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Alport Castles - the Pride of Peakland Walking

There's more to the Peak District than heather moors, gritstone edges and limestone dales. Tucked away in the heart of the district lies a wonderful mountain landscape in miniature, where connoisseurs can scramble up rocky towers, explore hidden nooks and crannies or relax by the tarn, drinking in superlative views over Kinder and into the heart of Bleaklow. In terms of scenic splendor, this walk to Alport Castles is hard to beat and includes woodland, open moor and a return beside the reservoirs of the Upper Derwent Valley...well worth a few hours of anyone's time!

Alport Castles  © Nicholas Livesey
Alport Castles
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Detailed description

SK1721389399 From the pay and display at Fairholmes turn right and walk up the gated road past the dam until a sign indicates a path into Nabs Wood.

SK1702289910 A wide track heads into the woodland on a gentle gradient and bears rightwards through a tight bend before wooden steps lead up to another sign signaling the way to Lockerbrook Farm, an outdoor activity centre. Pass Lockerbrook on the rough cart track. After a couple of hundred metres take the grassy path on the right and over the stile to gain access to Lockerbrook Heights, where unusual views of Kinder and the Great Ridge can be enjoyed.

SK1648889456 Onwards over Rowlee Pasture couldn't be simpler; the perfect terrain for prodigious striding with a feeling of great space and well being. Before long a dilapidated wall becomes your companion and ahead the bleak moorland scene is broken by conspicuous crinkles. You're almost there...

SK1430791416 If you've never been there before, Alport Castles will come as a very pleasant surprise. It's quite unlike anywhere else in the Peak District National Park and it wouldn't be overly fanciful to say that it is reminiscent of the Storr on Skye. Its main feature is 'The Tower', a thrusting rocky pinnacle that proves irresistible to scramblers and its twin summit 'fangs' can be attained by a variety of routes from easy grade 1 to more difficult and exposed variations. It should be noted that the rock can be a little loose in places so a careful approach is to be recommended! After a bit of clambering it's worth dropping down to the beautiful tarn at the foot of The Tower where the ambience is that of a remote mountain sanctuary and a place you won't want to leave in a hurry.

SK1549092754 Our outward leg starts from the end of the shattered headwall, trending NW on a good straight path into the Ditch Clough Plantation and eventually onto the road back to Fairholmes in what may seem an anti-climax. However, in the quiet calm of an evening a gentle stroll beside the reservoirs is no hardship, the dams are fascinating and the scenery absolutely ravishing. It's been a good day!

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Further Routes

by Nicholas Livesey

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