Alport Castles, Peak District

13 August, 2016

(click on images in grids for larger versions)

This describes the second of two walks we went on when Mike and Karen came to visit this August. The first was in the Yorkshire Dales and this second one we arranged for in the Peak District. We would drive to Fairholmes, where the Derwent and Ladybower reservoirs meet and a car park is conveniently placed. This hike is characterised by long steady climbs and quick windy descents, beautful scenery, sheep, landslips, bulls and river crossings.

A circular walk as usual for us, the GPS track of our 8.3 mile hike can be seen on my ViewRanger page.

From the car park we climb through the Lockerbrook Coppice and then head up for Bellhag Tor.

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The views are amazing and it takes a bit of time to do the climb towards Alport Castles, not because the track is arduous, but because we cannot help but stop and look about us. Sometimes, the spectacular view is behind.

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There is a lengthy walk along Rowlee Pasture as we are buffetted by a stiff wind that tries to separate me from my hat. Mila has a spare pair of shoe laces with her (of course!) which come into good use securing the hat to my head.alportcastles_008

That is a well kept path! And it eventually leads us to Little Moor and a view of The Tower and Alport Castles itself.

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Alport Castles is not a grouping of castles (to some disappointment to at least one of the walkers involved this day) but instead a geological feature that gets its name from its appearance from a distance. As our walking book informed us, Alport Castles is a site of “ongoing landslip”. Supposedly the largest landslide in the UK. The word “ongoing” worried us, but we soldiered on regardless.

Stopping by a wind break near the Birchin Hat, we have lunch and fly a kite. There were in fact two kites but I use the singular as, well, Mike had a bit of trouble with his. He successfully got it up in the air, but was not so successful in keeping it there for any length of time that might be considered as… flying a kite. Or, as Mira Sophia succinctly put it, “I won!”

From there we decend down into the valley where we cross the River Alport at a picturesque setting and meet some bulls and sheep (not pictured here!) as we start to head back.

Meeting a weir along the way, Mike crosses carefully to protect his camera equipment from the torrent…

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This last image was just a bit of fun. Another lonesome tree discovered, I took this image with my iPhone pointed through an eyepiece of our binoculars. It’s not great, but I rather like how it came out. It has a pinhole-camera feel to it that I’m drawn to.

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