Exploring the Peak District: LadyBower & Back Tor

Fancying a moderate intensity walk, with amazing, no, in-fact incredible views?

Then this is the route for you. This route is around 14km long, and depending on the weather could take between 3 and 4.5 hours.

This weekend we headed out into the Peaks to a popular spot at LadyBower Reservoir. I’ve been around the reservoir before, and don’t get me wrong it’s a lovely leisurely walk but it’s very flat and gets a bit repetitive after a while. Personally when I’m hiking I like lots of different inclines, terrains and challenges so we wanted to try something new. I’ve recently subscribed to the OS Survey Maps app which is a great way to find and discover new routes around areas you will be going to or wanting to walk in. I’ve been using this app as a planning point, and then building my route from there. This time we used an existing planned in route, which you can find and try out yourself here.

However, instead of starting at their recommended start point, we decided to start in the LadyBower car park, which is located just off the A57. It’s a large car park (so generally okay to get a space even on a busy day) and has toilets on site too which is really handy. It’s pay and display so remember some change – it’s around £4.70 for a day or £2.50 for 2 hours. From here, we joined the route by walking up to the dam. This is incredible to see when it’s a windy day and a real photo opportunity. Get close if you dare, but you will get wet! Then we climbed the steps to the right of the dam, and followed the path up the side of the reservoir. We reached another public footpath to our right a short way up, and began our climb.

The views from this point are absolutely breathtaking and totally worth the dizzy legs you may get after the stomp to the top. Remember to look around and take in  the views when you’re hiking, honestly it’s the BEST BIT.

At this point we started to see snow on the ground, and before we knew it we were deep in snow and surrounded by white skies. It was actually crazy how quickly we ascended into higher ground and different weather. I love snow though, so this was a nice addition. Luckily, when we headed out for our walk it was chucking it down so Sam and I were both wearing our Berghaus Jackets which are Gore-Tex and perfect for Rain, Snow and Wind. Safe to say I soon looked like a little thumb, wrapped up in layers, hats and hoods – but I was warm, and that was the most important thing!

From here, we started another accent even higher up into the clouds. Honestly, it felt like we were climbing 500 stairs that were just never ending. Honestly, yes I’m being dramatic here, but in the snow it was quite tough! When we reached the top, the wind was intense – so be prepared with hoods and snoods if you’re going to take this one on anytime soon. Then we continued along the path (that may I point out was covered in snow) and puddles of deep water. This made it difficult to pick out where to safely stand, which definitely slowed down our KM pace. I’m the kind of person that just wades through these situations, and as a result I very nearly ended up face first in a knee deep pool of water. Thankfully Sam was there to save me, but my boots let in water so I was one soggy footed gal by the time we got close to the base of Back Tor. I went in knee deep, so I can’t really complain about my waterproofing but I was definitely more careful underfoot after this.

After this we began our slow decent, we still had around 6km to go from this point at Back Torr. However, Sam and I decided to off-road, change the route and as usual GOT LOST. We ended up scrambling down a river. Story of our lives. If you haven’t seen the ‘instagram stories’ highlights from this trip, i really encourage you to go and check it out here because it’s hillarious.

 I really hope you give this route a go if you’re in the peaks, and remember that exploring is really about finding the beauty that surrounds us. Look up from your phones, take in the views and be at one with nature!

Love, Beth x