Wild weather in the Peak District, 31 January 2018

Another journey by train along the Hope Valley, this time with the intention of walking from Bamford to Hathersage past Ladybower Reservoir, onto Bamford Edge then Stanage Edge, finally dropping down to Hathersage past Carrhead Rocks, a distance of about 11 miles. As my train stopped at Hathersage, I could see that Stanage Edge was completely blotted out by bad weather; not a good sign! However, when I left the train at Bamford, the next station, the sun was shining and it felt quite pleasant.

I followed the Thornhill Trail to Ladybower Reservoir, this being the old tramway that served in the construction of the reservoir. On reaching the reservoir I could see that the ‘plugholes’ – provided to carry off excess water – were overflowing, a quite spectacular sight, and I headed across the dam and up the footpath leading to Bamford Edge.

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Ladybower Reservoir and one of the pumping towers

Two weeks earlier, I’d been unable to find the permissive path onto Bamford edge, but had no such trouble this time. Once through a stretch of ancient oak woodland, where I saw a treecreeper, the views started opening out over Ladybower and the Woodlands and Derwent Valleys. I could also see lots of dark cloud and snow showers around and it wasn’t long before one of these hit Bamford Edge with full fury. For a time, it was pretty unpleasant in the snow and strong wind, and cold too. However, after some minutes, the shower passed and the sun shone allowing me to take some great photographs. Bamford Edge is a wonderful viewpoint overlooking Ladybower Reservoir and with the moors all around.

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Ladybower Reservoir from Bamford Edge

By now, I was keen to get out of the wind, so quickly descended from the Edge to the minor road at Bole Hill and followed the footpath paralleling the road past Dennis Knoll. Along here was a good spot for lunch as it was reasonably sheltered. I had then intended climbing up onto Stanage Edge, but the weather discouraged me from doing so. By now, it was snowing heavily as I walked along the minor road. However, after about 20 minutes, the snow stopped and the sun came out, so I decided to nip up onto Stanage Edge after all. I was glad I did, because there were some fantastic views of atmospheric skies and a rapidly approaching snow shower!

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Approaching snow showers from Stanage Edge

I headed off the edge and made for Carrhead Rocks overlooking Hathersage. The snow stopped at just the right time with the sun coming out for some great photos. It wasn’t long though before the weather closed in again as I made my way down the hill into Hathersage. I decided I’d earned a treat so had a cream tea in Outside’s, the outdoor clothing shop, before catching the train home.

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Carrhead Rocks above Hathersage
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The view from Carrhead Rocks with Mam Tor and Win Hill in the far distance

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