Let me share a few must see sights from day 2 of the Pennine Way, Crowden to Standedge. Today is a relatively short day at 11 miles but with a few seriously deep dips to tire you out.
You’ll pass through farmland and forests as you leave Crowden. Although you’re heading uphill, it’s a long slow incline so take your time and enjoy the views.
Crowden Great Brook
The Pennine Way from Crowden towards Black Hill follows Crowden Great Brook. However, you will leave and re-join the Brook as you pass Black Chew Head. When you re-join the Brook, there are a few good wild camping spots. I stayed here at the end of Stage 1, Edale to Crowden.
Moorland Walk to the Black Hill Summit
As I set up a wild camp along the banks of Crowden Great Brook, I was able to set off for Black Hill at sunrise. Walking over the famous Pennine Way path towards Black Hill at sunrise was a surreal experience. Even more so, as I was the only person around for miles. There certainly wasn’t anyone else mad enough to camp up here in these cold conditions!!
Sunrise on Black Hill
Black Hill summit is 582 meters tall making it the 3rd highest in the Peak District. Here marks the border between Derbyshire and West Yorkshire. Finally, you already crossed the 1st and 2nd highest peaks on Stage 1, Kinder Scout and Bleaklow.
Moorland Walk from Black Hill to the A635
Logic told me that from Black Hill to the A635 would be an easy downhill walk. However, this is not the case. As my image clearly shows, it’s a down hill, followed by an uphill. You may think, that’s pretty standard for the Pennine Way. But look closely and you can see a couple of steep drops. At these points you’ll have a steep downhill to cross a stream followed by a steep incline all to walk a few meters. Stage 2 seems to be the day where you have several, almost vertical descents and ascents. Nonetheless, it’s a walk through stunning scenery. Lastly, there’ll be a Snack Van parked on the A635 if you’re lucky.
Wessenden Head Reservoir
After crossing the A635, it’s the reservoir part of the day. Firstly, you pass Wessenden Head Reservoir as you head though Wessenden Moor. How are you doing for water? I was able to fill up my water bladder from the springs which feed the reservoir, right alongside the Pennine Way. However, don’t forget to add a water purification tablet and choose the clearest looking water.
The second reservoir you’ll pass is Wessenden Reservoir. Enjoy the relatively flat walk between the reservoirs. Additionally, reservoirs are often waterfowl hotspots with, ducks, geese and cormorants common in this area.
Pennine Way Stage 2 – Wessenden Reservoir Waterfall
When researching about day 2 of the Pennine Way I didn’t read anything about a stunning waterfall. After you pass Wessenden Resovoir you can’t miss it on the left hand side of the Pennine Way. What’s more, shortly after this waterfall and before the next reservoir is a sharp left turn which could be easily missed. This will take you to Black Moss.
After Wessenden Reservoir don’t miss the left turn which takes you through the Black Moss moorland. There are a couple of steep ascents and descents but the Pennine Way flattens out as you near Black Moss Reservoir. Keep your eyes open for any wildlife, I saw quite a few Meadow Pipits.
Black Moss Reservoir
The final reservoir of Pennine Way Stage 2 is Black Moss Reservoir. You walk right across it’s banks.
Where to Stay in Standedge?
There are accommodation options in either Diggle or Marsden but these are a little off route. Closer to the Pennine Way is the Carriage House Pub on Manchester Road. Alternatively, I saw people wild camping beside Black Moss Reservoir. For me, with my early start from Black Hill I was able to walk all the way to Hebden Bridge at the end of Stage 3.