433 Metres Ascent
Today was somewhat of an experiment. I was driving back down south, and usually take the motorway, by the time I leave and get home I have 'lost' a day. So today, I was going to go home via the Peak District, which is actually a short distance route, but about 1 hour longer. This meant I could do a reasonable walk and drive south.
I picked a relatively easy walk up Win Hill and then back through the woods to walk along Ladybower. I had done this walk a few years ago so knew the route without much (any...) planning. Parking at Hatherdene, I wandered down past the dam towards Yorkshire bridge. I had 2 choices to get up Win Hill, the steep, muddy, slippy, Parkin Clough path, or a slightly less muddy path towards New Barn before cutting back towards Win Hill.
I went with the longer but nicer option! I have done Parkin Clough before and it's fun, but I decided on the new route! The path was wet but in fairly good condition. I climbed at a good pace to the Win Hill plantation where the steepness caused me to pause a couple of times, I'm fitter but not quite there yet!
The top of Win Hill was quiet, with only a couple and a lady for company. I headed off towards Hope Cross along the route of an old Roman road. The views were great, if a little dull (gloomy not boring!). My timings for the walk meant I was likely to finish after sunset but as I hadn't planned the walk properly I didn't actually know how far it was. I had guessed between 8-9 miles before I set off.
I followed the bridleway down through the woods towards Haggwater bridge. This track looked like it is very popular with mountain bikers (confirmed when a group of 10+ went past, some at very high speed!). It was rocky and rough but probably fun!
The bridleway soon joined up with a track through the woods along the edge of Ladybower. Despite being close to the reservoir it wasn't flat seemed at points to be longer than it was! The light was failing now, and burnings on the moors above Crook Hill glowed brightly, with the flames visible jumping against the darkening sky.
The walk finished along the dam, and back into a now empty car park. The experiment was a success and I headed home with a few more miles and metres on the board.