Alport Castles

17 October 2021

The final walk of the summer programme sees the group visiting the Ladybower Reservoir and Alport Castles. The distance is approximately 12 miles.
We begin our walk at the Fairholmes Visitor Centre, adjacent to the Ladybower Reservoir and the Derwent Dam. There are toilets and refreshments available here. We shall walk past the Derwent Dam and along the west shore of the Upper Derwent Reservoir for a while. The Derwent Reservoir is famous for its link with The Dambusters – an RAF squadron of Lancaster bombers practicing for their attack on the Ruhr dams in WW2.
We then turn south, ascending through beautiful woodland towards Hagg Farm, passing the Lockerbrook Outdoor Centre en route. If we are lucky, leaves will be changing colour, adding to the spectacle. The route takes us sharp right above Hagg Farm as we follow the top of the plateau towards Alport Castles. There are great views of the Alport Valley and Kinder Scout along this stretch of the walk.
We take our first break overlooking Alport Castles. This is the result of a giant landslip in prehistoric times, leaving a pinnacle of rock called ‘The Tower’. This resembles a fairytale castle adjacent to a dramatic cliff face. From here, we use the path down to the River Alport at Alport Farm. This path offers excellent views of ‘The Tower’ and the surrounding countryside as we descend.
We then follow a farm track to Alport Bridge, where we cross the Snake Pass road and the River Ashop before ascending gently a short way to Upper Ashop. After crossing Rowlee Bridge we ascend past Rowlee Farm and follow a track south eastwards above Hagg Farm. This too offers excellent views of the valley and of Kinder Scout.
Beyond Hagg Farm, we continue in a south easterly direction high above the twin arms of the Ladybower Reservoir. We walk across Bridge-end Pasture, past Crookhill farm and on to the viaduct over the Ladybower Reservoir. We then ascend the hill for a short distance above Ashopton before descending to the Ladybower Inn. The final climb can be avoided if required, or if daylight is deserting us, by following the main road. Hopefully there will be time for well-deserved refreshments before the time comes to leave for home.
Our coach will pick us up around 6:30pm on the main road adjacent to the Heatherdene toilets and car park.

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