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Lad's Leap & Laddow Rocks from Crowden

Peak District Walk

Nat Park - Peak District - Black Hill Dovestone

County/Area - Derbyshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 6.5 miles / 10.6 km    Ascent - 960 feet / 291 metres

Time - 4 hours 10 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Ordnance Survey Explorer OL1Sheet Map1:25kBUY
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Lad's Leap & Laddow Rocks from Crowden
Click image to visit gallery of 4 images.

This Peak District walk starts at Crowden car park (grid ref. SK072992) on the north side of the busy A628 Manchester to Penistone road in Longendale. Leave the car park by the path that exits north to reach a track that heads west to cross a stream by a substantial bridge. On your left is a house (now a schools outdoor centre). There are many paths in the immediate area and providing an accurate description is almost impossible. However you need to head uphill in the general direction of Lad's Leap (grid ref. 053998). After a short way it becomes more obvious which path to follow. Climbing steadily you leave the traffic noise behind and able to enjoy the ever improving view in peace and quiet.

Soon the path levels off and you have completed most of the ascent for this walk. To the south are excellent views across Longendale, with its many reservoirs, to the Bleaklow plateau with its well defined northern edges. Continuing westwards you reach Lad's Leap, which is a deep rocky clough cut into the moor. Apart from the difficulties in navigating the maze of paths at the beginning of the walk, the going has been easy. this is about to change.

Ideally the next section of the walk should be left for a day after a heavy overnight frost or when there has been a long period of dry weather. if neither of these conditions apply you can be sure the going will be soggy as you cross Rakes Moss. Leaving Lad's Leap head for Rakes Rocks, which are over the horizon. Carefully picking a way across the deep peat of the moor, you are advised to follow a compass bearing. This is easier said than done and in good visibility it is easier to walk north-north-east picking the driest route across the peat.

In winter this area is well known for the large white hares that suddenly appear and you can be excused for thinking you might be in Alice's Wonderland until the initial shock has passed. Reaching Rakes Rocks contour around the moor, negotiating the deeply incised Oaken Clough to reach the Pennine Way. Continue north on Britain's first long-distance footpath as it follows the edge of Laddow Rocks with a precipitous drop to your right. This is a spectacular section of the walk with extensive views in all directions.

As you begin to descend keep a watchful eye on the path running parallel to the Pennine Way below you in the valley. This is your return route and at grid reference 061025 you need to turn around at an indistinct junction to follow the lower path as it skirts along the base of Laddow Rocks. Heading south the return route is easy to follow although it seems longer than it really is back to Crowden car park.

Other walks nearby

Walk 2625 Torside Clough from Longdendalemoderate4.5 miles
Walk 3027 Bleaklow Head from Longdendalemoderate8.0 miles
Walk 3174 Saltersbrook and Lady Cross from Woodheadeasy/mod6.0 miles
Walk 1756 Bleaklow & The Longendale Trail from Woodheadmod/hard10.0 miles
Walk 1168 Old Glossop & Bleaklowmoderate9.5 miles
Walk 3607 Reservoirs Walk from Tintwistleeasy/mod5.5 miles
Walk 1759 Torside Clough & Longendale from Old Glossopmoderate7.4 miles
Walk 1703 Longdendale from Hadfield Stationeasy/mod9.0 miles
Walk 2517 Chew Reservoir & Fox Stone from Dovestonesmoderate7.5 miles
Walk 2553 Greenfield Reservoir & Raven Stones from Dovestonemoderate8.0 miles

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Dark Peak WalksGuidebook to 40 walks in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park. 35 circular routes for most abilities, from 8km to 19km, around Edale, Marsden, Fairholmes, Baslow and Castleton, including Kinder Scout and Mam Tor, and 5 longer (25km to 45km) routes highlighting the best of the Gritstone Edges, High Moorland and Deep Valleys.
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