I enjoyed the drive up north early in the morning. The views along the A623 made a fine show. I had not been to Hayfield for probably thirty years. The car was parked and packs shouldered. The road out of the village that goes up to Kinder reservoir was followed and from there we went into the hills and moors following Williams clough. The weather was windy but fine. Good views lay ahead. The photos of them are here.
The path up to Ashop Head is a enjoyable one and we went east following Kinder Scout’s Northern edges. It is the best part of Kinder and has a sense of remote about it. We enjoyed breaks along the route and the path zig zaging around stunning rock formations.
We left the edge by Blackden Moor and went down via the edge overlooking the brook then crossed it lower down. From there we had a short road walk to join the track into Alport Dale. It is a scenic valley with steep sides. We took the path over the river and up onto Alport Castles with stunning views all round. The wind up there was very strong.
We went along the edge via Westend Moor and dropped over the other side to wildcamp by Ravens Clough. We had some shelter from the wind here but strong gusts of wind buffeted the tents, I could hear OC’s Laser being shaken around and the Scarp shook along in the strong gusts. We watched the sun go down and the moon come out. Good end to the day.
The rain showers blew in and out over night and it was very cold. The morning found us packed early and heading onto the Ridge and up to join Bleaklow Hill. OC had never seen anything like it.
The peat hags are a unique sight and the walking is up and down them and around. You don’t keep a straight line for long. We spied another bright tent pitched down in the area marked the Swamp on the map. I have walked through that part before and it is not a swamp and has good wildcamp spots.
We went on to pick up the Pennine Way to follow it back to Mill Hill. It made for quick progress compared to walking on Bleaklow. I encountered a National Park Ranger and we got to talking about walks and he asked where we had been? I told him if I answered that question he might tell me off.
He laughed and said “you have been wildcamping” he was not bothered and said if there are no fires or litter he turns a blind eye but to remember it is not allowed. I have never stuck to that no wildcamping rule.
Drops of rain and hail started to pelt us as we made it to Mill Hill. We then retraced our steps back down Williams Clough to walk back to the car. The rain came in very heavy and we did not mind as it had been a good walk. The memories of childhood flooded back and I thought of happy times walking with my late father on holidays camping at Hayfield. I don’t intend to leave it so long before I return to there again.