I really love walking places I’ve never been before and seeing sights I’ve never seen. A lot of my inspiration has come from looking across a valley while out walking, seeing a feature on a map or hearing stories from other walkers. Today’s inspiration came when looking across from Margery Hill while I did a loop of Ladybower, I spotted a great rock formation off in the distance and the clumps of gritstone in question are located at Crow Stones Edge. I plotted a quick route last night, sent it off to my mate Andy and we arranged to meet this morning.
At 09:30 this morning we arrived at the designated meeting point, the car park at the very top of the sealed road that leads along the edge of the Ladybower, Derwent and Howden Reservoirs. We quickly got kited out and made our way up the gravel road towards Slippery Stones. It was a rather overcast morning with an icy cold bite in the air, luckily I hadn’t forgotten my hat and gloves today.
There wasn’t another soul around today which was nice as we had the place to ourselves. Slippery Stones won’t stay like this for long, as when the weather gets better more and more people will venture back here. It gets rather busy at weekends during the summer months so it was nice to enjoy the silence.
We ascended up to Margery Hill via Cranberry Clough where we were met by some of the remaining snow. The wind began to pick up substantially which made me thankful that I’d remembered my gloves and hat. The views as we rose higher and higher got better with every step. The snow left in the cloughs and gullies made the landscape look amazing.
We eventually reached the top of the hill where we turned north westward along the moors towards Outer Edge. The going was good due to the fact that the majority of the bog up there was nice and frozen. In wetter months this part of the Dark Peak becomes a bit of a boggy maze as you attempt to weave your way along the driest path possible.
After a short stop on Outer Edge to update AudioBoo and to take a few pictures we then headed off the edge down to Crow Stones. Crow Stones was the reason why I had planned this route today as it was rumoured to have some of the greatest shaped stones in the Peak. I wasn’t disappointed as we were met by some fantastic looking gritstone towers. It never fails to amaze me how varying types of erosion can form these stunning shapes.
After a short lunch break at Crow Stones we made our way across the moors towards Stainery Clough Head. There was lots of icy snow left in the gullies which made crossing them relatively simple. There were times where we disappeared into the snow up to our knees but nothing any worse than that.
The view back across to Crow Stones with Derwent Edge in the distance was great when we reached Hoar Stones on Howden Edge. infact the 360 degree views were great today even if it was cloudy. The sky was rather moody with thick looking grey clouds, the sun did break through every now and then but not for anything more than a matter of seconds.
After walking along Howden Edge for a while we eventually turned southward and made our way back down towards the River Derwent. The Derwent is beginning to build in size here as it makes its way from Swaines Greave down to the Howden Reservoir.
The path gets gradually better as you make your way down stream, it turns from a boggy track into a road fit for a four wheel drive. The going is good from here on in and it’s just a gentle stroll back down towards Slippery Stones.
It was great to finally get out walking again as lately work and family commitments haven’t made it possible. We finished off today’s great wander by heading to our favourite cafe in the Peak District, The Woodbine Cafe in Hope. Thanks for taking the time to read, view and listen to this post. I shot some video footage today which will find its way online very soon.