains many of the key features of this dramatic part of the Derbyshire Peak district and should be saved for a fine day.

distance 8.55mi Vertical gain +1519ft Vertical drop -1545ft Durée 5h15 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Edale - Derbyshire

This ridge walk is a very popular excursion mainly because of the excellent views.

Hope Cross & Ringing Roger from Edale
distance 7.5mi Vertical gain +1424ft Vertical drop -1404ft Durée 4h40 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Edale - Derbyshire

A Peak District walk that explores the eastern end of the Kinder plateau. Starting from Edale the route follows the slopes of Kinder to reach Hope Cross. From here the walk continues to gain height and follows a high level route for the return via Ringing Roger to Edale.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.