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Pennine Way Day 2 - Crowden to Standedge

Peak District National Park

A picturesque journey across barren moorland

Also in Oldham, United Kingdom

Hiking Difficult

18 km
689 m
521 m
4-5 hrs
Low Point
214 m
High Point
580 m
Pennine Way Day 2 - Crowden to Standedge Map

With big skies above and featureless moorland all around, this day is all about ambience. Nowhere has an atmosphere quite like the moors of Northern England, and on this trail you'll experience them in all their barren glory.


The first half of the day is essentially a long traverse across Black Hill, a peak once described by the legendary Alfred Wainwright as "a brute in any weather", but now much more accessible thanks to the efforts of the Moors for the Future and Heritage Lottery organisations. It's still a long and exposed trip, but the soggy bogs through which Wainwright battled have now been replaced with well built stone paths. These make both movement and navigation easier, and have transformed Black Hill from a struggle into a pleasure. The white summit block is still in a pretty desolate spot though, and in all but the best of weather it doesn't feel like a place to linger.

Descend off Black Hill to the A635 road where, if you're lucky, there might be a burger van selling exactly the kind of food you want after a few hours on the moors.

Cross the road and then make the winding journey past no less than 5 reservoirs. The reservoirs are, as you'd imagine, nestled in valleys rather than on hill tops so if the weather is bad you'll be able to avoid the worst of it after the A635.

After the final reservoir (Redbrook Reservoir) you'll emerge onto the 2nd road of the day, the A62. There's a couple of farms offering cottage accommodation just to the west of where you hit the road, but most people make the half hour trip down to Diggle village and stay there overnight. It's a bit of a detour from the main Pennine Way route but that extra half hour puts you in a bustling little village with ample opportunities for accommodation and calorie replenishment. Savour the warmth of a good pub and get a good night's rest ahead of tomorrow's trip over Blackstone Edge Moor.



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between April and October


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Dog friendly
  • Family friendly

Guidebooks in this area