Walk 2621 - printer friendly version
Crowden, Black Hill & Laddow Rocks Walk
Author - Peter Schofield
Length - 9.0 miles / 14.6 km
Ascent - 1650 feet / 500 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference SK072992
Lat 53.489463 + Long -1.8929546
Postcode SK13 1HZ (approx. location only)
The most northerly sector of the Peak District National Park is dominated by Black Hill, which rises to 582 metres above sea level with Holme Moss transmitter mast just over a kilometre east of the summit. Sadly Black Hill has a reputation for being a morass of wet peat and is thus avoided by many walkers. Despite this negative aspect the hill does have many redeeming characters and offers good walking under a big sky. Like many parts of upland Britain route finding is fine in good weather. However the moors around Black Hill see some severe snow storms and are often shrouded in low cloud so good map reading and compass skills are essential.
This Peak District walk is a variation of walk 3022 and includes the wrecks of two Meteor Jets that crashed in 1951on Sliddens Moss. Like all aircraft wrecks there is a wide scatter of debris and location may take some patience. You are also reminded not to take mementoes home.
The walk starts from the small carpark (Grid ref. SK072992) located just north of the A628 at Crowden. Leave the car park by the northern exit and follow the wide track that heads north to the ford marked on the OS 1:25000 map (Grid ref. SK 070998). There is no path on this next section and the route follows Crowden Little Brook upstream. Except after heavy rain it is easy to cross the stream and it is suggested you follow whichever side you find easiest towards the sheepfolds (Grid ref. SE 075013).
Continue as far as the bottom of Meadow Clough (Grid ref. SE 075023). Cross over the brook and go up the right side of Meadow Clough. It is probably best to climb up above the stream, rather than try to follow the bank. At the top, a faint path can be found which crosses over a tributary and at that point, take a bearing of 308 degrees.
The route parallels the course of Meadow Clough and after about 700m, the aircraft wreckage can be seen spread over a wide area of the moor, much of it being located around Grid ref SE 069029. From there, follow a fairly obvious path across Sliddens Moss towards Black Hill. Where the path crosses the boundary fence to the south of Black Hill, cross over the stile and follow the fence for about 300m until it intercepts the path coming from Tooleyshaw Moor.
Recent improvements including paved paths have made the often inaccessible OS trig point on Black Hill much easier to reach! It used to be in the middle of a large area of black liquid peat and finding a dry route was a great challenge!
The summit of Black Hill is too broad to provide great views and is included as a convenient intermediate point on this walk. Leave the summit in a south-westerly direction using the substantial sections of paved path that form the Pennine Way to speed onward progress back to Crowden.
The route is pleasant with Laddow Rocks soon appearing ahead. Just before reaching these dramatic gritstone cliffs you have a choice. The easier but least interesting option is to take the left fork, which leads you along the base of the crags. The best option is to take the right hand fork and follow the upper edge with superb views down into the valley below. With Laddow Rocks behind you the path needs little description as it descends towards Crowden and the end of the walk.