Black Hill via Crowden Little Brook
This Black Hill walk heads up from Crowden and takes a little known path up to Black Hill via Crowden Little Brook. The route returns via the plane crash site of the Gloster Meteors on Sliddens Moss and the stunning Laddow Rocks. This is a challenging 9 mile walk over rugged, bleak moorland where good navigation skills are essential, especially in bad weather.
I love exploring this part of the Peak District. Whilst it is definitely bleak and remote, it is home to some of the most beautiful scenery and wildlife and it’s beautiful wilderness never fails to make me happy. This side of Black Hill is notoriously wet and the going can be very boggy underfoot, which means it’s less popular than some of the other peaks (and is great for me!). The path running alongside Crowden Little Brook is a new way for me to reach the summit of Black Hill (I think I’ve done them all now).
My walk started from the car park next to Crowden Camp Site. It’s a great place to start a walk in this area as there are loos and the campsite has a cash only shop, perfect if you need extra snacks or a cup of coffee to get going. I headed past the camp site and up the steep hillside in the direction of the disused Loftend Quarry. Just below the quarry the path forks, with the top path leading up to Hey Moss, Westend Moss and White Edge and the lower path running alongside Crowden Little Brook.
I took the lower path and followed the hillside round the twists and turns of Crowden Little Brook. After about a mile of dodging the bogs, the path heads near the top of a beautiful waterfall. I had a scramble down the very steep bank to take a closer look and was very well rewarded with a lovely spot for a cup of tea.
Scrambling back up, I followed the river bank a short distance until the point where Meadow Clough runs into Crowden Little Brook. This is where I crossed the river and clambered up the hillside, but not before exploring a little way up Meadow Clough to find a beautiful waterfall. It’s quite precarious to get to as there is no path and the stream bank is missing in places.
From here I retraced my steps back to the stream junction and climbed up the hillside, picking up the faint path north over Crowden Meadows. This part of the walk crosses open moorland and it is very boggy in places! It heads through some peat groughs as it winds up to the summit of Black Hill, which can be a bit disorienting as it all looks the same. Luckily in clear weather you can see the Holme Moss transmitter tower.
Once at the Black Hill trig point I did a quick loop and set off back down the Pennine Way over Dun Hill, Grains Moss and Sliddens Moss in search of the plane crash site of the Gloster Meteors FMk 8 WA791 and VZ518. The planes were flying in formation when they crashed on 12 April 1951 after descending too early and ploughing into the hillside, killing both pilots.
Gloster Meteors on Sliddens Moss Grid Reference: SE 06636 02881
I crossed Crowden Great Brook and yomped (technical term meaning stumbling through boggy patches and knee deep heather) up to the crash site, following the line of the grough as a guide. There were at least 4 pools of wreckage that I could see, with quite a lot of debris still remaining.
From the plane crash site I set off down the hill again towards Crowden Great Brook, which I crossed. I then climbed up the Pennine Way path to Laddow Rocks.
The view from Laddow Rocks has to be one of the best views in the Peak Distict. It’s easy to see why it’s been called the Grand Canyon of the Peak District! I sat and had a cuppa in a small rocky outcrop at the northern end of Laddow Rocks (not Laddow Cave which is on my list to explore) before setting off down the Pennine Way to the campsite and car park.
Exploring this rugged yet beautiful part of the world always feels like an adventure, and this walk was one of my favourites to date.
Parking: Free car park near Crowden Camp Site SK13 1HZ (What3Words: ///scanner.birds.simmer)
Facilities: Public toilet near the car park, and the camp site has a cash only shop
Walk Time: 4-5 hours
Trig Points Bagged: Black Hill
Peak District Peaks Bagged: Black Hill
Peak District Ethels Bagged: Black Hill
Crowden Little Brook and Black Hill Walk Route Map:
For more walks in the area you could try:
and for more plane wreck walks, why not try: