Ladybower to Edale: The Long Way Round
As the crow flies, Ladybower and Edale aren’t that distant, perhaps 7/8 miles apart. There are however, plenty of ways in which an individual might be creative in terms of a route by which to get there. A favourite of mine is from the Ladybower Inn, round the western side of the reservoir, then up to Roman Road. From there, on to Jagger’s Clough, a mild scramble onto the Kinder plateau, then follow the southern edge to Ringing Roger, where I descend into Edale. This route is well balanced and fulfilling, with varying landscapes and natural features, from the reservoir and woodlands around Ladybower, to the gritstone and scrubby bogs of the Kinder plateau.
This week, being by myself, I thought I’d try for something a little different, settling on attempting this route the long way round. Instead of heading up Jagger’s Clough, I left the Roman Road bridleway a little further north, heading up to the plateau via Crookstone Knoll, where there are some nice views out to Mam Tor should the weather allow it. From here I followed the plateau edges on its northern side, following Blackden Edge, Seal Edge, then The Edge past the dinner plate rock formations at Fairbrook Naze. With the edges down, I rejoined the Pennine Way at the north-west corner of the Kinder plateau, from where I followed the western edge of Kinder, past the almost stagnant Downfall and then Kinder Low, on to Jacob’s Ladder, from where I descended into Edale. The original plan had been to head out to Castleton, via Brown Knoll and Rushup Edge where I would meet a friend of mine in the lovely Olde Nags Head pub however, it was already around 18:00 by the time I reached Jacob’s Ladder, so I decided against it. The views from the Downfall area were pretty awesome, looking out past the reservoir, out towards New Mills and Stockport, possible only due to the somewhat contradictory and non-inclement weather. My measurements make this route around 30 Km/19 miles, a significant increase on ‘southern’ route. Not only is the route longer, but for those used to the Hope Valley, this walk takes on a different character, with long, sweeping descents into the Ashop and Blackden moors, ghyll-like brooks and the distant horizon. This being Kinder the terrain is well, a mixed bag really. Boggy in parts, then hard-packed and uneven in others. It was getting to the point where I’d have preferred neither underfoot, (especially after re-joining the PW), each contrasting surface contributing to the ever increasing discomfort in my lower limbs, (oh for cushioning insoles…I am adamant I will get some before my next walk). Anyhow, this is a small price to pay for the privilege of having such views, which for most of the day, I had pretty much to myself. I must have seen maybe, two groups of people and a runner. I guess the sheer length of this route is off-putting for most, though inadvertently, I couldn’t have picked a better day. And now for photos: