Autumn Fell Run above the Derwent Valley

Peak District Running

A stunning autumn day, calm with blue skies – perfect for fell running in the Peak District.

Uphill running above Ladybower reservoir

The car park at Fairholmes in the Derwent Valley is already busy with weekend visitors.  This honeypot attracts plenty of walkers and bikers but the joy of fell running means that within 5 minutes I am off the popular routes and on to Open Access land and on my 2 hour run I only see a handful of people.

The light is stunning with excellent visibility in the crisp air, only a thin veil of smoke from the managed moorland heather burning adding the illusion of cloud above the distant Derwent Edge.

Running under blue Autumn skies

I decide to make my own route which will take me across open moorland over Little Howden Moor to a ruined building in Cogman’s Clough.  From there I follow Abbey Brook up to Berrister’s Tor with its strange hummocks and steeply incised valleys – one of my favourite areas of the Peak District.

Fantastic running conditions
Berrister’s Tor
Enjoying the run
The steep valley of Abbey Brook

 From here its an uphill section, skirting south of Lost Lad and up to meet the paved path at Cakes of Bread.

Uphill towards Lost Lad
Uphill leaving Abbey Brook
Smoke from managed heather burning
Clear autumn skies above the high moors of the Dark Peak
Controlled heather burning
Smoke above the heather moorland
View west from Cakes of Bread

From Cakes of Bread I head due west across the rough open moorland of bracken and heather over John Field.  It’s a steep drop down into Far Deep Clough and a battle through deep bracken up the other side to the thin copse of trees.  The hard running is done now as I pick up my outward route to the west of Pike Low and drop down to run below the dam wall back to Fairholmes and the weekend crowds. A perfect day’s running in the Peak District.

Route details

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About fellrunningguide

Dave Taylor, fell runner and coach. 2015 English Fell Running Champion (V50). I work as Fell Running Guide - offering coaching, guided fell / trail runs and navigation training. www.fellrunningguide.co.uk
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