Today I went for a cracking 10.5 miles walk with my walking partner in crime Kev. We planned to do the Crook Hill but spontaneously decided to visit Alport Castles too.
We parked at the free lay-by just before the Fairholmes Visitor Centre. Starting our walk, we took the path up the woods towards the Hagg Farm. This route is gradually steep so better on your feet but still good for your heart :-).
Leaving the woods we appeared on a crossroad with stunning views. It was left to Crook Hill and straight ahead to Alport Castles. I have never been to either of them and as I had time and didn’t have to pick my son up from school we decided to add the Alport castles to our route.
The weather was a bit dull at the start but surprisingly at this point it the sun came out. It was crisp, cold and sunny. Perfect weather conditions really.
The paved path to Alport Castles is not that interesting but when we approached it we were in for a treat!
The Alport Castles are a landslip feature in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire. At over half a mile long, it is thought to be the largest landslide in the United Kingdom.
The name “castles” comes from the debris from the landslide, which has produced several gritstone mounds that tower over the valley and appear from the distance to look like castles. Viewed from a distance the largest of these, the “Tower”, resembles a full-scale motte and bailey castle.
The Alport Castles are on the eastern side of the River Alport valley, part of the National Trust’s High Peak Estate; they lie north of the Snake Pass and north-west of Ladybower Reservoir.
We stopped for lunch and just enjoyed the stunning views.
We finished our lunch and decided to go back to the “crossroad” and carry on to the Crook Hill. Amazingly, the weather changed so dramatically in over a minute! Never underestimate nature!
We wanted to take more photos but it was completely misty and white everywhere. Basically, all you could see was NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING. (No point for me to show you a white rectangular photo ;-)).
Arriving at the “Crossroads” we carried onto the Crook Hill.
Crook Hill is regarded as an outlier of Kinder Scout although the two are separated by the long western arm of Ladybower Reservoir. The hill has twin summits, the highest of which reaches a modest height of 382 metres (1,253 ft) while the secondary top attains an altitude of 374 metres (1,227 ft).
Both the hill’s summits give excellent views of the surrounding countryside with Ladybower Reservoir, Derwent Edge and Win Hill being the main attractions.
We then started to descent via Crookhill Farm, a working sheep farm owned by the National Trust which also offers accommodation to tourists.
It was getting darker and darker..
Finally, we finished the walk in complete darkness at around 5 pm. There is no light pollution so the area around Ladybower reservoir gets quite black. Glad Kev had a torch! 🙂
What a marvellous day it was. It is a nice, varied walk and finishing in the dark just added a bit more of an adventure to it.
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