Peak District Walks
Date: 27th April 2010
Distance: 9.1 miles
Ascent: 1793 feet
Time: 4 hours 25 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SK072992
A hike out to the broad top of Black Hill via the Pennine Way returning to Crowden via the original route of the Pennine Way over Tooleyshaw Moss.
Route Summary: Crowden - Pennine Way - Laddow Rocks - Black Chew Head - Pennine Way - Black Hill - Tooleyshaw Moss - Westend Moss - Crowden
1. Westend Moss and the entrance to Crowden Little Brook
2. Looking up the valley of Crowden Great Brook
3. Looking back down Crowden Great Brook to Bleaklow
4. Laddow Rocks
5. Looking down from Laddow Rocks
6. Another view down Laddow Rocks
7. On Laddow Rocks looking back to Bleaklow
8. Looking across Crowden Great Brook to Black Hill
9. The upper reaches of Crowden Great Brook
10. Looking back along the Pennine Way to Black Chew Head
11. The top of Black Hill
12. Looking back at Black Hill from Tooleyside Moss
13. The Holme Moss transmitter
14. The valley of Crowden Little Brook
Walk Detail: This was my second visit to the Peak District in 10 days and was also my second walk in two days making good use of a couple days annual leave.
The car park at Crowden is right next to the busy A628 but it did not take long to leave the noise of the traffic behind as I followed the Pennine Way up into the valley of Crowden Great Brook and then up on to Laddow Rocks.
This first section of the walk was fantastic with increasingly good views of the valley as more height was gained. The Peak District excels in its gritstone edges and Laddow Rocks was no exception.
Leaving behind the delights of Laddow Rocks I made a brief detour up to the summit of Black Chew Head before rejoining the Pennine Way. Initially this dropped down to Crowden Great Brook before the long walk up to Black Hill, a section made easy by the flagged path.
From what I had read about Black Hill I expected almost the entire summit plateau to be bare peat with very little vegetation. In fact this was not the case and I was surprised had how much grass and heather there was.
After stopping for a brief snack by the slightly wonky trig point on its pillar of stones I set off south on the path over Tooleyshaw Moss. No doubt due to the unusually dry April the going was almost everywhere easy and in truth I needn't have bothered with my gaiters.
Initially the well marked path snaked its way through the peat hags before dropping down for the short re-ascent on to White Low and Westend Moss. This section was quite dull so from Hey Edge I dropped down to the track running just above Crowden Little Brook which I followed back into Crowden.
Rather perversely I was slightly disappointed that Black Hill did not offer more of a challenge underfoot though no doubt if it had been the quagmire I'd expected I would have thought otherwise. The undoubted highlight was the path above Laddow Rocks, a section that made the whole walk worthwhile.