Located in the Peak District, sitting like a guardian over Ladybower Reservoir, Win Hill, with a peak of 462m, isn't particularly high. But it does pose a challenge, and reveals some spectacular views. A walking buddy likes Win Hill a great deal and we went up there the other weekend.
Our approach was from the Bamford side of Ladybower where there is a National Trust car park a few hundred yards from the bridge across Ladybower from the A57 towards Bamford. These car parks are worth our support. This one was cheap in my view, £2.50 for the day, with safer parking and a public convenience.
We headed across the dam wall at the southern end of Ladybower. Looking up along the skyline ahead, Win Hill's peak can be clearly seen.
The weather was really nice, very little wind and the sun playing hide and seek from time to time. The reservoir wasn't quite a mill pond, but there were very few ripples.
At the other side of the reservoir is a stone sculpture depicting the flooding of Ashopton Village to make way for Ladybower Reservoir. The dam was opened in 1943, and incredibly, it took two years to fill it with around 6 billion gallons of water.
We worked our way up through the forest. There was a mix of terrain, from stone steeps to steep slopes, but I enjoyed the hard work getting up there.
Looking back, I could see the views starting to show themselves. I could see the reservoirs below begin to come into view and anticipated what we were in for at the summit.
The views from the summit are stunning. We could see clearly across the Bamford Edge, Mam Tor, Lost Lad, Derwent Edges, etc, etc.
After a quick break and time to take some photographs we headed off westward and along the ridge which eventually follows Hope Brink.
As you work down the path an amazing view of Edale and the valley to the west. It made a real change to see the valley from the other end looking over to Kinder Scout, Grindesbrook and other recognisable features.
Eventually the path brings you to the Hope Cross. The faces at the top of the cross name the places it faces. It's strange to see Sheffield with only one 'f'. The cap stone was apparently stolen in 2011 but was fortunately found and refitted.
At the cross we turned east through the woods along a path that may well have been the access road to a dwelling. The path leads down to the road which surrounds Ladybower.
There were still signs of snow around and there were particularly resilient patches along the road where the sun had little influence.
We were going anti-clockwise around Ladybower and this eventually brought us back to our starting point near the stone carving with a clear view of Bamford Edge off to the east.
Win Hill was a great morning out. Fantastic views, some challenging sections, and it's very popular. We saw a lot of people out and about later in the morning. The car park was full when we returned. Those early morning starts have their advantages.