Longstone Moor Thursday 10th February 2022

Today's walk had been on the to do list for over a fortnight thanks to the various storms we have experienced over the last couple of weeks. Today, despite a forecast which said it would be sunny, I found myself walking in more than one heavy snow shower and several spells of hail, which combined with the strong winds made for a bitterly cold walk. After two failed attempts to find the concessionary path onto Wardlow Hay Cop I ended up adding an extra 2 and a half miles to the walk, so not quite the day I was expecting when I set out this morning. On returning home it turned out I hadn't walked far enough down the lane, so my circular route to the trig ended up being an out and back affair from Wardlow.

Start: Moor Lane (SK1993 7298)

Route:

Moor Lane - Longstone Moor - Castlegate Lane - Wardlow - Wardlow Hay Cop (TP) - Wardlow - White Rake - Black Harry Gate - High Rake - Moor Lane

Distance: 10.5 miles     Ascent: 550 metres      Time Taken: 5 hrs 28 mins

Terrain: Good paths

Weather: Mainly sunny with a strong, bitterly cold wind, intermittent heavy snow showers and hail.

Pub Visited: None    Ale Drunk: None

Route Map >>

 

Great Shacklow Wood

Before I even started the walk the first thing to do was take some shots from Longstone Edge. Here looking south-west towards Great Shacklow Wood.

Moor Lane

Making the short walk back down Moor Lane I was soon pulling my hat on and digging out my gloves, as there was a bitterly cold edge to the wind.

Black Plantation

Having entered Black Plantation I'm soon climbing steeply up to Longstone Moor.

Longstone Moor

The path through the wood leads to the gate onto Longstone Moor, although the climbing isn't finished yet it isn't as steep from here.

Chatsworth Park

From the gate the view back across the valley extends across Chatsworth Park to Gibbet Moor.

Longstone Moor

Heading uphill onto the moor, although I will turn left before I reach the ridge ahead of me.

Longstone Moor

At the crossroads I follow the broad track signed for Castlegate Lane, which will take me up to the trees ahead and the summit of Longstone Moor.

High Rake

Looking back along the route I've taken and High Rake is visible.

Longstone Moor

Just beyond the trees, and easily accessible, was the cairn marking the summit of Longstone Moor.

Sir William Hill

From the summit the views are quite extensive, here looking across the moor to the mast close to the summit of Sir William Hill.

Abney Moor

The view also includes Durham Edge and Abney Moor. I was so busy taking in the views that I failed to notice what looked like rain moving in.

Cressbrook Dale

Heading down off the moor and taking in the views across Cressbrook Dale I still hadn't noticed the weather was about to change, although by now the wind was getting quite strong.

Wardlow Hay Cop

As I descend from the moor my next target of Wardlow Hay Cop comes into view and whilst trying to work out if I could see cows on the approach route I also notice the looming threat of rain.

Durham Edge

As I follow the path across the fields to the lane I begin to suspect that I'm not going to stay dry for much longer.

Axe Edge Moor

Looking across Hay Dale to Axe Edge Moor, it is difficult to believe that in a matter of minutes my visibility is about to disappear in a heavy snow shower and I'm going to be questioning if I'm carrying on or not.

Hay Dale

I saw this track four times.

Blinded by snow I'd headed down the road into Hay Dale to find the concessionary track to Wardlow Hay Cop and as I'd seen no signs for it decided to see if this was the track I was looking for. The first time I tried it I wasn't certain, so I back tracked back up the hill to the top of the road to check I hadn't missed the turning in the snow. The second time I followed it, and the broad track it led to, until I reached a dead-end. By the time I took this shot I'd given up on finding the concessionary track and decided to head back up the hill again and follow Castlegate Lane into Wardlow. As I headed along the road I was then treated to a couple of hail storms, which in the strong wind forced me to stop and stand with my back to the wind.

Not the greatest hour I have spent walking in the Peak District.

Cressbrook Dale

By the time I reached Wardlow it looked like the snow and hail showers were over so I decided to do an out and back trip to Wardlow Hay Cop and was soon rewarded with a view into Cressbrook Dale.

Cressbrook Dale

Rather than head down into the dale I turn left and take the track across the top to the gate. Once through the gate I follow the path around to the left along, the top of the dale.

Wardlow Hay Cop

I soon reach the gate which gives me access to Wardlow Hay Cop.

Wardlow Hay Cop

After promising myself for several years I would visit here I finally make it to the summit of Wardlow Hay Cop.

Derbyshire Dales

The views certainly made it worth visiting. Here looking across the dales to a distant Stanton Moor and the wind turbines close to Carsington Water.

Sir William Hill

Looking across to Sir William Hill I could also see the route I would follow across the fields from Wardlow to pick up the track to Black Harry Gate.

Bradwell Moor

Looking north it looks like another snow shower might be moving in. Thankfully other than a few flakes of snow that was the last I saw of snow and rain for the rest of the day.

Cressbrook Dale

From the summit I was able to spot what looked like the concessionary path I had wanted to take to the summit. Although it was going through a field of cows, so maybe I'm not so bothered I didn't find that route after all.

Cressbrook Dale

Heading back along the top of Cressbrook Dale I hoped to find a shelterd spot, out of the wind, that would enable me to enjoy a lunchtime view of the dale.

Cressbrook Dale

I was back at the stile and the walled lane I had taken from Wardlow before I found anywhere to shelter away from the wind.

White Rake

Heading back down the walled lane to Wardlow, with a view across to the top of White Rake.

White Rake

The path across the fields was well signed and gated.

Wardlow Hay Cop

Looking back to Wardlow and Wardlow Hay Cop as I follow the path across the fields.

High Rake

Following the broad track to Black Harry Gate I'm soon rewarded with views of High Rake.

Blakedon Hollow

Looking across the water at Blakedon Hollow.

High Rake

As I head along the track I come across this abandoned trailer.

Rough Side

As I approach Black Harry Gate the walled lane I will follow along the top of Rough Side comes into view, although I could cut the walk short here and take the bridleway back to the car.

White Rake

Looking back to White Rake and the track I had followed to Black Harry Gate.

Rough Side

One reason for not cutting the walk short is that you'd miss out on the great views across the top of Rough Side to Froggatt and Curbar Edges.

Higger Tor

Despite it only being a short incline as you climb the views continue to get more extensive so as that Higger Tor also comes into view.

Rabbit Warren

As I follow the road along the side of the mine I can't help but notice several lines of newly planted trees or possibly hedges. It could mean that in a few years time this view across to Chatsworth and Rabbit Warren won't be possible.

Longstone Moor

As I'd approached the top of the track I'd debated heading into the deserted mine area to look for the trig point on High Rake, but given the wind and the fact I'd be trespassing I decided against it.

Fallinge Edge

As I reach the top of Longstone Edge I take a final look back across the fields to Rabbit Warren and Fallinge Edge.

 

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