With the upcoming trip to the Peak District drawing ever closer I thought now would be a good time to put pen to paper and give a brief walk description for those who are interesting in tagging along. Day 1 will be a longer hike but with less incline whilst day 2 will be shorter with more ascent as we reach the highest point of the national park.
I’m still not sure what time will be the best time to start due to the lack of light in February but I’m thinking about 9am at the car park in Ilam. Not sure which car park but how many can there be really! The route then leaves the sleepy village before reaching Dove Dale which is basically a beautiful, steep walled gully which cuts through the landscape. It inevitably follows the River Dove in a northerly direction for the entire first half of the hike. Passing a variety of interesting waypoints including stepping stones, caves, woods and weirs. An ideallic and easy stroll to kick off the weekend.
To leave Dove Dale we have to head up a couple of hundred metres and from here (after lunch) it is back in a southerly direction to Alstonefield for (hopefully) a beer and a sit down! The route continues at this level before dipping down to familiar ground by the River Dale before traversing along and up the western side of the gully to Ilam tops and then back down in to the village.
Should be a good day of around about 13 miles. I’m guessing it will take us the best part of 7 hours and that gives us an extra hour before it gets dark.
The second day will be a little more traditional. Less gorges and tranquil valleys and more steep hills and of course we get to bag the highest point, Kinder Scout. Whilst it’s not quite the dizzying heights of it’s bigger brothers in Snowdonia, the Lake District and Scotland, it has plenty of height gain and will definitely be tall enough. Especially in whatever precipitation and howling winds February decides to throw at us.
We begin in Edale. Again not sure where. Some car park somewhere. Can’t see it being a particularly big place… We head west along the Pennine Way through Upper Booth as we proceed to follow a stream to Jacob’s Ladder. From here is a steep ascent to reach the top where it levels out on to Edale Moor. As we head north we will pass the highest point which is oddly slightly off the beaten track. To our left is a long steep drop into the valley and to the right the moors stretch on endlessly.
Once we reach Kinder Waterfall we head in a south westerly direction across the moor. Presumably getting lost in the
snow fog magic of it all. Before we drop over the edge the route will turn in an easterly direction. We then have a stunning stretch which will provide views for miles upon miles. Depending on the time and the legs we can continue further along choosing when to drop off and back down to Edale.
All in all this will be under 10 miles but given the ascent I think it will probably take a similar amount of time as the previous day. Again we can judge how everyone feels at the time and change the route as we go.
Any questions on the routes, let me know and I’ll hopefully be able to offer some advice if needed. Looking forward to it.