The Peak District. One of the most popular National Park anywhere in the world. 8.4 million visitors a year. 1437 Square Kilometres of protected area. Busy place despite the greenery on offer. We love our wild camping here at Webtogs, but we began to seriously doubt whether you could find a true wilderness wild camp spot in the Park itself. That was until I pootled along at the beginning of September to Terry BND’s now legendary Outdoor Bloggers meet up. Whilst chewing the fat with some lovely outdoor folks amongst the tents, talk grew to our favourite wild camp spots and whether you could actually find somewhere in the Peak District to get that feeling of real remoteness that those of us who love wild camping crave.
One conversation with James from Backpacking Bongos began to tweak my ears. Bleaklow. One of the remotest and most desolate moors in the Park, it’s legendary for it’s boggy character, and although nice and remote, I couldn’t recall any areas suitable for pitching up. James mentioned a small spot he had been to previously and along with Phil from Social Hiking who was along for his first ever wild camp, we set off to see if this was the wilderness nirvana I had been searching for.
The day did not begin well, leaving the car not 5 minutes behind us, the rain decided to make it’s presence felt in a major way and the steady trickle of water down from my hood spoilt the view ahead. Spirits lifted however as we began the climb to Alport Castles. The naming of some outdoor spots frequently leaves you scratching your head, but Alport Castles is aptly named, the pillars of rock standing out like turrets amongst the landscape. Climbing past them to the top, the wind bustled between us threatening to take my hat away. Boggy ground also made an appearance and we quickly got our heads down in silence to the trig point on top of Alport Moor.
Slowly we began to relax. No signs of human habitation were visible and the paths were faint and indistinct, could this be what we were seeking? The wind became too much so we dropped down to the path halfway up Alport Dale. Immediately the winds absence made us feel more relaxed, and the seclusion of the dale dared us to dream of the spot we might hope to find. Strolling up, we began to ford streams making dents in to the hillside until we came to Grains in the Water. Nothing to the eye except moorland, wind and each other. Exchanging grins, we pitched up and settled down. We had found our wild camping wilderness in the Peak District.