Crowden Circular Walk via Crowden Quarry
Last weekend we headed out for a Crowden circular walk to explore some of the lower moorland in the Longendale Valley. We’ve popped over the top of Holme Moss into Crowden a few times over the past year and have really enjoyed walking there. This is a lovely Peak District walk with kids.
The walk starts out in a car park near to Crowden Camp Site which is nestled at the bottom of the hills. It’s very handy as there is a shop and toilet block there although the shop is cash only. After realising we only had £1, so enough for a packet of Haribo, we spent up and set off on our walk.
Our walk didn’t start out the best. Mr R was looking for a geocache (which he didn’t find) when Hols noticed a spider on him. She freaked out, ran away, tripped over a tussock of grass and fell over, hurting her hip. She soon recovered with the help of Haribo Tangfastics, but was less than enthusiastic about climbing up the hill to the quarry.
There is a bit of a climb up towards the old Crowden Quarry, also known as Crowden Castle as the spoil heap looks a bit like a castle from a distance. If you squint. The quarry is accessed via a cobbled track which still has the grooves from iron wheels of carts used to take the stone down to the nearby reservoirs.
The terrain for this walk is quite hard going. The paths aren’t well used, so this walk is perfect if you want to avoid the crowds (like me!), but you need a good level of fitness to tackle it and I’d definitely recommend hiking boots. You use footpaths and open access land so you have gates to open and close and the path isn’t always clear so either use the Geocache app, good old fashioned map and compass or some other form of GPS navigation to help you find your way. There are a few short steep climbs but nothing too drawn out.
The walk takes you along about halfway up the hillside before dropping down to return along the Northern Horse Route. On the way back to the car park you pass St James’s Church which is a tiny little church set up from the Woodhead Pass. This church is still in use, despite it’s location and desolate position.
We got back to the car in around 4 and a half hours, which included stopping for a picnic at the foot of the quarry hillside and finding geocaches along the way. As neither of us could be bothered to cook, we headed into Old Glossop and had tea at The Bulls Head. I’m trying to make all our hikes end at a pub!
You don’t have to visit Crowden quarry, but it’s well worth a detour. It’s a fabulous place to explore. For a shorter walk, you could just head up to the quarry site and back down to the car park. This Crowden circular walk was a lovely day out and I would definitely do this one again. For more walks near Crowden camp site, check out Black Hill Circular Walk, Holmfirth, Crowden to Featherbed Moss Trig Point and Bleaklow Circular Walk which is on the hillside on the opposite side of the valley.