Win Hill, Bridge-end Pasture, and Crook Hill

Route Summary:

A fantastic Dark Peak circuit that ascends Win Hill from Yorkshire Bridge via Parkin Clough before moving on to Hope Cross. The route then crosses the A57 and passes Hagg Farm on the way to Bridge-end Pasture. It finishes by ascending the twin summits of Crook Hill before heading back down to Ladybower Reservoir.

Route Information

  • Start: A6013, Hope Valley S33, UK
  • Date:19-01-2018
  • GPX File: Download

Other POI: Yorkshire Bridge, River Derwent, Parkin Clough, Win Hill, Winhill Plantation, Winhill Pike, Thornhill Brink, Hope Brink, Woodlands Valley, Hope Cross, Roman Road, Haggwater Bridge, Hagg Farm, Open Hagg, Hagg Side, Bridge-end Pasture, Crook Hill, Crookhill Farm, Ladybower Reservoir

Route Description:

The route starts at the Yorkshire Bridge Inn, with side of the road parking available just a hundred yards up the road. A brief spell of road walking follows, down Ashopton Road for a short distance before taking the right turn down Lydgate Lane. At the bottom of the road, just after it crosses the bridge over the River Derwent, take a right onto Carr Lane. After a few yards, the signpost becomes visible on the left pointing up Parkin Clough and towards Win Hill.

Win Hill and Parkin Clough

It was a steep slog, as always, and the ground was incredibly muddy and slippery so care had to be taken. I normally head straight up in order to get the gruelling ascent over and done with as quickly as possible, but this time I made the decision to make a couple of stops on the way in order to carefully descend into the clough itself and take a few photographs.

Steps to Parkin Clough
Steps to Parkin Clough
Stream flowing down Parkin Clough
Stream flowing down Parkin Clough

The snow wasn’t making much of an appearance on these lower slopes, and that remained the case until I left the clough near the top and followed the path upwards through Winhill Plantation. All of a sudden, my surroundings had turned into a winter wonderland and I paused to admire the scenery before continuing the final ascent up Winhill Pike and to the summit.

Winhill Plantation
Winhill Plantation
Approaching Winhill Pike
Approaching Winhill Pike

The view from the Win Hill summit is probably one of my favourite views in the Peak District. The heather clad ridge of Thornhill Brink stretches out to the west before gently curving into a more northerly direction towards the bulk of Kinder Scouts eastern end. To the north lies the outstanding view of Ladybower Reservoir with Crook Hill on the left and Derwent Edge on its right. To the east lies Bamford Edge and Stanage Edge, and to the south is Hope Valley.

Win Hill trig pillar
Win Hill trig pillar
Looking west from Win Hill
Looking west from Win Hill

From Win Hill, the route continues west along Thornhill Brink, and then Hope Brink. To the right is the thickly forested area of the Woodlands Valley, and to the left is a wonderful view across to Lose Hill. Ahead and to the left is the bulk of Kinder Scout with the cleft of Jaggers Clough clearly visible up its side. The ancient medieval marker-post of Hope Cross is passed and, shortly after, a right turn is taken that heads down a bridle-road, eventually leading to Haggwater Bridge.

Looking back at Winhill Pike
Looking back at Winhill Pike
Looking towards Kinder Scout
Looking towards Kinder Scout
Lose Hill
Lose Hill
Heading down the bridle road
Heading down the bridle road

Bridge-end Pasture and Crook Hill

I crossed Haggwater Bridge over the River Ashop, crossed the A57, and started the ascent up past Hagg Farm and towards the junction of footpaths at the top. Just like my most recent winter walk, I hadn’t passed a single person so far. The Dark Peak was all mine!

I proceeded to follow the tree line of Hagg Side southeast across a deep blanket of snow that had only a single pair of footprints as evidence that anyone had been this way recently. Unfortunately, the snow was not consolidated and the ground underneath not frozen, and so every so often my foot would suddenly sink in a patch of bog. I continued ploughing through the snow until I reached the expanse of Bridge-end Pasture.

Haggwater Bridge
Haggwater Bridge
Following the Hagg Side treeline
Following the Hagg Side treeline

The route continues over Bridge-end Pasture until it gently descends. Ahead, Crook Hill is clearly visible and, despite its modest height, always makes an impressive backdrop to the scenery.

Once I arrived at Crook Hill, I began the steep ascent to the summit. Luckily, with it being a relatively small hill, the climb to the top is the work of minutes.  The summit made a great viewpoint looking over Upper Derwent Valley, or forward to the hill’s second peak, or back over Bridge-end Pasture. After the compulsory photos, I descended down the other side and made my way towards the second peak. For some reason, all the sheep in the field started to gather behind me and follow me in a herd. It was a little unnerving. No amount of noise or scary gestures would make them shift. Luckily they decided to stop following me once I started ascending the second peak. The view, as you’d expect, is more or less the same as the one from its sister peak – but still worth a few more photos.

Drifted snow on Bridge-end Pasture
Drifted snow on Bridge-end Pasture
Crook Hill
Crook Hill

From Crook Hill, the route continues down through Crook Farm and to Ladybower Reservoir where the lane is followed back to the A57. A short section of road walking finishes the walk off as the route takes you back to the Yorkshire Bridge Inn.  For one final photo opportunity of the day, keep a lookout for the Ladybower sink hole on your right as you walk down Ashopton Road!

Ladybower Reservoir
Ladybower Reservoir
The sink hole in Ladybower Reservoir
The sink hole

Route Map
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