Saturday 19 December 2015

Bleaklow via the Higher Shelf Stones

Here's another walk that didn't quite go to plan, though this time in a good way. My original idea was to do this as a half-day outing up to the Higher Shelf Stones and back, all in all around eight and half miles, but I'd started out early and had made pretty good time when I got there so I decided to extend my route to take in Bleaklow Head as well.

Glossop Station was the start point and I had to make my way through the town centre to Old Glossop first and then past a small industrial area on Shepley Street, before I reached farmland. I'd begun a previous walk along the same initial route so I knew my way and I hoped this section would give my legs a bit of a warm up before I had to begin my ascent onto the moors. Shelf Moor and Coldharbour Moor were directly in front of me and together formed a forbidding landmass on the horizon that dwarfed the small area of pasture below their dark and sometimes craggy slopes.

Shelf Moor (l) and Coldharbour Moor (r) in the distance.

Thursday 3 December 2015

Chinley Churn, Brown Knoll, South Head and Mount Famine

Sitting here on the sofa, all wrapped up in a fleece and nursing my man-flu while the November wind and rain batters the house from what sounds like every angle, I've decided to cheer myself up by re-visiting one of the walks I did this past summer. The hills you can see from the A6 between Chapel-en-le-Frith and Manchester had always caught my eye as we drove to and from the Peak District on days out and I decided early in June that it was about time I explored the intriguingly-named Chinley Churn and Mount Famine. The latter's more prosaic sounding companion South Head was also on the list. I'd plotted a circular route from the village of Chinley but just taking in those three summits made for a relatively short walk so I decided to extend my day to take in Brown Knoll which lies just next to the Kinder Plateau.

Leaving the lane to head up to Cracken Edge.
I arrived at Chinley railway station just before 8:00 am and it was already shaping up to be a glorious summer's day. I seem to get lost in the most unlikely places - once when I couldn't find my way out of a large empty field, for instance, or when I could see my exit from Bamford Moor ahead of me but couldn't find a way through the bogs and bracken to get to it: here it was the streets of Chinley, the railway having deposited me in a residential area. 

Usually, I'll have a gander at Google's street view so I can confidently stride to whichever gate or stile is my entrance to the countryside. On this occasion I'd forgotten to do that so I had to resort to using the GPS file on my phone to guide me through the streets. I pretended I was just intently texting and hoped I didn't look like a complete numpty as I wandered past the locals leaving their homes for work and school.