Win Hill and its winning views!

This particular walk has been a long time in the planning, for an enjoyably short walk.

It seemed that the planning took a long time, due to the weather that we’ve been enduring. Early December, often brings a good dollop of bad weather, often seeing some snow, but for this year, 2012, not only did we see snow, but also the year continued with the rain that we’ve endured for much of this year.

In view of the fact that we were fast approaching the shortest day, being the 22nd, this walk has been planned with the short number of daylight hours available and hopefully, the weather permitting the fantastic views that Win Hill has to give.

I can say here and now, I wasn’t disappointed.

Those of you who read my Moel Siabod and my old Navigation Training Ground blog will recall I met up with John from Stoke. 

John was hoping to join us on this walk, but unfortunately had other commitments.

While it’s always nice to have a nice sunny day for a good day out and to get pleasant photographs, we often overlook some of the less bright days from a photographic perspective.

Apart from the obvious safety concerns when out and about in the hills and open moorlands, my other concern is my camera, which is far from water resilient in any shape or form. So this particular walk had been cancelled twice already before Chris and I finally took the chance and went for the walk.

After two weekends of horrendous weather, the third weekend was looking good to start off with, but then a few days before, doom and gloom started to take control of the weather.

The forecasts were for rain and 45mph plus winds!

But then, a light started to shine at the end of the tunnel. That weather seemed to be hitting a day earlier!

So we went for it, though the early morning forecast was for fog, which would have some impact on my journey north up the M1 from the West Midlands to the Peak District.

After a relatively good journey, I arrived at Heatherdene Car Park across the road from Ladybower Reservoir, and met up with Chris.

We got suited and booted, ready for an enjoyable walk up Win Hill.
We exited the car park on the south, approaching the road opposite the Ladybower dam, where we walked across, taking in the views across the reservoir over to Derwent Moor and around.

Looking over to the Ladybower dam
from the path out of Heatherdene Car Park

Looking over the dam

One of the overflow plug holes

A good tarmaced path across the dam

Looking downstream from the dam
Once across the dam, we turned right and followed the service road alongside the reservoir until we came to a forked junction, where we took the left fork and started our ascent in earnest.

The path alongside Ladybower Reservoir

we took the left fork and started our ascent
left exit to continue our ascent

Through the gate, we were well and truly in to the forest, where we came across a cross roads. At this point, we took the left exit to continue our ascent and also to head towards Win Hill.

Continuing a nice steady climb, we eventually left the forest and experienced a brief moment of open track, looking over Parkin Clough with views across to Bamford Moor.

Here we made a right turn to make a short but steep ascent through the forest, where we would join up with the path that circumnavigates the west side of the forest. Taking the left turn, brought us back out in to the open properly this time, giving some clear views, when the cloud permitted, across to Bamford Moor and Stanage Edge, overlooking the village of Bamford.
a right turn to make a short but steep ascent through the forest

short but steep ascent

Looking along the path to the south and also up towards Win Hill, though we couldn’t see the summit as yet, were just as appealing and the sun was really trying to break through and make a difference.
Looking along the path to the south

also up towards Win Hill, though we couldn’t see the summit as yet

But hold it, there were some menacing looking grey clouds heading our way. Menacing yes, but not threatening.

Undeterred, we continued our walk following the path that seemed to follow the contour level.

We came a across a water trough, for animals to drink out, which provided a marker, because soon after that, there was a sign which would take you down to the Hope Valley or up to Win Hill summit.
Looking down to Ladybower Recervoir

The water trough

A sign to mark your route choice.
Inccidentally, the sign was leaning, not my photography.....
We continued on our way, heading for Win Hill summit.

Win Hill summit was clearly in view and the nice steady gradient leading up towards it.

The path heading directly to Win Hill summit

Looking over to Stanage Edge

Win Hill summit was clearly in view
and the nice steady gradient leading up towards it

Not only was it a nice steady gradient, but the views were impressive and continued to be increasingly impressive the higher we got.

The views across to Derwent and Bamford Moors, Stanage Edge, Pin Dale, Cale Dale and the Hope Valley, and even Mam Tor and that side of the Castleton Ridge came in to view.

Pin Dale Quarry

Mam Tor
Looking over to Derrwent Moor and Wheel Stones

A close up of Wheel Stones
Onward and forward we continued, with the views becaming more and more stunning as we ascended, when we reached the summit of Win Hil

The final ascent of Win Hill starts here

Win Hill viewed from Lose Hill back in February 2012
see my write up on Castleton’s North Ridges
We could see back down to Ladybower, across to Derwent Moor where I walked earlier this year (see Derwent Moor and those funny shaped stones!), Mam Tor and Castleton’s Great Ridge, (one of my first blogs, Castleton’s North Ridges) Kinder, (which I’ve yet to write a blog on, even though I’ve been there a few times), Bleaklow and Bamford Moor (Bamford Moor, a possible future walk.

Win Hill summit

Win Hill summit trig
Ladybower Reservoir from Win Hill summit

Castleton's Great Ridge from Win Hill summit

Kinder from Win Hill summit
Bleaklow from Win Hill summit
Ladybower and Derwent Moor from Win Hill summit
The descent from Win Hill was no less disappointing. We headed along the Roman Road, and there was no mistaking the fact it was once a Roman Road, it was straight, typical of Roman Roads of the time.

A choice of descents from the summit, the easy one

A choice of descents from the summit, or the fun one

The path leding to the Roman Road


Hmmm, 1.1ºC

Not windy one little bit, 8.6 mph max speed.....


Looking down the Roman Road, towards Castleton's Great Ridge

Castleton's Great Ridge

Looking back up the Roman Road, towards Win Hill summit

Win Hill summit

Crook Hill

part of the Roman Road had deep long ruts along it

It was fascinating on our descent, being able to look back over to Castleton’s Great Ridge, looking at the route that Chris and I walked back in February 2012.

We still had grand views over to the Great Ridge, Kinder and Bleaklow on the descent.

The path was clear and well defined, all the way back towards the forest.

In view of the time and available daylight, we didn’t continue to Hope Cross, but re-joined the forest just south of Wooler Knoll.

The footpath near to Wooler Know

The sign showing your route options

We chose to circum-navigate the south side of the forest,
retaining the views up Win Hill

Following the path, that at times was quite wet and muddy

We had two route choices from here, either through the forest, or to circumnavigate the forest and enjoy the sun that had decided to show up late in the available daylight.
Following the path, that at times was quite wet and muddy, hardly surprising considering the weather we’ve endured the last week, it was a nice steady walk even right up to the point where we had to head back in to the forest to complete our descent back down to the reservoir.

We soon completed the descent and hand railed the reservoir, heading back towards the dam and car park at Heatherdene.

It was a short, but very enjoyable walk, giving some priceless views across the Peak District.

I would guess on a really clear spring or autumn day, those views would be even more impressive and well worth the climb.

This is a relatively easy walk, no desperately steep ascents. But, beware of slippery rocks on and around the summit, muddy ground and part of the Roman Road had deep long ruts along it, which could be a slip hazard.

Incidentally, there was a rather large seat in Heatherdene car park, almost making you feel you might have been in Alice's Wonderland!

The rather large seat in Heatherdene car park
and below are some of the carvings on the seat


Even though this was a short walk and not venturing too deep in to the beautiful wilds that this country has to offer, I still carried my full kit.

OS 1:25000 Explorer series, showing the GPS Tracklog



I’m planning my next walk, which, weather permitting, will be between Christmas and New Year.

So I’ll wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Finally, happy rambling and thank you for reading,

Peak Rambler


  1. Lovely walk - I always like going up Win Hill. Even though it's always busy on the top, there are enough choices of routes up that you can often escape the masses. The Roman Road was looking a bit more rutted than last time I was there!

    1. The summit wasn't that busy this time. But that might have been down to the weather forecasts, predicting doom and gloom.

      Even on the day before we went, the forecasts were mixed!

      Still, I was rewarded well and will make a return, one day.

      As for Roman Road being more rutted, I guess that would be down to the weather we've been having.

  2. A lovely walk and some beautiful photos! We did a very similar walk to this a while ago, but in reverse!

  3. Thank you.

    That is one of those walks, which you can do either way round, comfortably.

    Both sides giving fabulous views that spoil you.

  4. Excellent photos and a nice walk. I rather like the look of your Kestrel device. I've often looked out for one but never found one in the shops I visit ~ I dare say I haven't tried hard enough.

    1. Charlie, They are a superb piece of kit IMO. The company I bought mine from BHIP Ltd, were very quick in delivering.

      I know a few people with varying models of Kestrel anenometers, all seem very pleased with them.

      Depending on the model, they will give readouts for barometer, temp, wind chill, wind speed, altitude and much more.

      Mine, the 2000, just gives temp, wind chill and wind speed, which is all I need. For altitude, my Suunto Core is accurate enough.

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.


    2. Thanks for that info Mike ... I'm not fully fit at present but when [if] I get fit I'll certainly have a look at getting one.

    3. You're welcome.

      I've not seen the Kestel anenometers in any shops, only online.

      I hope you get back to fitness soon and start to enjoy getting out and about again.

    4. Thanks Mike ... I hope so too but the Gods may be against it. Still, we'll see. The first thing I'll treat myself to is a Kestrel anenometer !

  5. As always a great walk Mike, gutted i forgot my camera:-(
    Hope you had a good crimbo,

    All the best, Peak Lad:-)

    1. Thanks Chris, a nice quiet Xmas.

      The full selection of photos can be viewed on my Flickr account;

    2. Thanks for the link Mike, some great shots.

      Until next time;-)

  6. Hi Mike,
    Great blog about a great hill. I included a Win Hill walk as one of my contenders for walk of the year in my latest blog. We went up from the Hope side but was till highly enjoyable and the view from the top is amazingly good. Have you ever been up Shutlingsloe? Its similar to Win Hill in many respects and another very fine walk.

    1. You;ve got to try the ascent of Win Hill from the Ladybower side, that was one grand vista.

      Not only did we have good views over Hope and Castleton, once clear of Win Hill Plantation, but also clear views across to Derwent and Bamford Moors, Stanage Edge, Bleaklow and Kinder. A brilliant panaorama of views.

      I've not yet been up Shutlingsloe, its on my "to do" list, along with many more.

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to pass comment.

  7. At least you got some views Mike :) Can't beat a bit of Win Hill. One of my favourites.

    1. Thanks Terry.

      I think it could be return visit one day.

  8. Love Win Hill!! One of my fave spots, when I was working at Castleton YHA, it was a great split shift walk!

  9. I'll bet Win Hill was a great split shift walk. I'll bet even this one would have been another favourite;

    Thank you for taking the time to read and also leaving a comment.