The Peak District | Crowden

Music | Nicolai Heidlas - High Above | License: CC BY License 4.0 (Creative Commons) |

We chose on the day, throwing suggestions around like Lyme Park, and Dunham Massey, before settling on a not-too-far-of-a-trek into the Peaks, point-deciding Crowden, on Torside Reservoir, as our parking destination. Finding ourselves as one car among a small handful – surprised by the quiet – we hopped out and across to the come-on-over-and-check-me-out map, spotting Black Hill as an area to aim for, before losing ourselves to the tree-decked-out canopy, sharing a pathway with a reminds-us-of-Eric camp site (‘look at the Hobbit-alike holes!’). A sign spotted, and a direction taken, we made our way onto the hillside, footsteps pacing to the echoes of 'what's happening over there?' clay-shooting, sheep greeting us with a weary, ‘not more of you’ look, and a chilly day, not-much-strength-to-it bleat.

Another stile mounted, great piles of rocks shadowing our path, we took the one less travelled, at first following the muddy trek of the strewn-about-with-stone, you-can-tell-this-is-a-well-used one – traced out along the mountainside for as far as the eye could see – before heading skyward, thank-goodness-we’ve-long-trews-on covered calves brushing long grasses, and brown-tinged ferns, inappropriate-for-this-kind-of-walking shoes (me slightly more prepared in boots than his brogues) squelching through the mud, me-following-him lightly bounding from I-can-place-my-feet-there stones to avoid the puddles of water collected along the way, before marvelling from the top of the as-far-as-we-can-go (thanks to the squelching), not-sure-where-we-are (but definitely not near Black Hill!) peak.

Our maybe-we-should-take-one-each photographs of the path (we should have followed) squinted over, and a realisation had that turning back was our only let’s-not-be-silly-here option, we detoured slightly before sounding out (loudly) into the air that nope, this absolutely was not going to get us to where we’d thought it could get us to, and heading straight back to the familiar (M stopping to play an always-played trick, crouching down to become at-one with the landscape, thickening the air with a 'where did he go?' silence, before cheeky-grin-on-face leaping out at me), tracing our own footsteps back down – fingertips every so often outstretched, the planes overhead almost touch-able in their ‘they don’t look that high up’ altitude – and catching sight of (looks-like-it's-grinning) sheep once more, ears pricked to the made-by-visitors shouts, before a return to the there-still-aren’t-that-many-cars-here car park, and a drive-back-home (via the shops) journey.