17 members and a dog started from Fairholmes. The weather
was a bit damp at first, but became sunny later. We began by
heading up through Lockerbrook Coppice to the track north of
Lockerbrook Farm. 3 members of the party left us here to do
a shorter loop. The rest of us went north along the track,
rough and muddy in places before dropping to the road near
Ouzelden Clough. One more left us here and the remaining 13 of us
walked the road to Howden Dam where we took our coffee break.
Next to Westend where we left the road and took the steep
path up through the forest, heading for Alport Castles.
Leaving the forest exposed us to a brisk NW wind. A little
higher we stopped for our picnic lunch at a small shooting
hut. We enjoyed great views from a spot well sheltered from
the wind. After lunch we finished the climb to the dramatic
edge of Alport Dale from where we could look down to the
tottering towers and cliffs of the Castles. We paused to
admire the views and check out a plaque to “Bob Smith”. The
last leg of the route was over Rowlee Pasture; most of the
way is now flagstoned. From the path junction above Hagg
Farm we dropped back through the forest down to the car
park. The distance was 8.4 miles, a little over the nominal
maximum, but all agreed it was worth it. A fine walk.
Andy & Rosy