Thursday, 8 August 2013

A Sunset Walk over Brown Knoll

Thursday 1st August 2013

An evening walk across the moorlands at the head of Edale

Distance: 11km; Ascent: 310m; Warm and dry; Solo

The weather forecast was for a dry sunny evening at the end of a long hot day, so I decided it would be nice to head into the hills for sunset. I set off walking just before 8pm from the Rushup Edge road and followed the old sunken track known as Chapel Gate NE into open country. Soon I passed a small group of mountain bikers, before the track levelled out.

Chapel Gate Track
There were excellent views from up here, including towards the Kinder plateau and the nearby ventilation shaft for the Cowburn Tunnel, which takes the Manchester-Sheffield railway line underneath the moorland I was about to cross. At the highest point of Chapel Gate I left the track to follow a normally boggy path north-westwards across the moorlands; however due to the recent warm dry weather most of the ground was pretty dry this evening.

Looking NW over the moorland towards the Cowburn Tunnel ventilation shaft
Cotton grass on Colborne
At around 8:45pm I reached the trigpoint on the summit of Brown Knoll (Dewey) just before the sun began to set. I stopped here for 10-15 minutes for a break whilst watching the sunset and taking lots of photos, both on my camera and my new phone!

Just before sunset on Brown Knoll
Brown Knoll trigpoint at sunset
Sunset from Brown Knoll
Last view of the sun before it finally dropped behind the clouds
Looking at the map, I was not yet even half-way round my planned circuit so I decided not to linger any longer and continued over the moorland to reach a slabbed path on the far side of the wall, which I don't recall being slabbed last time I was here (although that was some years ago now!)  Anyway I turned left along the path and made good progress towards South Head.  The slabbing lasted for around a kilometre, which was followed by a pleasant grassy path for the rest of the way to the Pennine Bridleway at South Head.

The slabbed path towards South Head
Looking down Dimpus Clough
In fading light I turned left onto the obvious track, known as The Roych, which carries the Pennine Bridleway back to the Rushup Edge road.  There were good views towards the twinkling lights of Chapel-en-le-Frith and the hills beyond.

The bright lights of Chapel-en-le-Frith
Soon I passed a second group of mountain bikers, kitted out with bright lights, in the gathering gloom.  In fact the only other people I saw out on this walk were mountain bikers!  By now it was time to start using my head torch for the descent down into Roych Clough.

Bridge over Roych Clough burn
After the steep ascent back out of Roych Clough, I continued gradually ascending to return to the car at around 10:30pm under a starlit sky after a most pleasant evening hillwalk :-)

See also my Social Hiking live map from the walk.

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