Bamford, Hope and Win Hill

My first wander for 2014, and a very pleasant wander it was too.

The walk was organised by Kerry, from the Walkers Forum (which has since closed), one of many outdoor and walking forums on the web today.

I had however, assigned myself to getting out on this day, hook or by crook and had planned a wander. However, an invite to join a small group walking in the Peak District, just could not be turned down.

The route I had planned will take place another day, but not another to my growing list, this was one is waiting to be ticked off my growing list….

The route would be from Bamford, in to Hope, then Win Hill and back to Bamford via Thornhill. The weather, for the day, cloudy and sunny, but the much of the higher ground would be cloud covered.

The drive from home in the West Midlands, was an interesting one to say the least, once I’d crossed the boundary in to the Peak District National Park, after managing to photo a nice and colourful sunrise on my way up.

The sunrise I had the pleasure of seeing and photographing on my drive up

The interesting bit was once I’d come off the main roads, and not surprisingly observed large sheets of ice across the road!

As you would expect, I exercised extreme care while driving and to be honest, this particular road is not a fast route, but a very pleasant one none-the-less.

So I arrived, in plenty of good time to the meeting point in Bamford, not totally sure where the parking point would be, so I parked where I would hopefully see what would look like fellow walkers arriving and hopefully, meet up with the right group, especially as I didn’t think I would know any of them.

So while waiting, I enjoyed a coffee and some cold toast, all prepared before I left home, then started to get suited and booted. Just as I had started to get my boots on, the first of the group arrived, John from Redditch, who I recognised instantly from a previous group walk a couple of years ago, before I started blogging.

The radio mast on Eyam Moor, viewed from Bamford
and can be seen from Castleton's Great Ridge, Stannage Edge
and many other places in the Peak District.

Once I’d got my boots on, I joined John in the car park and we chatted while waiting for the others to arrive, which wasn’t too long after.

The others all knew each other from previous walks, so the introductions were very quick, just me….

Once we had all got suited and booted, we set off southwards, from Bamford to cross the A6013, the road between Hathersage and Castleton, walking through Shatton, through Brough towards Hope.

Crossing the A6013 Hathersage to Castleton road to head for Shatton

We had some splendid views walking this stretch, to the south to Brough and Shatton Country Park, to the west with Castleton’s Great Ridge,  which I’ve covered in my blog Castleton’s North Ridges, and across Hope Valley to Win Hill and Kinder, both places I’ve walked and written about, with the links at the bottom.

As we walked through Shatton, we reached Wheat Hay Farm, where a small river coming down from Shatton Edge, crossed the road. Fear not, for there was a bridge that crossed the water, so you could maintain dry boots and feet a little longer.

Walking through Shatton

" ....every walking group has one,
who just has to walk through the water….. "

But hey, walking the Peak District and getting a little wet just is becoming, especially with the recent weather….

Yes, you guessed it; every walking group has one, who just has to walk through the water…..
As we continued, there was a minor ascent as we approached Brough, just to the southeast of Hope and very close to Hope Quarry and Cement Works. Here we reached a point called Halsteads, a good old Roman place name. Incidentally, there was quite a lot of Roman activity around Hope, Castleton and the Edale and Hope Valleys.

A muddy ascent from Shatton...
Win Hill engulfed in low cloud

The footpath from Halsteads

Halsteads, a good old Roman lace name...
The sign says it all.

To our left, the south side, you could see what looked like old quarry workings, now filled in.

There is the old Roman Road which is a part of the Win Hill western descent route, which goes through Hope and many, if not all, the mines in and around Castleton (along with a lot Roman lead mining in the Peak District generally), were once mined by Romans for Blue John, Lead and many more minerals and ores.

Incidentally, right by Hope Quarry and Cement Works, is Pindale Farm, which is now converted for camping with some very nice Bunkhouses, which I, along with a few others, stayed in February 2012, covered in A Peak Winter Meet, a Bunkhouse and Kinder.

We reached the road from Hope to Hope Quarry and Cement Works, where if we turned left, we would have passed the entrance to the works and continued to Pindale Farm, but our route was through Hope, so we turned right.

Once again, we crossed the A6013, Hathersage to Castleton road, and called in at The Old Hall Tea Rooms part of the Old Hall Hotel, opposite Hope Church, where they welcomed us with open arms, especially as we had muddy boots!

Hope Church

The Old Hall Tearooms
At this point, I know I speak for all in the group, the staff made us very welcome and the coffee and tea was just perfect. Thank you to the staff for accommodating us.

Coffee/Tea break over, we continued our walk, picking up the road north out of Hope, opposite the church, past the Cheshire Cheese, where I had a meal when staying at Pindale Farm in February 2012, towards Townhead Bridge, where we would pick up the public footpath on our left, heading initially in a north westerly direction.

" ....the Cheshire Cheese,
where I had a meal when staying at Pindale Farm
in February 2012...."

Not long after that, we encountered a forked junction on the path, where we took the right fork to head in a nor-nor-west direction, to the bottom of Fiddle Clough, where crossed the field boundary and had lunch at the bottom of Fiddle Clough.

" ....we took the right fork to head in a nor-nor-west direction.... "

Suitably refreshed, we continued down the clough under the railway bridge, which carries the line to Edale, crossed over the road between Nether Booth and Harrop Farm, to join the Roman Road and start our ascent of Win Hill.

While down in the Hope Valley, the sun shone just perfectly for the full duration. Here we were still enjoying the pleasant sunshine, but noticing the incoming cloud over the Castleton Ridge, heading our way!

The bottom of Fiddle Clough

We were also given some splendid views to the opposite side of the ridge, not normally photographed, so I grabbed the opportunity. Back Tor looked really impressive from its North West side.

A side of Castleton's Great Ridge, not often photographed.
L - R Lose Hill, Back Tor, Hollins Cross and Mam Tor

The last time I was on this path, the person I was walking with needed to turn off for a quick route back via Wooler Knoll and Ladybower.
So we continued our ascent of Win Hill, not only gaining altitude, but also moving in to the cloud base, which was around 350 metres!

For those not competent enough navigating in low cloud, then the sensible thing to do would be ti turn back long before you get to this point. However, within out group, we all had sufficient navigational skills to easily complete the route without turning back.

Part of Roman Road heading for Win Hill summit

Part of the route to Win Hill summit took us alongside
the plantation above Ladybower Reservoir

Roman Road heading for Win Hill summit

Crook Hill from Roman Road as we headed for Win Hill summit

Win Hill summit almost in view....

The final ascent to Win Hill summit.
Note the sharp drop to the right!

As we continued our ascent, not only did we become engulfed in the cloud, but it also started to become considerably darker, though not quite enough to consider getting our head torches out.

A word of caution, as you make the final stage of the ascent to Win Hill summit, there is a sharp drop to the right, which may not be clear in low cloud.

We soon reached Win Hill summit, where we stopped to take in the breath taking views that Win Hill provides on a day like it was, cloud, more cloud and yet more cloud!
Seriously, the views are superb, as I wrote about in my blog Win Hill and its winning views! and you will see some of those views there.

An old photo from Dec 2012, looking down from Win Hill
over Ladybower

An old photo from Dec 2012, looking down from Win Hill
over the Hope Valley

Time for a quick group photo, from one kind gent enjoying a peaceful break, and then we had to start our descent down through Win Hill Plantation and to Thornhill.

Group photo a the Win Hill summit Trig Point

Incidentally, though it was around 5ºC while down in the valley, the summit temperature was -4.8ºC with a gentle breeze of 6.1 mph!

The descent started, still in low cloud, as we left the summit and headed for Win Hill Plantation, where we saw fallen trees, damage from the recent gales. 

The descent started, still in low cloud

Fallen trees in Win Hill Plantation from the recent gales

It was at Win Hill Plantation, where we took a right turn, where the path reached a cross roads. Here we continued a steady descent in generally a south easterly direction towards Thornhill. 

As we descend from Win Hill Plantation, down in the valley on the left is the River Derwent, which starts life on the Howden Moors, flowing down to feed the Howden Reservoir, the Derwent Reservoir and finally Ladybower Reservoir, before flowing south through Bamford down to Matlock, where it feeds the Cromford Canal, which provided the necessary transport infrastructure of the many wool mills along that route. 

The River Derwent itself continued its flow, very much alongside the Cromford Canal, through Derby and the Amber Valley and beyond.

Just coming below the cloud base, on our descent from Win Hill

I’ve digressed, back to our descent to Thornhill. Just outside Thornhill, we came across a bench, which just had to be utilised for its proper construction and use. Well, it would have been rude not to….
So a short breather and chat, and then we continued our descent through Thornhill and in to Bamford.
As we passed through Thornhill, a very small village, we were soon to arrive on the outskirts of Bamford, right alongside the Quaker Community buildings on Water Lane.

Here we headed east, along Water Lane back to Bamford and our cars.

Water Lane, Bamford

The sign of a good walk, muddy boots and muddy gaiters.
Yes, the mud even went up the outside of my inside my trouser legs too
I would like to extend my thanks to Kerry for organising the wander and doing the navigating, along with the guys who I had the pleasure of walking with. It was a superb day and I look forward to walking with you all again one day soon.

A map showing the route

 Finally, happy rambling and thank you for reading,

Peak Rambler

Twitter               @PeakRambler
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Links to some of the places I’ve mentioned and written about;
Pindale Farm
The Old Hall Tea Rooms
Old Hall Hotel
Castleton’s North Ridges
Win Hill and its winning views!
Kinder, Kinder Downfall and the Sabre…..
A Peak Winter Meet, a Bunkhouse and Kinder


  1. A very detailed report of a walk I know well; I've done every section of the route you chose...but as parts of different walks.

    It seems like many of us are commenting on the amount of mud we are encountering on our walks in the Peak District at the moment.

    1. Thank you Lee.

      I think the Peaks, along with many other areas, have suffered a lot with high water tables due to the weather.

  2. Looked just a touch soggy!

  3. The Old Hall Tearooms - Amazing breakfasts in there!

    1. I could well imagine, its certainly on my list for a return visit.