Friday 30 August 2013

Mill Hill and William Clough

Wednesday 28th August 2013 

An evening walk up Mill Hill via Harry Hut trigpoint, returning by way of William Clough 

Distance: 10km; Ascent: 370m; Dry and overcast with little wind; Solo

It had been some years since I had last climbed Mill Hill to the north-west of Kinder Scout and I'd only ever climbed it by way of the Pennine Way.  Therefore I decided to head up Mill Hill for my evening walk today and I planned a circular route from near the Grouse Inn at the summit of the A624 Glossop to Hayfield road. I set off walking at around 7:15pm from the large layby a few hundred metres north of the pub, crossed a stile onto access land and followed a path eastwards across Chunal Moor to reach the trigpoint on Harry Hut.

Cown Edge from Chunal Moor
Harry Hut trigpoint
There were good views from the trigpoint but due the air being very still there were lots of midges around - hence I chose not to linger here and continued across the moor to reach a stone slabbed path.

The slabbed path towards the Grouse Inn
Soon afterwards I spotted some old aircraft wreckage just to the north of the path, which I later discovered was the remains of an American plane that crashed here in 1944 (see here for more info).

Aircraft wreckage
Aircraft wreckage
Continuing onwards along the slabbed path I soon reached the cairn and nearby summit of Mill Hill (Dewey), where I stopped for a quick break whilst admiring the views - with the gentle breeze keeping the midges at bay :-).  Although the sky was almost completely overcast, the sun briefly appeared in the distance to the west just before it set.

Mill Hill summit with Kinder Scout beyond
Sunset from Mill Hill
I followed the Pennine Way SE for a few hundred metres the reach the junction with the Snake Path, where I turned right and started to head down William Clough towards Kinder Reservoir.

Signpost at footpath junction
Looking down William Clough towards Kinder Reservoir
By now the light was beginning to fade and it wasn't long before I donned my head torch to aid my descent down the clough, where the path seemed to criss-cross the stream many times before I forked right a short distance above the reservoir to follow a traversing footpath.  There were good views from this path across Kinder Reservoir towards the hills beyond, which I attempted to capture in the photo below with my camera balanced on a fence post due to the long exposure time!

Kinder Reservoir at night
After passing the western edge of the reservoir I left the Snake Path to its descent to Hayfield and continued along a bridleway across Middle Moor - the first section of which was across a boardwalk, which seemed a little unusual in the darkness!  I guessed that the surrounding ground must be particularly damp and/or prone to erosion.

Boardwalk on Middle Moor
Soon the bright orange glow of Greater Manchester at night came into view together with the lights from the cars speeding along the main road nearby.  Once I was almost back at the road I picked up what looked to be a permissive footpath that allowed me to miss out around a kilometre of road walking (although in the darkness it appeared to end at a locked gate onto the road - I suspect I must have taken a wrong turning!)  Anyway a short road walk past the pub brought me back to the car at 10:15pm around 3 hours after I had set off.  It had been a pleasant evening wander, mainly over ground that was new for me (which I find quite hard to believe given it's only half an hours drive from home!)

See also my Social Hiking live map from the walk.


  1. Some years ago our scouts went out on a navigation exercise involving that aircraft wreck. Picture the scene: the aircraft came down and one of the crew managed to get out and down to Hayfield to raise the alarm. The scouts were to be members of the local MRT tasked to find the crash site and rescue the surviving crew. The only information they had was the description of the route taken by the crew member.

    Great rained all day!