Saddleworth Moor isn’t blessed with popularity and doesn’t have stories of joy. Speak to most people and they’ll say bleak, featureless and the moors murders.

However, I was sure there was more to the area than this and had seen a few good pictures of grand landscapes from the area so I had to make a visit. I’d been wanting to go for years but I always seemed to have a reason to procrastinate (mainly because it’s about the furthest point away in the Peak District from my home!!).

I had decided that I wanted to visit the Trinnacle, a gritstone outcrop consiting of three pinnacles which is situated near Ravenstones Brow. I had checked the maps a few times and planned a route so when the weather was decent Saturday I finally made a go for it and had a drive over to Dovestones Reservoir (my original plan had been to park on the road below Aldermans Hill as the route seemed shorter, but I think the ascent on the way back would have been a sting in the tail). I was instantly impressed from Dovestones Reservoir, the surrounding hills were dramatic and steep sided, I had expected softer inclines like Kinder Scout and Bleaklow. I was taking it all in the crsip winter air.

I turned the wrong direction a couple of times, I blame the area and it’s lack of paths not my amazing navigation skills for that! However, I finally got on track (not the way I had planned) and had what seemed like a very steep ascent up to Ashway Rocks. The path was pretty much straight up which is quite hard when you’re carrying a lot of heavy camera gear on your back (I must remember to take out the portrait lens and flash, but you know, good training!).

As I got higher, I took notice of various spots that looked nice, mainly around Ashway Rocks also taking notice that the route I was heading seemed to be in shadow and the Trinnacle may not be a viable shoot. However the higher I got, the colder it got with the boggy paths turning to ice with dustings of snow around.

I did get to near the Trinnacle but as suspected it was in shadow so I decided I needed to make my way back, already behind schedule despite leaving plenty of time due to the wrong turns and steeper than expected walk, however on the way back I did take the below picture which caught my eye as the contrast of the wintry hillside crossed with the late autumnal colours in the distance really struck me.

5 thoughts on “Saddleworth Moor”

  1. You write good articles James, another good read, my English vocabulary is very limited to simple short words!! haha

    I like the light on the Ashway Rocks to Dovestone Ridge photo, very nice.

    You should come see me now for some map and compass work 🙂

    • Thanks James 🙂

      Haha, do you charge? Worst part is, I was using my memory map so I had no excuse. First time was me being cocky but second time was due to a path not being there the map said was!

  2. Yet another great article James with some cracking images. It is such a shame that Saddleworth is, and will be for many years hence, tarnished with the Moors murders.
    It is down to articles like yours to portray the true beauty of the area.
    Have a great Christmas.


  3. Accomplished writer and you have made me feel mega motivated to have a look at this area, it does look like a bit of a trek, and yes there is the unfortunate stigma of Saddleworth but the landscape over there looks rugged, desolate but somewhat beautiful.


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