One of the quickest ways on to the tops is the path to Alport Castles from the Westend Valley , and it also has the great advantage of being excellent underfoot , and giving the option of multiple routes over Westend Moor , or up the Alport . All I had firmly in mind was a trip to Bleaklow Stones , and a probable return via Grinah/Barrow Stones , so it was the obvious choice .Despite getting up at what felt like the night before , the unavoidable drawback to this time of the year , there was no sunrise to speak of . Cloud and fuzzy haziness were the bane of the day , but the early start gave me the best of the morning sun . After watching distant curlews at the Castles I decided to go across the moor to the trig point , and onto Bleaklow by Westend Head . On to the Stones , and a pleasant stop . I thought I was in luck when two young mountain hares raced in , and decided to pause unaware of my presence . Being hares though , they soon changed their mind , putting paid to any dreams of close-up photos two trips in a row . I diverted slightly from the path to Grinah , and visited the Labrador Tea plant in Swain's Greave . Unfortunately I've missed the flowering this year ; but it's still quite impressive . A return route by the 'source of the Derwent' spot , and after some wandering around by the Barrow Stones , a straightforward return by the shooters path to the Westend . A very easy return , as the tops are pretty dry and springy at the moment . All in all , a good day .
Parking at the Westend Gate is very limited . Some bits of this route may convince you to get gaiters if you don't have them already , unless it's a day like today . Usually it isn't .