walking | Alport Castles
What and where are the Alport Castles?
Alport Castles and the famous 'Tower' were formed from an enormous landslip which happened over half a mile. It is thought to actually be the largest landslip in the UK and they get their name from the castle-like appearance of the Tower (pictured above). The faces were once used for climbing but they are unstable and we wouldn't recommend it (nor is it allowed).
Start this one at the Fairhomes visitors centre next to Derwent Reservoir. The walk can either be a straight ascent and then retrace your steps back to the car park, or you can follow our full route for an extension and a decent 8+ miles.
Remember to stick to The Rules and have fun!
Get this route
Download our route and follow this yourself from either OS Maps or ViewRanger. OS Maps requires a subscription, which luckily you can get 10% off with Northern Stroll on any 12 month subscription. Check out our blog post for the code.
ViewRanger is free and much like OS Maps doesn't require any data to work. All you need is a GPS signal, especially if you have downloaded your maps beforehand. It also has OS Maps available as a layer inside the app.
Don't have ViewRanger on your phone yet? See our guide, or download it in your app store.
Starting at the Fairhomes visitors centre, head out back onto the main road and enter the forest. Follow the track up and around as it winds through the trees.
Eventually you will end up on a road taking you round the curve of the hill before turning left and diving back into the forest again. The incline isn't the steepest but make sure you do have a basic level of fitness.
Once you emerge from the forest follow the track keeping the wall on your right and onto a dirt/cobbled farm track and turn left. Head down the hill onto the road as it winds round evenutally turning right up onto the hill and the plateau all the way to Alport Castles in the distance. Enjoy the view!
You can then either fully retrace your steps to shorten the walk to c.5 1/2 miles, or extend the route by retracing slightly and following the waypoints back down the hill into the valley and walking south towards the A57 (Snake Road).
If you are extending the route, make sure to cross at Alport Bridge onto the next footpath rather than walking along this dangerous stretch of the A57.
Key things to know:
Time: About 3 hours for a quick 'up and down' but the full extended route could be up to 5
Distance: 8.34 miles
Elevation: 1,738 feet
How to get here:
Postcode: S33 0AQ
Parking at the car park is a great place to start from. Use the Google Maps marker here or just search for it in your favourite search engine. You can also visit the official Visit Peak District page.