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A peak walk into history

Posted 11 June 2012
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A peak walk into history
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The Peak District features many walks and treks where fine scenery is interwoven with history and an upcoming guided walk is among them.

Organised by National Park rangers, the Snake Summit Ramble takes place on June 24th and covers just over nine miles of high moorland, beginning at Glossop Railway Station at 10:30 BST and lasting six hours.

Needless to say, organisers have advised participants to bring items like waterproofs, walking boots, plus the right clothing, a packed lunch and a drink.

The route's highlights include Mill Hill and the summit of the Snake Pass (A57), the road that cuts through the national park from Glossop to Sheffield and among the first roads in England to be closed when the winter snows arrive.

Few who know this part of the moors well can be unaware of its history.

Mill Hill, for starters, has plenty of it. Crossed by the Pennine Way en route northwards from Kinder Scout towards the Snake and then Bleaklow, it features one of the many wartime plane wrecks that are scattered across the High Peak, testimony to some of the hazards in flying over the Pennines in blackouts and bad weather during the Second World War.

The Snake Pass is not to be confused with the Snake Path, but as the names suggest, they are linked. The path runs from Hayfield to the A57 in the Ashop Valley, offering a linear walk to the Snake Inn.

It was declared a public right of way in 1897, a rare success for the access movement and a track that played a major part in the history of the cause of greater public recreation. The path climbs the moors above Hayfield before descending to Kinder reservoir and follows William Clough to the watershed at Ashop Head, very close to Mill Hill. And it was from the Clough, of course, that the 1932 Kinder Trespassers began their march towards the forbidden plateau and clashed with gamekeepers aiming to stop them.

Ashop Head was the place where the trespassers who had come up from Hayfield held a 'victory meeting' with a group of ramblers from Sheffield, who had managed to make their way across the Kinder plateau from Edale in their own trespass, albeit one lacking the drama of confrontation with the gamekeepers otherwise occupied.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801382121-ADNFCR