Ashop and Alport Valleys


The Ashop river near Fairbrook
The Ashop river near Fairbrook
The Ashop and Alport rivers are two streams which rise on Kinder Scout and Bleaklow respectively and merge to the west of Ladybower before flowing into that reservoir. Both rivers lie in beautiful valleys with scenery characteristic of the area.

The Ashop river rises at Ashop Head, just a stone's throw over the watershed from the top of William Clough, between Mill Hill
The lower Ashop valley
The lower Ashop valley
and the north-west corner of the Kinder plateau. From here it flows east, below the northern edge of Kinder, before being joined by Lady Clough, the valley which carries the Snake Road, just above the Snake Inn. The inn is a well-known watering-hole and centre for walkers. The old Doctor's Gate Roman road from Melandra to Navio runs just behind it here and crosses the modern road more than once.

The Alport valley
The Alport valley
From here the main road follows the Ashop down on its course eastwards. The valley is very pretty, with magnificent views of the northern edges of Kinder, which rise steeply to the south. About half-way to Ladybower the Ashop is joined from the north by the Alport, which has emerged from Bleaklow.

The Alport rises at Alport Head, a remote spot between Bleaklow Head and Bleaklow Stones. It flows down through an area marked on the map as 'The Swamp' and is joined at Grains in the Water by Hern Clough, a stream which has come from near Wain Stones and Bleaklow Head. The combined stream then flows south-east down the magnificent deep-cut valley of Alport Clough to reach the Ashop.

Alport Castles
Alport Castles
On the way it passes Alport Castles, a landslip feature similar to the 'shivering face' of Mam Tor, and formed from the same type of shale. A whole section of the face has detached itself and stands in a tower-like formation amid the landscape. It's an unusual feature in a fine situation. The farm below is the scene of an unusual ritual. A Love Feast takes place here on the first Sunday in July - a ceremony practised by local Non-Conformists who escaped persecution by hiding here in the 17th century.

At the junction of the two rivers the Roman road leaves the Ashop valley to climb the saddle over to Hope Cross and Edale, while the combined streams flow down the so-called Woodlands valley into the west end of Ladybower.