A Simple Win Hill Circular

Route Summary:

A simple circular walk in the Dark Peak that ascends Win Hill from Yorkshire Bridge via Parkin Clough before descending back through the wooded slopes on good tracks.

Route Information

  • Start: Ladybower Lodge, Ashopton Rd, Hope Valley S33 0BY, UK
  • Date:09-06-2018
  • GPX File: Download

Other POI: Yorkshire Bridge, Ladybower Reservoir, Ladybower Reservoir Dam, Parkin Clough, Winhill Plantation, Win Hill,

Route Description:

After his initiation to the Dark Peak, I decided to try moving the little one to the next level to see what he was capable of. I was looking for something around 3 miles long but providing tougher walking than simply walking along a gritstone edge. I decided upon Win Hill. The ascent via Parkin Clough is a tough slog, however the rocky summit contained interest for a youngster (they tend to love scrambling on rock) and the descent back down the woodland tracks is pleasant with easy going gradients.

We parked just a little higher up the road from the Yorkshire Bridge Inn and proceeded across the dam (which I could see amazed him) before turning left and heading to Parkin Clough.

Crossing Ladybower dam
Crossing Ladybower Dam
River Derwent south of the reservoir
River Derwent south of the reservoir

I have to be honest, I really thought he’d struggle with the climb and was expecting lots of whining whilst we slogged up the hill. The boy was doing well – enjoying it even. Eventually, we arrived at the head of the clough and stopped for a little while so he could munch down a bit of cake and refuel those little legs.

Having  a closer look at the stream
Having a closer look at the brook
Slogging up Parkin Clough
Slogging up Parkin Clough

We continued up through the woodland, the rocky summit of Winhill Pike now visible in the distance. The summit was reasonably busy considering we only passed a handful of other walkers on the way up. The little one enjoyed his moment of scrambling around the top before we took the obligatory trig point photo and had another rest. It was a nice day and the views, as always, were fantastic.

Winhill Plantation
Walking through Winhill Plantation
Refuelling with cake
Refuelling with cake
Ascending the final steps to the top of Win Hill
Ascending the final steps
Stepping onto Winhill Pike
Stepping onto Winhill Pike
View of Ladybower Reservoir from Win Hill
Enjoying the fantastic views of Ladybower Reservoir
Mingling with the crowds on Winhill Pike
Mingling with the crowds
Trig point photo on Win Hill
Trig point photo

After dropping down the opposite side of Winhill Pike, we headed west for a little while before taking a sharp turn to the right and following a narrow track north-east, through heather moorland, and back towards the wooded slopes.

Scrambling down Winhill Pike
Enjoying a brief scramble
Leaving Winhill Pike behind
Leaving Winhill Pike behind
The main path to Hope Brink
The main path to Hope Brink
Cutting across moorland
Cutting across moorland

Once back in the woods, the little ones legs had finally tired. He needed a little motivation from dad to keep him going. This was normally in the form of ‘OK, you wait here, I’ll go home without you. Bye bye‘. And then I’d wait around the bend as he shouted after me a couple of times before suddenly finding the strength to come running. After many repetitions of this same tactic (I wasn’t carrying him, no matter how many times he asked), we eventually reached the reservoir back at the foot of the hill.

Navigation skills
Teaching important navigation skills
Descending through woodland
Descending through woodland
Walking through the Win Hill woodland
Almost there…
Looking over Ladybower towards Bamford Edge
Looking over Ladybower towards Bamford Edge

At this point, I could see that he’d genuinely ran out of steam and wasn’t simply whining, and so I rewarded him with a shoulder ride over the dam and back to the car. Mission accomplished!

Route Map
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