Day 52: Clough Edge – Bleaklow – Featherbed Moss – Mill Hill – William Clough – Hayfield – South Head – Perry Dale

17.0 miles – Tearful grey skies which speak of failed endeavours and hopeless futures, windy, wet, cold

Bleaklow just before breakfast. Bleak? The clue is in the name.

Did I mention in any of my previous posts that I had had enough of flattish, eventless moorland? Well, I set off under those heavy, sorrowful skies, content, knowing that this stretch of it would at least be the last. Then I sat down for breakfast. And then it started to rain.

To be fair, it didn’t rain all that hard, and in fact, some of the moorland I was treated to thereafter was undulating and actually interesting. I leave you, then, with the final batch of moorland photos.

the view south from Bleaklow.
Further on, and it’s really a proper path in a little cutting.
Absolutely the last picture of moorland in this blog, but back to full-on bleak. The pathway south on Featherbed Moss towards Mill Hill.

It only occurred to me to change my route after I had seen the sign for a footpath off to the right. Studying my map, I saw that taking it would cut off a long stretch of boulder-clambering and two steep hills. It was also more in the direction in which I actually wanted to go. I felt real regret at the prospect of missing out Kinder Scout – I must come back another time – but it could make the difference between getting to Burton-upon-Trent in another two days and not, and I had been warned of exceptionally hot weather after that, which I wanted to avoid. So I took it.

The way south was along one of the old drove roads of which I had become so fond. With no more moorland, I felt I had to be a little more discreet about choosing a camping pitch. I eventually found a little sliver of woodland, in a valley and by a stream: beautiful, and hidden from anyone who might wish a hiker to move on.

Going south from Hayfield I noticed a sudden change in grass colour; still green on the moors, where there was still water held in the peat, here it had become brown and dry.
Only the distant hilltop is moorland; the rest is lush farmland.
Old cobbles on the drove road – it’s wonderful to see tracks this well cared for.

Comments (2):

  1. Guy Harbottle

    19 July 2022 at 15:09

    So when you said it was absolutely the last picture of moorland, it wasn’t. Sneaky!

  2. Toby

    20 July 2022 at 05:34

    There is but a tiny bit in the background: doesn’t count!


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