Climbing Harpur Hill


One of our rare weekends left that we didn’t plan to “go” anywhere (i.e. we slept at home), but we still headed out to explore our surroundings. Saturday found us at Harpur Hill, just outside Buxton in the Peak District.

Amid the vast climbing area is a beautiful blue “lagoon”. I’m not entirely sure what gives it the amazing turquoise color.. something I’ve only seen in the Caribbean or Miami beaches, but there it stands in all its inviting glory.

Unfortunately, it’s actually quite toxic. With a pH level of about 11.3, the water is very poisonous – somewhere along the lines of bleach (pH 12.6) and ammonia (pH 11.5). The bottom is also littered with trash and abandoned cars, which can be very dangerous to swim among even without the toxicity. You would think that this knowledge and the abundance of signs would keep people out of the water, but that’s where you would be wrong. People are stupid.. that’s why last year, in an attempt to keep people from swimming in it, the “lagoon” was died black. I suppose a year of rain and UK weather has brought the lagoon back to it’s beautiful blue, but hopefully people will stay away from now on.

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