Saturday, 30 June 2012

My First Visit to the Peak District

Peter on Mam Tor Trig Point
Peter had to cancel one of his weekend workshops which meant we would have a weekend free together. “Where are you taking me?” I demanded! His answer was a weekend camping in Hope, Derbyshire with two days walking. I got really excited about this, as I haven’t been to the Peak District before. I was like a kid waiting for Christmas.

Last year went camping in the Lake District which wasn’t the best of experiences, because our old bones didn’t like resting on the ground and we didn’t sleep much. So this time we had a cunning plan……… Camp beds!

We arrived Friday night, and set up camp at the Laneside Caravan Park where our little tent looked out of place amongst the caravans and glampers. After a good night’s sleep, we woke to a dry Saturday morning, and after coffee and biscuits for breakfast, (well….. they were oat biscuits), Peter drove us to the start of our first walk. Parking just below Mam Tor, we booted up and set off.
The path to Hollins Cross and then Back Tor
A few things surprised and pleased me. The first was the little engraved stones in the path on the way up, which I thought were delightful. The second was how quickly it was that we got to the Trig Point of Mam Tor, but then, we’d driven most of the way. And the third thing that surprised me was the path itself. I know that the land has to be protected because walkers can grind the path down into a trench by sheer numbers, and that stones are laid to prevent this. But I suppose I wasn’t expecting so much of our route to be paved. Personally I prefer to walk on grass, as you have to watch your feet on these sort of paths, and can’t lift your head much to look at your surroundings.

The weather was good. Nice and dry and even a little bit of sun as we walked From Mam Tor on to Hollins Cross then down across the valley floor into Edale. We even stopped for a bacon sandwich and a cup of coffee.
Then it was up the other side onto Kinder Scout via Grindsbrook Clough.

Well, I say walked. There isn’t much walking up Grindsbrook Clough, more along the lines of a clamber up the rocks and boulders of Grinds Brook.

As we climbed, the sky darkened, and we started to get the odd spot of rain. Peter put on his little packaway wetproof. I had a fight with my poncho...... We eventually got to the top and took a well earned rest, enjoyed the view and had a bite to eat.

We set off again. Not across Kinder Scout, though Peter tells me it’s fun, sort of, if you have wellies or maybe a set of waders and a compass, but we did walk along the edge to Noe Stool. Now the weather got really miserable. The wind picked up and the rain came down. Peter put on his little packaway wetproof. I had a fight with my poncho again, but now it proved to be worth it. I was all snug and warm inside whilst Peter got wet. We were still on mostly paved path, but sadly I never got to see the various rock formations along the edge properly. The weather was appalling and we didn’t lift our heads much. Getting a camera out was even more unlikely. I did manage a view pictures though.

We got to Noe Stool and headed around the top of Edale Vale via Brown Knoll and Horsehill Tor to Rushup edge, leaving the stone path behind us. The cold wind and rain continued and here I got a taste of the peak bogs. Our path was completely waterlogged and Peter and I had to zigzag our way across the moor to try and at least keep our lower legs dry, (our feet were already soaked). Now I know why so much of the paths up here are paved. All of a sudden I really like those paving stones, they are truly wonderful, they stop you sinking into the wet blackness!
The walk from Brown Knoll to Rushup edge was really tiring, and we very relieved to finally reach the good sandy path which would take us back to our car.
The path along Rushup Edge, taken earlier in the day, in dry weather!
And then the rain stopped, and the wind eased off, and we were able to enjoy the last part of our walk with views across the Vale of Edale and Hope Valley.

Our route


  1. Lovely. Been on Lord's Seat on Rushup Edge and Mam Tor for the Great Ridge walk a couple of times now and they are wonderful in good weather. IIRC If you carry on along the whole ridge towards Lose Hill the paving stops after Hollin's Cross.

    Really must cross the valley to Kinder one day though...
    Thanks for the photos.

  2. Nice report and pics!

    This is an area quite familiar to me as I grew up not too far from there. The Peak District has it's fans and it's detractors amongst walkers, but - and I admit I'm a bit biased - I think it is still one of the best walking destinations in the UK, despite it's closeness to major connurbations and the enormous number of people that visit every year.

    The question is: will you be going again?

  3. Super piccies. It's been years since I've visited the Peaks.