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Blackclough is ideally situated for walking in the peaks and trail running, with footpaths radiating from the property in all directions! Options include south towards Three Shires Head, the Roaches and Grad Bach, eastwards to the Cat and Fiddle and Axe Edge Moor, Shutlingsloe and Macclesfield Forest, or west towards Chrome Hill and the upper reaches of the River Dove, and the beautiful Wye Valley. Many short and longer distance races organised by Running with David.
'We have had four running club trips to Blackclough and it's an ideal base for a large, active party. It is a real haven in the midst of wild moorland, with excellent trail running right from the front door and Shining Tor and the Roaches not far away.' Alan Hall, Serpentine Running Club.
If you like a challenge than you can tackle the Trans Pennine Challenge, a historic 100km trail through the Pennines and via the Peak District National Park.
The Peak District cycle routes and peak district bike trails provide a haven for cyclists, from lycra-clad diehards to off-road mountain bikers to families enjoying a traffic-free railways trail. There are numerous books, leaflets and websites listing cycle rides in the Peak District Park for both mountain bike routes and road bikes with many of the routes passing close to Blackclough. For those preferring rides that are less undulating, Parsley Hay, the point where the High Peak, Tissington and newly opened Monsal trails (converted railways tracks) converge are less than seven miles away.
Blackclough has six mountain bikes available for hire. Run by Derbyshire CC, there is also a wide range of bikes to hire at Parsley Hay, 01298 84493. 'An ideal base for walkers, fell runners, road and off-road cyclists' Rachel Lakeland-Fox, via Facebook.
The Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) of Leek Moors, notably its scenically dramatic landforms, wild open country and outstanding assemblage of upland breeding birds, surrounds Blackclough on all sides. There is a high density of breeding golden plover, and exceptional numbers of snipe. Birds such as the Merlin, Ring Ouzels, black and red Grouse, Curlew and Snipe require the large area and minimal disturbance afforded by the site. (Red kites and lapwings have been sighted this year, and two Whimbrel above neighbouring Knotbury). Find out more about UK birds and wildlife by visiting RSPB.
Geologically, this SSSI is renowned for its Millstone Grit features. Nearby outcrops show a sequence of shales about the coal, and the adjacent Orchard Farm is internationally important for the geological study of Carboniferous rocks. Parts of Axe Edge moor above Blackclough are covered by blanket peat, and dominated by cotton grasses, heathers and rushes.
"If you like being close-up with nature and especially birds, then Blackclough Farm House is ideal. This year's sightings included: Buzzard, Merlin, Kestrel, Pied Wagtail, Ring Ouzel, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Curlew, Meadow Pipit and Raven to name but a few."
Matthew Bain, via Facebook
Blackclough offers ample space and seclusion for team-building, athletic training and workshop opportunities. A wide range of organisations have used Blackclough, it is a relaxing, but stimulating environment for creative thinking, away from it all.
The separate detached barn at the end of Blackclough has been upgraded and is available, at minimal extra cost, as a classroom/ workshop. It has been used for painting classes, photography, textile design workshops.
The England Badminton squad use Blackclough regularly and it has provided a base for team-building and fitness training for their Olympic athletes and coaching and support staff through the last four Olympic cycles.
"Fantastic venue for getting a real focused, concentrated environment in preparation for a major event with very little intervention or distraction.The remoteness (yet actually being so close to everything!) is extremely stimulating and conducive to a real performance environment. I hope to plan in further sessions with various groups in the future."
Andy Wood, Former Great Britain Olympic Head Coach, Director of 'MatchPlaySport' Coaching Consultancy
Cavendish Golf Club and Buxton and High Peak Golf Club, dating to 1925 and 1887 respectively, are both about four miles away, with other challenging courses offering spectacular views nearby. You can also visit Westwood Golf Club or Leek Golf Club in Staffordshire.
Mystical Mermaid's Pool, legendarily home to one of the only inland mermaids in Britain, and the plunge pools of Three Shires Head are both listed by Wild Swim as recommended places for a warm-weather dip. For the less adventurous, the thermally heated pools at Buxton are only 3 miles away. So even if the weather in Derbyshire isn't as anticipated you can still take a relaxing dip.
The nearby Roaches, which are visible down the valley from Blackclough, are well known for climbing opportunities. Caving and potholing area popular sports locally, with a wide range of natural cave systems and former lead mines to explore.
Hang gliding and paragliding over the valley is similarly close by near Longnor, and there is Gliding at Hucklow near Buxton.
Northfield Farm at nearby Flash offers hacking and trekking on an hourly or daily basis (01298 22543). Go Ape in Buxton offers a 2-3 hour forest high wire course.
Nearby Rudyard Lake, Tittesworth Reservoir and Errwood in the Goyt Valley offer a range of boating, sailing, and canoeing opportunities. Carsington reservoir is a little further afield.
There is a wide range of course, carp and game fisheries. You can go fishing in Derbyshire and fishing in Staffordshire. There are also angling clubs near Leek, Buxton, and many private fisheries, Rudyard Lake is nearby at Leek (6 miles), Errwood Reservoir in the Goyt Valley, Ladybower Reservoir and there is river fishing for trout and grayling in the Dove and the Manifold.