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Alport Castles

Alport Castles

Postby Colley » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:38 pm

Date walked: 14/03/2016

Time taken: 2.35

Distance: 13.4 km

Ascent: 393m

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A day off work with a good forecast was not to be missed but with not enough time to get to the Lakes or North Wales it had to be a trip to the Peak District and a walk along the Derwent Reservoirs and up to Alport Castles. If you haven't been its well worth the (modest) effort, the castles themselves being the result of a landslip, almost Storr in miniature. There is also history, you walk through the remains of "Tin Town" built to house the workers who built the Derwent and Howden Dams at the start of the last century, and a poiniant memorial to the crews of 617 Squadron, the "Dam Busters", who trained hereabouts.
I started my walk from the Fairholmes carpark just below the Derwent Dam and walked along the metalled road along the western side of the Derwent Reservoir and western spur of the Howden Reservoir. Both reservoirs were completely full, and overflowing, perhaps not surprising given the recent weather.
Derwent Dam

Inside the gatehouse of the dam is a memorial to the men of 617 Squadron, the Derwent Dam was used during training because of its close resemblance to the dams of the Rhur valley in Germany. A place for quite reflection on a calm and peaceful day.
Dambusters memorial

On a good day, the walk up the reservoir is stunning, and before long, the upper, Howden Dam, comes into view.
Howden Dam backed by Upper Hey and Margery Hill in the distance

Margery Hill from Howden Reservoir

From the western end of Howden Reservoir the only real effort of the day begins with the steep ascent of Ditch Clough. Once through the trees the steepest part of the climb is soon over with a 4x4 track leading past numerous groups butts toward Alport Castles. The view back confirms that height has quickly been gained.
Looking back to Howden Reservoir, Margery Hill on the left skyline and Featherbed Moss on the right

Easy walking soon leads the the edge of the landslip at Alport Castles an unusual place with stunning views.
Alport Dale and Bleaklow Head.

Alport Castles


Beyond the Castles the path is some flagged with views along to the Snake Pass and Kinder Edges.
Kinder Edges, the prominent prow on the right is Fairbrook Naze, with the Snake Pass road in the bottom of the valley.

All too soon the walk is over with relatively gentle descent back to Fairholmes with facing views of Ladybower Reservoir and Stanage Edge.
View toward Stanage High Neb.

An excellent and highly recommended short day.
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Re: Alport Castles

Postby ChrisW » Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:13 am

There was a time when this walk was a monthly excursion for me, how wonderful to be sat here so far from home and see the beauty of the Peak District again.

Thanks for taking the time to write this one up Colley, it really made my day :thumbup:
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Re: Alport Castles

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:40 am

I've seen pictures of Alport Castles before it looks like a superb place, thanks for sharing.
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Re: Alport Castles

Postby Mancunian » Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:27 am

Reading your report was a trip down memory lane for me. I've done exactly the same walk in February or March 2002 and have never been to the area ever since. I even took photos of the same views...

Howden Dam in March 2002

Howden Reservoir in 2002

Many thanks for sharing this walk.
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