Crook Hill over looks Ladybower reservoir in the Derbyshire Peak District. The views are stunning in all directions and within easy reach of parking alongside Ladybower reservoir or if you don’t mind a longer walk with more splendid sightseeing why not park at the Fairholmes visitor centre near to the Derwent Dam. The small hill with twin summits has an elevation of 382 m (1,253 ft) at the summit of the higher peak and the lower peak a mere 374 metres (1,227 ft) the walk to the top is a beauty, just a short way but so satisfying.
Our walk began on an autumn day from Ladybower Reservoir where we had parked alongside at one of the many free parking spots along the access road to Fairholmes visitor centre, clearly signposted off the a57 beside the Ashopton Viaduct.
The walk beside the beautiful Ladybower reservoir is a relaxing one, we took the lower path next to the shore line to make the most of the day and of the lovely Autumnal views a light frost was on the ground and the air was fresh and with woody and musty fungi aromas of Autumn as we walk through the pine woodland next to the shore line, the water had receded a lot through the summer months and was still rather low on that occasion.
As the path reached the edge of the tree line, we headed up towards the roadside to find the signposted route up hill, toward Crook Hill Farm. The way up is steady and easygoing if using this route. There is another path that is closer to the A57 which is a muddier way up to a stile next to the farm through a field. On reaching the farm, take the stile on the right-hand side up into the next field, the fields are grazed by sheep so dogs must be on leads as ours were through the fields. The scenery is gorgeous all the way up to the top, not to mention the relaxed atmosphere while walking beside Ladybower reservoir.
The path takes a diagonal route up hill and the path forks here, to the right towards the direction of Alport Castles and Hagg Farm or directly up which is a part of access land. You will by now see the twin peaks of Crook Hill, the left a more rugged rocky peak and the smaller a grassy less prominent peak.
Between the twin elevations of Crook Hill is remnants of an ancient stone circle, consisting of 5 stones surrounding a small mound but with only 2 still upright and not at all obvious, I’ll probably spend much more time here exploring on my next visit.
From Crook Hill the views are stunning, Ladybower reservoir is a prominent feature from the dam itself to the right through to the left hand stretch of water beside the A57 Snake Pass road. Ladybower is a Y shaped reservoir as can be easily noticed from this angle. Opposite where I sat and again very dominant in the landscape is Win Hill, another favorite walk of mine. Below, at the base of Crook Hill is Ashopton Viaduct where the a57 crosses Ladybower, and across the water above the viaduct is Ladybower Tor, another fantastic walk with gorgeous scenery. Beyond Ladybower Tor can be seen Bamford Edge if you look carefully and the weather is good.
The views stretch out for miles up here, which is why I love it so. Kinder Scout is visible on a clear day due to its elevation, if you take the time, there are so many landmarks in sight, most of the hills I have walked before, and all bring back the best memories. Crook Hill is made up of kinder scout grit. The rocky peak is just right for sitting and relaxing and on a good day the slabs make for good seating. The smaller of the peaks has been known as Lady Crook Hill, due to its lower height I presume.
We took the same route down, nice and steady to take in the beautiful scenery and I stopped to say hello to the sheep of course. Our walk was another spontaneous one and as such had no packed lunch with us, our revised plan was to grab a bite to eat somewhere on our drive back home.
We headed to Ladybower reservoir again and walked through the tree line just as a jet flew over us, what a fantastic coincidence and perfect end to a chilled out walk. Although this was just a small walk compared the kind I would usually do, it is such a relaxed one and a pleasure throughout with such enjoyable scenery. There is a multitude of routes to chose from in this area and I find it difficult to decide which direction to take, but if you like a circuit, the walk from the visitor centre at Fairholmes along and up to Ashopton Viaduct and a return back to the Derwent Dam is a lovely flat accessible one that I can definitely recommend from personal experience.
To sum up, a gentle relaxed walk and beautiful scenery throughout, good company and wonderful memories triggered of fun scenic walking in the Derbyshire Peak District and beyond. 😊