Bleaklow offers some excellent walks and this Peak District route used minor paths to explore Higher Shelf Stones, Bleaklow and Grains in the Water.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Cross the road and drop down the path into the woods to a footbridge. Turn right and follow a marked trail up through the dense conifers of Lady Clough, a Scottish glen in miniature. Keep on the path once the woods end but eventually you are forced up the bank onto the road. Thankfully it is only a short hop along to the Doctor's Gate lay-by (Grid ref SK095928) where a signposted path leads up a hollow then across the moor to the junction with the Pennine Way at Old Woman. This sudden arrival onto the high moors is a grand moment; a wide view suddenly opens up with Kinder dominating to the south and Higher Shelf Stones rearing up to the north.
(1) The usual way up Higher Shelf Stones follows the Pennine Way but a quieter and more scenic alternative can be found by descending slightly to a cairn above Crooked Clough then taking a trod on its lip. This gives tremendous views down the Shelf Brook to Glossop and over to Higher Shelf Stones, looking quite a mountain indeed. Keep heading up Crooked Clough until you near two waterfalls at its head (Grid ref. SK093942) then descend and cross the top of them before striking over the pathless slopes of Gathering Hill. By aiming slightly left of the summit you gain the south ridge and follow it spectacularly up to the summit.
(2) At 2038ft Higher Shelf Stones is the third highest summit in Peakland and arguably the most "mountain like", with its massive drop into the Shelf Valley and airy rocky top. It's also a tremendous viewpoint with the Carneddau being visible on a clear day, to the east a succession of endless flowing ridges. Leave the top by aiming for the Hern Stones but veer right slightly to visit the famous plane wreck and pay one's respects. On a cold misty day there is a very supernatural feel to this place.
It's a slow walk over the plateau to the Hern Stones and it's usually excessively damp but glorious nonetheless, the true epitome of these wild Pennine moors. From the Hern Stones head uphill to the Wain Stones then follow a line of cairns to the huge cairn and stake on Bleaklow Head, at 2077ft the second highest summit after Kinder, though the highest point is actually an unmarked knoll to the west. A poor viewpoint that sadly does not do justice to this magnificent mountain, it is best to leave the safety of Pennine Way and begin the traverse to Bleaklow Stones where time is better spent.
(3) Aim slightly south of east to pick up a line of stakes along the summit ridge towards Bleaklow Hill. In mist a compass is essential but in clear weather navigation is remarkably easy weaving around and over peat hags. Bleaklow Hill is a minor rise at 2066ft marked by a little cairn, a lonely and desolate spot in the heart of the Bleaklow wilderness. From here Bleaklow Stones comes into view and by following the stakes the top at 2060ft is reached quite quickly. Now this makes up for the disappointment of Bleaklow Head! With bizarrely eroded rock standing stark and exposed overlooking a phenomenal view stretching from Penyghent and the North York Moors to Crich Cliff and out over the Cheshire Plain with a foreground of empty moors. Here the unique "Bleaklow magic" is felt more than at any other place, it is a truly special spot, unashamedly remote and hostile. It is my Shangri La.
(4) Descend from south-south-west from Bleaklow Stones, picking up a trod at about 1900ft which contours across Westend Head to Alport Head where you should turn down the infant stream following it down into the secluded bowl Grains in the Water (Grid ref. SK105947), one of the most enchanting spots on Bleaklow.
(5) Ford the stream issuing from Hern Clough and climb up a rough pathless slope onto the open moor then aim south east towards a 541m spot height and a small but pretty little tarn (Grid ref. SK106944). Aim now for the 538m spot height on Over Wood Moss, a very rough crossing with no navigational aids, much harder going than on the main ridge of Bleaklow. Swinging around to the south, its top has a few small pools and a lovely retrospective view of Bleaklow straddling the northern skyline. Continue south over ground far wetter and slow going than the main summit ridge: it is these moors which are the real test. Eventually you'll hit the edge of the moor with a beautiful view over Lady Clough to Fairbrook Naze, descend slightly and pick up the path which leads steeply but most conveniently down to the lay-by and the car(D/A).
Note - an equally delightful return from Grains in the Water can be made be following the River Alport downstream then turning up Nether Reddale Clough onto the moor, rejoining the main route near the 521m spot height (Grid ref. SK112926).
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 1227ft
1 : mi 1.95 - alt. 1693ft - Old Woman
2 : mi 3.4 - alt. 2005ft - Higher Shelf Stones
3 : mi 4.18 - alt. 2060ft - Bleaklow Head
4 : mi 5.79 - alt. 2044ft - Bleaklow Stones, go south
5 : mi 7.05 - alt. 1657ft - Ford the stream
D/A : mi 9.66 - alt. 1257ft
This is one of the loveliest and wildest walks on Bleaklow, my favorite 2000ft'er, escaping quickly from the confines of the valleys for the sanctuary of high moors and traversing the main summit ridge. It's a rough, boggy, wild and lonely walk with tricky navigation in places - all that is best about Bleaklow.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
This Peak District walk on the quieter side of Kinder Scout provides the basis for a great day outdoors.The outward route takes you onto the plateau crossing wild moorland. Once Kinder Downfall is reached you can enjoy a downhill walk in some of the best scenry in this part of the National Park.
This Peak District walk starts from Birchen Clough and follows Fair Brook onto the Kinder Scout Plateau. Following the northern edge of the plateau there are good views towards Bleaklow. The final section of the walk follows the Snake Path from Ashop Head back to the start.
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!
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.
Grindsbrook and Edale Head are two of the highlights of this Peak District walk from Edale. Superb walking high above Edale on the Kinder Scout Plateau provides excellent views over this part of Derbyshire. Choose a good day for this route as poor weather makes navigation tricky.
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.
This ridge walk is a very popular excursion mainly because of the excellent views.
This Peak District walk starts from Edale village and climbs onto Kinder Scout via Ringing Roger. The route provides rough moorland walking on relatively quiet paths and includes Upper Grindsbrook, Crowden Brook and Edale Cross before descending Jacob's Ladder on the return to Edale.
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