Cock Hill and Shittern Clough (yes, really)

This has been my favourite walk I’ve discovered during lockdown, and not least because of the place names! At just over 3 miles it’s not particularly long but offers real bang for your buck in terms of views and variety of landscapes. Even better, you won’t find the droves of cars or crowds currently descending on the Peak District’s hotspots.

So instead of following the hoards to Edale (OS data shows that Edale has the grid square with the most starting point for routes), start this walk in the quaint and often-overlooked hamlet of Old Glossop. There’s a car park on Well Gate, opposite the Wheatsheaf, but failing that, park at the end of Shepley St, by the turning circle – as shown on the map.

Follow the route at: https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/route/5082061/Cock-Hill-Shittern-Clough.

Head up Charles Lane, just off Hope St. You’ll soon see a gate to your left leading to a footpath up and around the old quarry. Another gate will lead you along a gully – the path continues for about half a mile past two rows of woodland on your left; you may need to switch from one side to another. 

At the end of this section, you’ll see the wide metal gate to your right which takes you down to Shittern Clough. If however you’re feeling up to the detour to Cock Hill (an extra mile in total), follow the path diagonally left up the hill, weaving through the quarry remains to the trig. From here you’re treated to excellent views across to Manchester and beyond; on a clear day you can make out the power plant at Ellesmere Port and the Snowdon mountain range on the horizon.

Cock Hill trig pillar overlooking Glossop and Manchester

Head back down and take the gate leading to Shittern Clough. The path is pretty clear from here all the way down to the Clough – take care on the steep sections. At the bottom, you can avoid the narrow path alongside the tree which requires some fancy footwork and instead take the path left leading around it – both bring you out at the stream running through the clough. Here is a perfect place for a pit-stop, surrounded by rhododendrons.

Cross the stream and pick up the path heading back up through the wimberries. You’ll soon join the Lightside path which you can follow down to the bottom – turn right on to the wide track from Mossy Lea that leads back to the turning circle at Shepley St.

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