Mar 192015

Ladybower and Black Tor walk.

Distance: 15.25 km (approx 9.5 miles)
Time: approx 4hrs 15mins
Height gained: 536 m
Map: OL1 – The Peak District – Dark Peak Area
Parking: Lay-by SK172893
Refreshments: None on route (but some nearby at the Vistors’ Centre SK172893)

View the route in OS Openspace: Ladybower and Black Tor (opens in a new bowser window)

From the parking area, cross the road and take the bridleway just the bridleway on the right just before the viaduct (point 1). Follow the well-surfaced path alongside the reservoir. At point 2, it joins a minor road. Continue on, passing a few properties, an aqueduct across the reservoir and a telephone box on the left.

At point 3, the dam of Derwent Reservoir comes into sight. If you feel a need for refreshments (or the loo. carry on along the road and it soon sweeps left in an arc to the Visitor’s Centre (point 4). I did not take this option so can’t comment on the facilities.

If you don’t want the facilities at the Visitor Centre, fork right at point 3, passing through a gate and on to a well-surfaced bridleway, soon passing alongside Derwent reservoir. In around another 1 km, watch for a footpath on the right (point 5) and get for a climb out of the valley and on to the moor. The path jig jags up the hill and does not follow the line of the oath shown on the map; the way forward is obvious, though. AT point 6, follow the line of the fence to a corner with another fence and turn to the south initially still following a fence line before swinging left and heading towards the obvious peak of “Lost Lad” (point 7).

The going is good and just before the final climb to the Lost lad, there is a stepped path. Once at the summit, enjoy the 360 deg view and there is a topograph showing the direction of distant feature. All the significant climbing is now finished and it’s an easy path to the next objective of Black Tor (point 8). It is difficult to miss as someone has painted the old trig. point in white paint so it really stands out. I would suggest a rest here, plenty of rocky ledges to sit and it’s easy to find somewhere out of the wind.

Our way forward is now southerly and there is an excellent path laid using natural rocks. It follows the edge of Derwent Edge passing Dovestone Tor (point 9) Salt Cellar to Wheel Stones. After passing Dovestone Tor, the rock path finishes and, at the time of my visit, the path carrying on was being improved using a mix of a heather base with a sand and gravel top. I had the impression that the original path was through a bog for most of the way!

Still heading south beyond Wheel Stones, ignore the crossing track and pass Hurkling Stones. At the next crossing path (point 11), turn right (west) to drop steeply down a badly eroded gully, ignoring the bridleway to the right. The gully soon finishes and swing south again to head towards firstly woods on the right and then onwards to enter the woods themselves. There’s a minor ascent but nothing to trouble the legs.

Come out of the woods through a gate at point 12, swing sharply right to head west on a tarmaced road and there should be views of the car parked below in the layby. The way back is now obvious.