Ladybower and Win Hill, February 17

Walk details

  • Route Bamford, Ladybower Dam, Ladybower Reservoir, Hope Cross, Win Hill, Bamford
  • Distance 12.28 miles
  • Duration 6hrs 30 mins
  • Getting there Train from Leeds to Bamford via Sheffield. Tickets split at Sheffield to save about £8.
  • Weather Overcast with occasional rain. It would have been drizzle had it not been propelled towards us in 40mph winds.

Why this route?

  • The weather forecast was for “incessant rain north of Skipton”, so once again we headed south.
  • I finally forked out for the paper OS maps for the Peak District National Park. I love the app for detailed route mapping, but unless you have a huge screen it’s rubbish for identifying routes in the first place. Now I have paper maps I can spread them out and dream.
  • The original plan was to pootle up to Ladybower underneath Bamford Edge and through the woodland to the east, before bimbling through the Forestry Commission plantation to the west, and then back down to Hathersage on the Derwent Valley Heritage Trail. This would have had the advantage of being comparatively flat (therefore good on TOH’s foot) and hopefully better drained than your average peat bog up on the tops.
  • In the event the path we were planning to take was no longer accessible so we headed straight to the dam. The view from the train suggested that the Derwent Valley Heritage Path was likely to be through fields by the river, which looked like mud baths, making the original plan a less attractive option, so a new route was improvised.

What did we learn?

  • Our gaiters work.
  • Our boots are waterproof.
  • Our standard for “walkable terrain” is a lot more flexible than it used to be.

Walk highlights

  • Ladybower dam – an impressive feat of engineering. Storm Doris also meant that the plugholes were in action.
  • Elmin Pitts Farmstead, constructed c 1740-1760, now derelict.
  • Emerging out of the plantation at Hope Cross. We got there just in time for spectacular views across Edale and the Hope Valley before the clouds descended.
  • Win Hill had great views, but would have been even better had Hope and Edale not now been swathed in cloud.
  • Bamford Mills would probably have been a highlight had the stepping stones not been a raging torrent, leading to an unwelcome detour when we were no longer in the mood.


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