logo Walking Britain
Home About Holidays FAQ Email MENU ☰

Alport Castles from Fairholme

Peak District Walk

Nat Park - Peak District - Bleaklow Longendale

County/Area - Derbyshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 8.5 miles / 13.8 km    Ascent - 960 feet / 291 metres

Time - 5 hours 10 minutes    Grade - moderate

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL1Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL1Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 110Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 110Digital Map1:50kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Alport Castles
Click image to visit gallery of 6 images.

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.

To start this Peak District walk, 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.

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.

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.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1489 Blackden Brook, Kinder & Upper Ashopmoderate6.8 miles
Walk 3049 Bleaklow Stones from Derwent Valleymod/hard12.0 miles
Walk 2588 Win Hill & Hope Crossmoderate7.5 miles
Walk 3540 The Derwent Edge from Cutthroat Bridgemoderate10.0 miles
Walk 1286 Castleton Great Ridge & Mam Tormoderate8.5 miles
Walk 2599 Kinder Scout and Castleton Ridge from Hopemod/hard13.5 miles
Walk 1706 Win Hill from Hopeeasy/mod6.5 miles
Walk 1159 Grindsbrook & Edale Headmoderate7.5 miles
Walk 1264 Rushup Edge & Crowden Towermoderate10.0 miles
Walk 1295 Ringing Roger & Edale Crossmoderate10.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking in the Peak District - White Peak East

Walking in the Peak District - White Peak EastGuidebook describing 42 half-day and day walks in the limestone landscapes of Derbyshire's White Peak, part of the Peak District National Park. One of two volumes, this book covers the east of the region, with potential bases including Bakewell, Eyam, Castleton, Birchover, Matlock and Wirksworth.
More information

Great Mountain Days in the Pennines

Great Mountain Days in the PenninesAn inspirational guidebook to 50 classic walks on the rolling Pennine landscape. The graded routes, between 6 and 13 miles in length, cover classic Pennine fells and moorland such as Whernside, Ilkley Moor and Pendle Hill; exploring the North and South Pennines, Yorkshire Dales, Howgills and Dark Peak. Many routes are also suited to fell running.
More information

Messaging & Social Media

Message Walking Britain and follow the latest news.

Facebook  Twitter

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.