The Crowden Horseshoe : A Pale Pond of Dancing Dragonflies

Trail Map

crowden-horseshoe elevation chart
Hollie looks out on the rugged open moorland of the Peak District

The Crowden Horseshoe follows a humble river as it makes its way through the winding slopes of the Peak District. The river's banks deposit you at the beginnings of a vast, open marshland, where dragonflies dance around a pale pond.

Hollie jumps eroded bogland

The river was everchanging. One moment clear, enveloped in dramatic reflections; the next a dribbling mess stained red with the clay-like mud that decorated its high mossy banks. Deep black and sparkling red stones furnished the shores. They looked as if they had recently been spat from a volcano and crystallised. There was no sign of a volcano nearby though, which is just as well because I don't think the local population of rabbits and sheep would fare very well. Most sheep quiver at a sneeze.

Hollie overlooks a winding, rock-strewn river

At the mouth of the river, the marshes were all-encompassing. The vastness would have been intimidating were it not for the wooden beacons erected to guide us home. We made off through the bogland. If heavy rain had soaked into its pores, I can’t see how parts of the Crowden Horseshoe would be traversable. I decided to overcome a particularly soggy patch of land with a bold running jump - a squelchy mistake. Bog filled one of my boots with a greedy readiness. Hollie, who had anticipated my failure from the start (or who maybe just has a better understanding of gravity than me), found this particularly amusing. I took not getting sucked into the mud pit as a definite win and with pride, noted to myself that I had indeed crossed the bog. Head held high, I squelched all the way home. A long way with soggy toes.

        Words & Photography: Scott Norris (@radventuresofficial) // summer 2014