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Peak District Walks

Combs Head & Black Edge

Date: 28th July 2013
Distance: 9.5 miles
Ascent: 1656 feet
Time: 4 hours 40 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SK044745

Walk Summary:
Visits to the top of Combs Head and Black Edge preceded a super walk above Combs Edge with wonderful views of the Combs valley.

Route Summary: Cold Springs Farm - Midshires Way - Round the Bend - Combs Head - Flint Clough - Black Edge - Hob Tor - Short Edge - Castle Naze - - Combs Edge - Round the Bend - Midshires Way - Cold Springs Farm

Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.

The start of the walk was along the course of an old Roman road
The Midshires Way as it approaches Round the Bend
On one of the outcrops on Combs Head
The top of Combs Head looking towards Black Edge
Flint Clough
Looking back towards Combs Head
By the trig point on Black Edge
Dove Holes from Black Edge
Hob Tor
Short Edge
Outcrops on Castle Naze
On Castle Naze looking towards Combs Reservoir
Combs Edge from Castle Naze
Looking back at Castle Naze
Combs Edge
Shooting House on Combs Edge
The Combs Valley
The Combs Valley
Kinder Scout


Walk Detail: After enduring one of the longest nights of my life as I lay in my small one man tent during thunder, lightning and an eight hour downpour I eventually dropped off for a couple of hours sleep when the rain finally abated about 6.30 in the morning. Emerging from my tent for breakfast I was glad to see some spots of blue sky overhead so after breakfast, despite my weariness, I set off on this walk direct from the campsite.

After a short section alongside the A5004 I headed on up the Midshires Way which at this point also coincides with the course of an old Roman Road. Within a short time I was already within sight of the small gritstone edge below the summit of Combs Head, the first top of the day. To get to it I left the Midshires Way at a track that led me to a small quarry at the point marked on the map as 'Round the Bend'. A short steep climb above the northern side of the quarry brought me to the wall that encircles almost the whole of Combs Moss. From there it was then an easy walk along a thin path to Combs Head.

The name Combs Head does not actually appear on the map but seems to have been adopted as the name for the Dewey top that stands at 503m high. The top itself seemed to be unmarked. Just below it the aforementioned gritstone edge supplied a more dramatic location than the summit itself along with good views across to Axe Edge and Shining Tor.

From Combs Head it was a long march on a wet thin path to Black Edge largely following the wall, the exception to this being the crossing of Flint Clough which, due to the volume of water flowing off the moor after the previous night's deluge, was interesting to say the least.

It was a particularly blustery day with patches of sunlight and shadow chasing each other across the moor in quick succession. The ground was sopping wet after the night's rain and all in all it was completely different to the hot, hazy and muggy conditions of the day before. Unfortunately the pain from the multiple blisters I'd picked up at the end of the previous day's walk grew worse and worse and at times the walk became something of an ordeal.

This is not to say that I didn't enjoy it. Whilst my main objectives were the two tops of Combs Head and Black Edge the real highlight of the walk was the western side of the moor from Castle Naze (the site of an old hillfort) along Combs Edge and back to Round the Bend. This was really splendid walking with super views of along Combs Edge as well as of Combs Reservoir and the Combs valley. There were a couple of moments when a particular view combined with a nicely placed patch of sunshine literally took my breath away. Such moments made the blisters almost bearable and this is certainly a walk I'd like to do again in the future.

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