Brown Knoll in the Peak District used to make tough men tremble. I walked it a few times in the 1960’s and it was the peat bog from hell. If you were walking around Edale then it was the link from Kinder around to Rushup Edge and Mam Tor. So, it was time for Ann and I to make a fell run of it, about two hours of running for we slowbies. We parked on the road below and beyond Rushup Edge, where the track joins from Perryfoot. We then followed the Pennine Bridleway to South Head. This track is like a dream where you inhabit some kind of heaven. It weaves and winds across to Roych Clough, a perfect Pennine dell with fords. The track has an ancient feel and is rocky, often pitched, and steep at times.
South Head is a liminal place, where life, that is fields, gives way to moorland, where winter is to be feared. A boggy track heads to Brown Knoll and then, suddenly, the path is paved. The riven paving is under attack from vegetation but just holding out. It also winds through heather and bilberry, turns right and hence to the summit. The trig sits on slabs, like a terrace in the sky. A sip of water and jellybabies because this is a jellybaby run. The paving continued downhill over the once dreaded peat bog. It joined the path from Barber Booth and turned into a shale finish. A right turn and back down to the road. My photo looks east towards Back Tor and Lose Hill.
This route was about 9 miles with just over a thousand feet of climbing. It was just amazing, a path to flash across the eyes in bed, and to relive. It is, in some way, sad to be tamed but it means we oldies can do it. The riven paving was a mass of texture and colour, but dire for causing trips. Whatever, I feel so blessed to have these paths on the doorstep, a walking and running paradise. That said, we have two easy runs each week plus one of these fell runs. The fell run is tiring yet has to be savoured. There is freedom up there and the body, a machine, understands and responds. However, a jellybaby gives a welcome boost of sugar.