By Sue Thersby
From the top of Winnat’s Pass there was cold air inversion en route to this walk with Mam Tor bathing in early morning sunshine whilst the valley below was engulfed in thick mist. The drive through Castleton felt eerie but as we arrived at Hope, the start point of our walk, the sun was out giving the prospect of a lovely summer’s day. The village of Hope is situated where the River Noe and Peakshole Water meet. It was mentioned in the Doomsday Book as having both a priest and a church and the present church, dedicated to St Peter dates from around the 13th century and is famous for its gargoyles, a Norman font and the stump of a Saxon Cross in the churchyard. There were only a small number of walkers setting out on this trek Our first objective was Win Hill, which was reached via Aston and Thornhill Carrs. Lose Hill lies about two miles to the west. In relatively recent times, the two hills’ names have prompted a fanciful tale concerning the outcome of an imagined battle. There is no historical basis for the tale whatsoever, and no evidence of any battle ever being fought here. We had our morning break at the trig point on Win Hill, enjoying spectacular views of Ladybower Reservoir. From here we went along the ridge to Hope Cross, which is 7 feet high with a square capstone bearing the names of Edale, Glossop, Hope and Sheffield on its faces. Then we descended a rocky path to reach the shores of the Ladybower Reservoir we had seen earlier. It is a large Y-shaped reservoir in the Upper Derwent Valley. It was built between 1935 and 1943, and was opened by King George VI on 24th September 1945. During construction, the villages of Derwent and Ashopton were flooded. The inhabitants of the two villages were relocated to Yorkshire Bridge estate, just downstream of the dam. After walking along the banks of the reservoir beyond the dam, we took a south-easterly path through woods and fields back to Hope, passing Ryecroft, Hallum Barn and Hope Station on the way. We indulged in refreshments in Hope before making our way home.