Bleaklow Hill via Bleaklow Stones

Bleaklow Hill via Bleaklow Stones
Start : Howden Reservoir. Parking off the road on the western limb of Howden Reservoir.[SK169950 270m ]
Summary : Howden Reservoir (Western Arm) - Westend - Round Hill - Barrow Stones - Grinah Stones - Bleaklow Stones - Bleaklow Hill - Bleaklow Stones - The Ridge - Westend Moor - Alport Castles (Top) - Howden Reservoir
distance : 13.5km.
ascent : 380m.
time : 4hr. 40min.

Bleaklow Hill and Bleaklow Stones are on the ridge, connecting the highpoints of Bleaklow. From here the water flows down south west to fill up Howden reservoir and this route follows a horseshoe up from the reservoir to this high point of Bleaklow. The area around here has been much changed over the past decade. Gone are the extensive desolate areas of dark peak bog, to be replaced by a more stable lanscape of green grass. Don't be too disappointed; there are still some areas of peat and the area can be very wet.


Current Weather

Last Updated today at : 01:31:47

Overall : few clouds
Temperature : 4degC.
Wind Speed : 5km/hr.
Wind Direction : WSW
Clouds : few clouds
Precipitation : none
Sunrise : 04:54:01
Sunset : 19:14:59
: Times are GMT add 1 hour for BST

Data from

From the parking, go through the gate and follow the track up through the forest. This is a good track making for a fast paced start. This track is followed along the Westend through the forest and as it continues to climb up the north east slopes of the valley. The track leads to the end of Black Dyke Drain as it reaches the top of the ridge. This is a peculiar feature, marked only on the 1:25,000 map. From here a clear path is seen climbing up to Round Hill; follow this to the shelter marking the summit of Round Hill.(4.5kms. 280m. 2hrs. 0min.)

Leave Round Hill and walk over to Barrow Stones following the small path. There are some interesting rock sculptures here. From here contour around, on a path to Grinah Stones. Again some interesting rock formations. Don't be tempted to climb onto the skyline here as this route to Bleaklow Stones is wet and full of groughs. Instead find the path that contours around at 570m until it climbs to the rocks of Bleaklow Stones. Again there are many interesting rock features here. Go back to the path contouring around Bleaklow and continue west following the line of stakes, that follow the southern edge of Bleaklow to Bleaklow Hill. It is here that the walker can see the true Bleaklow plateau, wild remote and formitable on a dark adamp day! The view is of the true grandeur of the top of Bleaklow. Views south over to Kinder and the rest of the Peak District are also good here. (3.0kms. 100m. 1hrs. 10min.)

Return back along the southern path until the ridge between Alport Head and Westend Head is reached. Now descend down The Ridge. Follow this route south going through a gate prior to descending the Ridge. There is a path here, and indeed all the way down this high ground but it is not very clear in places and can be easily lost. Keep to the high ground and cross a round raise in the ridge. Once over here the trig point at Westend moor can be seen and the route follows the indistinct path to this trig point. From here a more definite path can be followed that keeps to the south west of the high ground. Stop at the wall near to Birchens Hat. It is worth continuing on for a short distance to see Alport Castles, the result of an ancient landslip. Back to Birchens Hat and down the distinct path north east that descends through the forest to meet the tracks in the valley bottom. (6.0kms. 0m. 1hrs. 50min.)