Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Chewing over Laddow

About a year ago, I wrote a walk over the Blackhill moors, but on the west side (a side I've not done before). We got up good and early, got everything ready, and I placed my boots on the garden wall while I locked the door. Off we went, and yes - you've guessed - when we got to the car park at Crowden about an hour later, where were my boots? It was too far to go back for them, so a disgruntled Les did a local walk that day, but vowed to come back to do this walk again soon.
Well, today was the day, at Sue's suggestion. Making sure (doubly so) that I HAD remembered my boots, we arrived at Crowden, and set off on a perfect day. Blue skies, fluffy clouds, a cooling breeze - mmmmmmmm!
The rosebay willowherb was at its best now, reaching up for the sky.

How inviting is this road? STRAIGHT up, onto the moors.

We were soon climbing. This walk was only about 11 miles, but had over 2,000 feet of ascent in it, most of it sudden and steep. Still, there was no hurry, and as I said, we had that lovely breeze to help with the temperature.

Ahead, we could see Laddow rocks, a favourite haunt of climbers.

Heather in bloom, and moors in sunlight - heaven on earth!

Ahead, we could see Laddow rocks, a favourite haunt of climbers.

We reached the path that leaves the edge and turns into the wild moors towards Chew reservoir. Lots of lovely bog cotton was in seed around us.

After a tramp over the moor, we got our first glimpse of Chew reservoir. A small, isolated body of water up on Laddow moss moor.

Manchester wasn't far away, and the planes are setting themselves up to land, so we were 'quite close' to some of them as they made their final descent.

We passed the reservoir and continued on, following another edge that rises towards Oldham.

The ridge path ahead

Wow! What a perch. We just didn't want to stop, as the super views unfolded as we walked along.

Dovestone reservoir. There is a really good walk around this water, and up onto the moors beyond, but today, we weren't taking that option.

I give you, paradise!

After walking the entire length of the ridge, and sitting down for a very enjoyable lunch with the views, it was time to set off back. This is the view as we re-crossed Laddow moss moors.

Some of the hillsides were starting to take on that purple hue, as the heather begins to bloom. In about a week or so, the whole moor will be that colour. I'd like to get a good day on the edges for some pictures, they do look fabulous in a good light.

At Laddow rocks, we took a sharp right and began to rapidly lose all our hard-earned height. The moor across the valley is Bleaklow, day two of the Pennine way, if you're walking it from Edale.
We disturbed three young grouse. They looked happy, but it was only three days until the 'glorious twelfth'. Who knows if they would survive?

The quarry on the opposite side was where the stone was hewn to make the Longdendale dams.

All this walking tires a girl out! Sue loves nothing more than lying in a warm sun, and this was the perfect opportunity. It was great, and very peaceful there.

The cones were looking good on the tree branches now. Not long before they spread their seed..

Rowan berries. A sure sign that autumn is on the way.

More heather - in a few short days, the hillsides all around would be covered in this purple beauty. I MUST get up early one morning to get some photo's.

As one final treat for the day, this butterfly posed perfectly for us on a wooden fingerpost as we reached the car park. He too, loved soaking up the rays of the warm sun.

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