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Start: Crowden Car Park (Google Maps)

Grade: 2/3

This is a fantastic scramble, particularly in warmer weather as it can get quite wet going directly up the cascades. It can also be linked up with Wilderness Gully East for a cracking day out.

The Route

The route begins weaving its way from Crowden, following the path towards the path next to the Crowden Great Brook, then scrambles up Oaken Clough, and descends via The Pennine Way back to the car park.


It can be a little difficult to find the right path to get to Oaken Clough. When starting in the Crowden car park, take the path into the woods at the bottom corner, past the campsite toilets, until you reach the road. Cross the road and pass through the gate opposite, turn right just before the outdoor pursuits centre, and follow this path forward and right up across a small bridge into the wood. Here turn left, and follow the path until you reach an opening and a foot bridge.

Once over the bridge, take the obvious path that climbs towards the hill on the right, it first moves up and right, then turns left, and runs along the edge of the hill. After a while you will reach a leftward decline towards a gate, take this and continue along the edge of the water and boulders until you reach the opposite side of the clough (clearly marked by a dense line of trees).

The Scramble

Make your way over boggy ground to the first obstacle, and pick your favourite line up it! There are several ways to get up, and if you’re struggling the steep grass grove on the right can be used as an escape.

There are many cascades, often greasy but very enjoyable, particularly on a hot day!

First obstacle on Oaken Clough. Taken via a hand hold just right of where the water is coming down. Sometimes too slimy though.
Some of the cascades on the way up Oaken Clough.
The third obstacle has two options, steeper cascade or slime filled chimney!

The full route start to finish:

Descent / Extensions

Once you reach the adjoining path that runs across the clough you have two options.

  1. To finish, follow the path left to go back to the car park.
  2. To extend, follow the path right for a short while, then take the left hand fork just after Laddow Rocks towards the Wilderness Gullys at Chew Brook Reservoir. Wilderness Gully East is a particularly interesting one, and will make a fantastic days scrambling when joined with this, probably one of the best in the Peak District.
Crowden valley

Recommended Guidebook & Map

The best guidebook for this route is found in the Scrambles in the Dark Peak book, which is available via Paperback or Kindle Book here.

The best map for this route is the Ordnance Survey OL1, The Peak District, Dark Peak Area, available on Amazon here.

Recommended Scrambling Guide: (coming soon)

Recommended Accommodation

You can stay at the Crowden caravan park for a very convenient place to stay for this scramble, or you can stay around the Manchester side of the Woodhead pass.

You can find cheap rooms on here.

Route Info

Distance5.50 km
Elevation205m +/-
Duration2 - 3 hours
Grade2 / 3
TransportCar - Crowden


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ContributorWho Contributed?

Route Contributed by: Matt Jackson

This route was created by Matt Jackson and donated to the UK Scrambles website through our contributor program.

This generosity enables us to publish a whole range of scrambling routes to help you enjoy the outdoors.

If you have a route you could contribute, submit it to us today.

You can view other routes Matt has contributed here.

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