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:

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.

Becoming an OS GetOutside Champion

Earlier this year I received the exciting news that I’d been selected as one of Ordnance Survey’s GetOutside champions for 2020.

Applications closed in December and chosen champions would be contacted in Feb. The date came and went with no news, and so, that was that – or so I thought.

A couple of weeks later I started to receive emails about agreement forms and social media handles. I sent an awkward reply flagging that I’d been included by mistake. Turns out the original email had gone into my spam: HURRAH!

Among the 600+ applications at Ordnance Survey’s end, the bit in my application that caught their eye was my role as a volunteer with Adventure Queens. A handful of other AQ volunteers had also applied, and the folks at OS wanted us all to join as a subset of champs. Becoming a champ AND doing it alongside some badass adventure queens? Yes please.

Back then, of course, we had no idea that by the time the 100 ‘GET OUTSIDE’ champs were due to be announced publicly, the message across the country would be STAY HOME – eek. So like everyone, getting outside has looked very different for me over the past couple of months, but I’ve loved discovering more walks from my doorstep, spending quality time in nature and sharing routes with others – and I’m thrilled to get the chance to be a part of the GetOutside campaign this year.