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Bleaklow Revisted   22 comments

One of semi-regular get togethers with friends from across the country for a day walk. We managed to convince the Yorkshire contingent down from Harrogate to join us for a Peak District wander. We settled on one of our classic walks from yesteryear, Dowstone Clough onto Bleaklow returning via Doctors Gate.


Breakfast in a great cafe in Glossop set us up for the day and we met up in Old Glossop and headed for the moors.


We discovered the delights of Yellowslacks Brook and Dowstone Clough in my University years. In those pre-car days reaching Glossop involved one of the worlds longest (or so it seemed) bus rides. It used to take the best part of two hours to reach Glossop from central Manchester. The trains never seemed to run to Glossop on a Sunday (no idea why) and Saturday was normally spent curing a hangover. Heady days.


We discovered Dowstone Clough by accident back then. Seeing an interesting looking valley in the distance we decided to take a look. We went back many times over a few years but I’ve not been up here for maybe 20 years.


Its a superb valley with a couple of quite decent waterfalls and several small cascades. You can pretty much take the whole riverbed direct.


Sadly we were in the worst weather of a showery day when we were on this section, heavy rain and a chill wind had me reaching for hat and gloves.


Its still a superb stretch of walking and I urge you to seek out its charms when up this way.


As we approached the top of the stream where it emerges onto the vast plateau of Bleaklow the rain stopped and the sun came out.


What struck me was how much Bleaklow has changed. I’m not entirely sure how but they seem to have regenerated the grassland up here. What used to be vast expanses of dark, black peat were now swathed in grass and the whole area had a green rather than a black look. I always thought the peat expanses were natural and in a way I quite liked it. Seeing it now restored its completely stunning.


We stopped for a brief rest and lunch at Hern Stones as more dark and threatening clouds gathered. We thought we were in for a real soaking but it seemed to pass us by and we barely needed waterproofs.


In the intervening years they have also paved the path across the plateau making it a superb high level stroll rather than a trudge through bog and peat.


Doctors Gate is a real Peak District Gem. It suddenly opens up beneath your feet as you descend from the Pennine Way.


A glorious green valley, twisting its way back to Old Glossop. Every step is just a joy. I came up here many times when I lived in Glossop for a short period in the 90’s.


We talked about many things. About Politics, Sport, Brexit and the complete lack of real world common sense that our kids seem to be proficient at.


The sun beat down on us for most of the way down and the wintery feel of the rain in Dowstone Clough turned back to summer again.


Looks can be deceiving though. The next two photos were taken at the same time looking in opposite directions.


By the time we reached the cars it was chucking it down with a vengeance and we sheltered in the Yorkshire Van for a cuppa before the long drive home. Superb day that rekindled some very happy memories from long ago.

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