Monday, November 19, 2012

Black Hill Circular Walk

OS Map: 1:25,000 Explorer Map OL1 The Dark Peak

Start Grid Reference: SE 018 094

Walk distance: 12 miles 

Date walked: 5th September 2012

Time: 5 hours

Route:  Self-planned 

Click here to view the map in OS Getamap

This is a walk close to my home and one that I haven't done for several years now.  It follows the  what used to be the good weather route for the Pennine Way over White Moss returning by the bad weather route down Wessenden Valley.  It seems now, according to the OS Map,  that the Pennine Way follows the bad weather route only.  The walk is fairly easy, but there are parts where true moorland walking will be experienced without artificial paths and the risk of sinking up to your knees in peat.

There are many places to start the walk, but I chose a convenient car park on the A62.  Very soon views of Pule Hill beyond Redbrook Reservoir.

Pule Hill above Redbrook Reservoir
There are many reservoirs on this walk providing water for canals or for drinking.  Beyond Black Moss reservoir the path follows the old Pennine Way route.

Black Moss Reservoir
From this reservoir there are views of Saddleworth and onto Manchester.  Leaving the official route of the Pennine Way, the path carries on over the peat bogs, but as the moorland becomes boggier and boggier a stone path has been laid.  I don't really like these artificial paths, but on the other hand if it helps support the moorland ecosystem, it is something I should accept.

Stone path over White Moss
The path reaches the A635 before it continues up to Black Hill.  It is not a steep climb, but the path is quite indistinct.  Now you will experience true moorland walking with peat and bog and it was more than on one occasion that I ended up to my knees as I failed to find the best route.
The route to the summit

The trig point on the summit of Black Hill
The route down from Black Hill follows the Pennine Way and therefore is very obvious before reaching Dean Clough and climbing back up to the A635.

Route down from Black Hill
Dean Clough
There is clear track now down the Wessenden Valley, where there is a series of reservoirs built around the turn of the century.

Wessenden Valley

The path then crosses the water course and climbs back up to the moorland reaching Swellands and Black Moss Reservoirs.

Swellands Reservoir

Those, who like me, enjoy moorland walking will love this walk, particular on a day like this when the weather was fine and the sun was shining.  Those who do not and prefer solid paths may wish to avoid it.

1 comment:

Richard said...

Great looking route there Steve, I'll give this one a go next year :)