A long Walk from Longdendale

Peter Schick's report on the 'Long Walk from Longdendale' led by Peter Whitehead


Peter has picked the hottest and muggiest day of the the year for his ‘Long Walk from Longdendale’ and, even though it works out a bit less than the advertised 20 miles and the blurb in Strider said ‘definitely not a swift pace’, it won’t be a stroll in the park.

There are 6 of us, including 3 Peters, David W, Peter W’s friend Simon (from Hadfield), and Graham from Merseystride.

A gradual climb round Tintwistle moor and then a scenic stroll passing Lad’s Leap is followed by a descent to the fleshpots of the Crowden campsite. A pause here allows water bottles to be filled up again and ice creams to be bought. 

I expected an easy time, so walking poles were left at home - mistake! After a stroll round the surprisingly empty Torside reservoir, the initial steepish pull following the Pennine Way above Torside Clough goes hard for me and a pause as it relents is welcome. A more gradual climb follows now, to Bleaklow Head, where we collect two lost ‘sheep’ looking for the Superfortress crash site; they tag along with us as we go there. It’s always an impressive and sobering sight.

All downhill now - almost - passing by the kissing Wain Stones, the Hern Stones and larking about on Higher Shelf Stones. I forget to look for the wreckage in Ashton Clough below James’s Thorn until it’s too late and we’re well past - urged on by the promise of thirsts being slaked at the Queen’s Arms in Old Glossop.

Peter takes us on a little detour to visit the building where he worked for the first nine years after leaving university, originally a Wesleyan school, but now someone’s residence - a building full of character, i.e., trying to fall down..

There’s a fair on by Padfield and the bouncy castle is tempting but we’re nearly home and, after a last little sting in the tail - literally as path is lined by nettles - we’re back at the cars after walking 18.5 miles with 3,400 feet of ascent.