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Black Hill from Crowden

Peak District Walk

Nat Park - Peak District - Black Hill Dovestone

County/Area - Derbyshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 9.0 miles / 14.6 km    Ascent - 1650 feet / 500 metres

Time - 6 hours 10 minutes    Grade - moderate

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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 - Black Hill
Click image to visit gallery of 3 images.

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.

A variation of this Peak District walk can be found at walk 2621, which includes the wrecks of two Meteor Jets that crashed in 1951 on 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. SK 072992) 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 to reach the sheepfolds (Grid ref. SE 075013).

If you prefer to follow paths then an alternative route is to take the footpath from Crowden that climbs east of Brockholes Wood and skirts the quarries that can be seen from the starting point. This path leads to the point above the sheepfolds detailed in the previous paragraph with all walking on clear paths.

From the these sheepfolds turn right scrambling up through the heather for approximately 30 metres to reach a clear path that contours across the side of Hey Moss. Turn left onto the path and head north with Little Crowden Brook down on your left. This section of the valley is a delight with small waterfalls and a feeling of wilderness. Although not marked on maps the path continues to just beyond the sheepfolds (Grid ref. SE 078025).

The next section of route does not follow clear paths and from the sheepfolds follow Whitelow Slack towards White Low (Grid ref. SE 084022) where the main ridge path is met. Turn left on this path and after a short descent to a wide col climb onto Tooleyshaw Moor and head for Black Hill. 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.

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

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

The Pennine Way

The Pennine WayGuidebook to the Pennine Way National Trail with OS map booklet. The 265 mile route from Edale to Kirk Yetholm takes three weeks to walk and is suitable for fit and experienced long distance walkers. The route crosses the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and North Pennines National Parks. Includes separate OS 1:25,000 map booklet of the route.
More information

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