Ashop Clough and the Snake woodland are magical places at any time of the year. This wonderland is hidden from view until you venture through the woodland.
Snake Pass has a magical feel to it and is surrounded all around by rolling hills, pine trees, heather, and bracken and in higher points moorland and babbling streams.
Snake Pass Road
The Snake Pass road itself is not open in severe weather during the winter for safety reasons because, as the name suggests it snakes through the valley and can become treacherous in icy and snowy conditions.
The Snake woodland is Just off the Snake pass road (A57) and near to the area where there used to be a pub called The Snake Pass Inn. The establishment is now converted into a private residential property.
Preparation for walking
Good foot wear and raincoats are always advised for walks in this area since the weather has a tendency to have a mind all its own around here even on a summers day.
The drive through Snake Pass is spectacular whichever direction you drive from, with stunning views all around. The location of my favourite walk is within hiking distance to Kinder Scout Plateau,
It’s a gorgeous natural area and did you know it is also the highest point in the Peak District at an elevation of (2,087ft) above sea level? In a close by location on the moorland near to Kinder Scout there is a historic crash site, for those interested.
American Sabre F.Mk 4 Crash Site
On the 22nd of July 1959 two North American Sabre F.Mk 4s XD707 & XD730 of No.66 Squadron, crashed on their return to RAF Linton-on-Ouse near York. The wreckage was not found for three days due to severe weather. The plane wrecks or what is now left of them, can still be seen spread across the moors at the crash site.
The Snake Pass road (A57) connects Sheffield and Glossop, and the Pennine way crosses the snake pass at its summit with scenery that is breathtaking the whole length.
Snake pass attractions on route
I have some special spots I love to visit all the way along the route. The Strines Inn a thirteenth century inn is a treat to visit and is sign posted off the A 57, a beautiful old coaching inn that’s next to open moorland and Dale Dike reservoir with peacocks roaming freely all around.
They also serve a gorgeous Sunday roast at the Strines Inn, and great ales for those who are not driving! There is also a good sized layby on the A57 that is a great place to park when walking near the Cut Throat Bridge area, regardless of its name and gory history there’s some beautiful moorland here which is well worth a visit.
On route is the beautiful and historic Ladybower reservoir which has been a favourite location for me for many years and is featured in a separate blog.
From here on is the real Snake Pass section of the A57 and you will notice the sharp bends in the road and scenery becoming more rugged and magnified.
Through the magnificent woodland in the valley my family and I often go strolling and playing silly games along the way, we were very lucky with the weather on the day I took the photos but I’m still always glad we wrap up warm for the walk, there can be some sharp wind across the moorland, and although we don’t always go full out and walk for miles, it is always a relaxing and fun day together in the countryside.
It’s beautiful and calm walking along the river Ashop and with pine trees all along one section of the route there are plenty of spots to stop for a break if you want to just chill out for a while with shelter from the wind and a perfect area to bring out a picnic and flask.
Further along the route you will come into the moorland area and it is more bleak and wild looking, we have often spotted a few grouse while walking there and if you’re lucky and very quiet there’s plenty more wildlife to see.
One year I spotted a lizard basking on rocks by the stream, not rare I guess but lovely to see. This year I noticed plenty of frog spawn in the little ponds along the track.
Continuing along this route a hike up to the Northern side of Kinder Scout is possible if you allow yourself enough time and you go prepared.
Dogs under control
Our days out along the moorland and Ashop river are normally more of a relaxed affair than a hike and much fun is had by the whole family including the dogs, although dogs must be under control to protecting nesting birds in breeding season for birds and sheep and lambs at lambing time, but keeping them close at all times is for the best.
Our dogs, Bandit Smokey and Max are kept close by and on a close lead.Even the drive home is scenic and we often take the route home via Ladybower reservoir, then through Bamford and Hathersage and later through the lovely Chatsworth estate.
I hope I’ve at least inspired you and informed you a little about another of my favourite English gems. What fantastic days spent here, I often return for longer hikes. Camping And BBQs here are illegal and rubbish must be taken home with you.