Oyster Clough and Blackden Brook to Kinder Plateau (Scramble with Waterfalls)
This 8.5 mile Peak District walk starts from Birchen Clough Bridge car park and heads up Alport Moor to find the Oyster Clough shooting cabin before heading across the valley and scrambling up Blackden Brook onto the Kinder Plateau.
If you are looking for a challenging walk with lots to see, including the Oyster Clough shooting cabin (aka the “secret” bothy in the Peak District of YouTube fame) and Blackden Brook with all its stunning waterfalls, this could be the walk for you!
Our walk starts in Birchen Clough Bridge car park. This can get busy at weekends so be sure to get there early. Instead of heading across the road down into Snake Woodlands we headed over the stile in the car park and up through the pine and larch plantation. The path winds it’s way through the trees before reaching a stile where we headed up the hill over Alport Moor in the direction of Oyster Clough.
At the head of the clough is the Oyster Clough shooting cabin, touted on YouTube as a “secret bothy in the Peak District” although judging from the guest books in there it’s very well visited for somewhere so secret. I was just glad to have it to ourselves. We had a quick snack break and Hols signed the book for us (I get her to do most of my admin now ;)!).
We followed a very faint path round the head of the Clough and over the moor, heading down the hill on quite indistinct paths. We headed for the sheepfold, where there is a stile leading to the footpath running adjacent to Cowms Moor and the former quarry or landslide which has made some peculiar looking spoil heaps there. We followed the path of the Roman road down through the fields.
We reached Heyridge Farm, where the footpath carries on along the farm track to the north-east. The farmer was in his yard with some sheep and kindly let us pass through to reach Snake Road, which meant that we didn’t need to follow the footpath to Alport Bridge and walk even further up Snake Road – it’s a horrible road to walk on as the cars fly past! If the farmer isn’t there you’ll have to follow the footpath a short distance down to Alport Bridge and then join Snake Road.
We walked up Snake Road for half a mile until we reached a lay-by with National Trust Blackden View Farm signs. Did you know the National Trust signs are called Omega signs?
There is a gate which leads down the hill (quite steep and very muddy!) to a bridge over the River Ashop, which we crossed and then followed the path to Blackden Brook.
Blackden Brook is home to a series of waterfalls, with quite a large one being just down from the main path. It can be reached by a quick scramble down.
The path runs alongside Blackden Brook and climbs steadily, getting rockier as you head up. There are rocks to climb over and in Autumn these can be wet and slippery from rain, so take care. When we did this walk the rain started as soon as we entered the Brook, stayed for the duration of our climb and as soon as we hit the top the sun came out and it was a beautiful day again!
The Brook itself looks to fork into two scrambles but we took the right hand fork up.
At the top of the climb we had a snack break then followed the top path round Blackden Edge to the Seal Stones.
We then took a steep descent down the hill next to Gate Side Clough – this is very steep! The path leads back to the River Ashop, where we crossed the bridge. Before climbing the stile into the old plantation however, we took a faint path along the riverbank which lead to Snake Woodlands. There is a small fence to negotiate before you enter the wood, and then the path followed the beautiful Lady Clough to the bridge. We nipped over the bridge to get a photo of the Peak and Northern Footpaths green sign and then headed back over the bridge and over the stile into the woods.
The path runs along Lady Clough through the woodlands, then opens out into a clearing with a woodpile and a skip. There is a small wooden bridge which leads to a path heading up the hill out of the woods, then we crossed the road back to the car park.
This was a bit of an unplanned walk as we had meant to head over to Teggs Nose and White Nancy. I’d been on a photography course in Snake Woodlands the day before though and they were so magical with the Autumn colours I knew we had to go back. Plus we love a scramble, and the Blackden Brook scramble was one we hadn’t ticked off yet. We quickly plotted this route on the OS map and then set off to walk it! Sometimes a lack of planning can have a happy outcome.
Oyster Clough Cabin Walk Map:
Parking: Birchen Clough Bridge car park, Snake Road, near Glossop (nearest postcode S33 0AB)
Facilities: None – there is sometimes the Wildman Cafe in the car park but I’ve never seen him!
Walk Time: 5-6 hours
Distance: 8.5 miles (13.8km)
Trig Points Bagged: None
Peak District Peaks Bagged: None
Peak District Ethels Bagged: None
Blackden Brook Scramble Walk Map:
If you want to try some other Peak District scrambles, why not try: