Padfield circular walk
Glorious views en routeGlorious views en route

DISTANCE: 6 miles

PARKING: Manor Park, off Manor Park Road, Glossop SK13 7SH; Grid Ref: 039944

TERRAIN: 10+ stiles. Moderate walk passing through fields grazed by livestock. Woods with trip and slip hazards. Country lanes without pavement. Areas prone to mud.

REFRESHMENTS: Bakery, shops and café on Station Road, Hadfield

TOILETS: Manor Park, Glossop

MAP: O.S. Explorer OL1 – Dark Peak

WALK HIGHLIGHT: Extensive views toward brooding Dark Peak moors

DESCRIPTION: In this green and pleasant land of North Derbyshire where dark satanic mills once reigned supreme, the occasional towering chimney can still be seen beside old mill buildings and terraces of stone cottages. As well as providing a gentle hike to high ground, this walk across fields and along ancient tracks also includes pavement walking through leafy suburbs to discover Padfield, Hadfield and Old Glossop. 


1. Manor Park used to be the grounds and gardens of Glossop Hall, owned by the Dukes of Norfolk who became Lords of the Manor here in 1606 and held the estate for the next 300 years. The park was created by the Borough of Glossop after it acquired the land in 1927, while the hall became a school before it was demolished in around 1950.

From the car park off Corn Street, cross the metal bridge over Glossop Brook and walk up the path to the public toilets by the Pavilion Café. Head between the tennis courts and lodge house, and then bear right onto a path which exits the park through a small metal gate onto Manor Park Road on the edge of the Conservation Area of Old Glossop. Turn left onto Church Street South and proceed up to Wellgate beyond All Saints’ Church on your left. On the way you will pass the entrance to the former market place on your right where you can see Glossop’s old cross – the village was awarded its market charter in 1290. Also notice the centuries-old cottages built of dark gritstone with small mullioned windows, typical of the High Peak area. At the top of the street is the former Bailiff’s House where the Duke of Norfolk’s manager once lived, employed to oversee his Glossop estate.


2. Head uphill between the Bull’s Head and Wheatsheaf pubs. At the top of the pathway ignore the first right into a cul-de-sac and continue, turning right along Bute Street. At the entrance to Shirehill Hospital turn right then left to walk up Blackshaw Clough lane which leads eventually to Swineshaw Reservoir with a smaller holding pond on the right before it.


3. Before the high grassy dam wall you will pass a property on the left. Immediately after this go over a stone slab bridge on the left to cross a stream at the end of the garden wall beside an old-fashioned street lamp. This narrow path then leads steeply uphill through a band of woodland where there are trip hazards and several sets of steps. Emerging into a field, keep a high wall on your right with the main reservoir beyond it and follow the well-defined footpath through a succession of fields and stiles to emerge onto Woodhead Road.


4. Carefully cross over the road to the building with the grass roof opposite and notice an old mounting block set into the wall near the drive entrance on the left. Turn right and walk on the main road as far as the end of the main house to a public footpath sign. Follow this path which leads through a builders’ yard to the rear of the property and then a field beyond.

Go past a small derelict farm building and walk alongside the perimeter wall of the graveyard to the far corner, then turn right and descend a field to a wooden stile by an old metal footpath sign. Head straight across a couple of fields to Little Padfield Farm.


5. Follow the drive away from the farm, cottages and barn conversion and when arriving at a triangle of roads at Redgate, turn right and walk down Platt Street in Padfield. This goes past terraces of old millworkers’ cottages and allotments planted with vegetables and fruit trees with a former factory building beyond. 


6. At the bottom of Platt Street where the houses come to an end at a corner, turn right along Trail View to access the Longdendale Trail which follows a stretch of the former Woodhead railway line. Turn left and walk a short distance to the end of the trail then continue ahead on the road past Malvern Rise to Hadfield Station. At this point you may wish to detour down Station Road to find refreshments in the various shops that line either side of the road.


7. Walk up the approach to the station then bear right up a cobbled path. Turn left and use the walkway beside the bridge to cross over the railway line. Turn right at Park Road to enter Bankswood Park.


8. Walk through the playground area and continue as the track enters woodland. You will emerge for a time from the woods to observe sweeping views across the valley on the right and with the tower of Mottram parish church on War Hill in the distance. Continue to a corner where the drive leads around to the left and a grassy path descends to the right. At this point turn sharp left to follow a woodland path which leads up a deep dark ancient holloway around Castle Hill. The medieval motte and bailey Mouselow Castle once stood on the hilltop here, occupying what is believed was the site of an Iron Age hillfort. 


9. Follow the path uphill beneath towering beech and oak trees keeping roughly in line with the ditch, and ignoring a path on the right beside a field. 


10. Arriving at a lane with North Road approximately 50 yards to your left, turn right and walk up the rough stone track of Hilltop Road which eventually leads you beneath a mast atop this high vantage point from where there are superb far-reaching views. Look for a line of vehicles making their way up and down Longdendale beyond the string of five huge reservoirs known as the Longdendale Chain. When completed in 1877 this was then the largest artificial expanse of water in the world. Beyond is the dark brooding morass of Black Hill as a backdrop. Descend the lane from the mast to a residential area known as The Ashes and continue down to a junction.


11. Turn left to walk along Dinting Road. Notice the building of Howard Park Swimming Pool with its Paxton-like fan window. See also the lovely parkland beyond with pool and resident ducks. At the crossroads, with round red post box opposite, head straight over to walk past the school in one of Glossop’s many leafy suburban roads that are lined with grand Victorian and Edwardian houses. Glossop ‘new town’ was created around 1840 following expansion of the wool and cotton-spinning industries. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries some 46 mills were built, as well as housing for the workers and mill owners. Many roads were laid but then the town grew even bigger with the arrival of the railway line in 1847.


12. At the end of Talbot Road cross Norfolk Street and then head along Hall Meadow Road. This will now bring you to Old Glossop which nestles close to heather-clad moors leading up to Bleaklow. A Roman road was laid over these high hills from the fort called Navio at Brough in the Hope Valley to Melandra, a garrison fort on the western edge of Glossop above the River Etherow and Glossop Brook, that was built in 80AD and probably known as Ardotalia.


13. Arriving at Church Walk, notice the old school building ahead. Built in 1852 as Glossop’s Grammar School, it became a primary school before closing a few years ago. It was used for filming classroom scenes in the BBC drama The Village but is currently being converted into apartments. Turn right before the former school building and church to descend a path back into Manor Park where you might wish to explore the formal gardens and woodland paths before returning to your car.




Bleaklow from Old Glossop



Bleaklow is a wild and desolate plateau in the Dark Peak. Never ending peat hags and groughs create an often unwelcoming environment but it can also be a beautiful and peaceful place if you walk it on the right day. Clear winter days when the ground is frozen or warm summers days when the ground is tinder dry. Those who enjoy the wilder places on their own will thrive on Bleaklow. The gritstone tors of the Wain Stones and Hern Stones provide not only something to see but are also great navigational tools. The wreckage of the B-29 Boing Superfortress on Higher Shelf Stones is another fascinating and thought provoking feature. This walk is not the longest in the Peak District but is by far one of the hardest due to the pathless, wild and often unforgiving terrain. Navigation skills, map and compass are all vital, as are knowing how to use them. Despite the dark reputation of Bleaklow, it is a unique place that can provide a very different and satisfying days walk, but care and preparations are vital in bad or changeable weather.

Route Directions

  1. This walk starts from the end of Shepley Street in Old Glossop. To get there follow the A57 out of Glossop towards the Snake Pass. Just before you leave the town and after a small roundabout there is a road on the left called Manor Park Road that is sign posted to Old Glossop and Manor Park. After about half a mile there is a road on the right called Shepley Street, if you continue to the end of this road you'll get to a turning place, parking is allowed here although do bear in mind to stay as far over towards the stream side as possible so lorries can turn in the turning area.
  2. Follow the rough track that is a continuation of the road and follows the banks of the brook. You will pass a few buildings and a farm on the left. After about a kilometre you will reach a stile over the stone wall on the left hand side of the track. 
  3. Go over this stile and then turn right following the path uphill for the start of the ascent of the Lightside ridge. The path is very obvious at first and is also steep in places but the terrain itself is easy going underfoot. The terrain as you ascend Lightside will change from grass fields to heather moorland.
  4. When you reach the top of the Lightside ridge the path starts to disappears in places. There is an olf fence line that you can follow. Don't go too far off to the left, instead keep the cliffs above the Yellow Slacks valley close by on your right. Though obviously in bad weather don't get too close to the edge.
  5. After walking along the path for about a kilometre the path heads East towards the top of the Yellow Slacks valley where the Yellowslacks Brook falls from Dowstone Clough into the valley, underneath a famous outcrop called Dog Rock.
  6. The path now follows the left side of Yellowslacks Brook for about a kilometre passing the splendid waterfalls and then disappears into the quagmire of peat hags and groughs and things start to get seriously boggy. 
  7. The best thing to do at this point is to climb one of the peat hags and look for the Hern Stones, so you know the general direction you should now be heading. To reach the Hern Stones keep following the stream as it takes you close to the stones. The Hern Stones are around a kilometre East to South East of the Yellowslacks Brook waterfalls.
  8. The Hern Stones are a great place to rest and assess your next move to reach the Wain Stones and Bleaklow Head. On a clear day standing on the Hern Stones and looking directly north you should be able to make out just six hundred metres away, the wooden post at Bleaklow Head and the Wain Stones. 
  9. To reach the Wain Stones and Bleaklow Head, from the Hern Stones head north for six hundred metres. This may sound simple but in this boggy terrain of peat hags and groughs it is extremely easy to end up changing direction without realising it. If you are with others it may be beneficial to use the leap frogging navigation technique where one goes ahead to a high point you can see on the line of direction, then the other catches up and passes them to the next high point in view in the line of direction. 
  10. If you don't feel comfortable navigating across the bogs you can instead head east from Hern Stones for around two hundred metres and pick up the more obvious Pennine Way path. When you reach it follow it north for six hundred metres to reach Bleaklow Head.
  11. From Bleaklow Head the next objective is the summit of Higher Shelf Stones. Follow the Pennine Way path south for a kilometre. Now head west for seven hundred metres, ascending the slope to reach the summit of Higher Shelf Stones. 
  12. The first thing you will reach as you approach the summit area of Higher Shelf Stones is the wreckage of the US Air Forces Boeing B-29 Superfortress 'Overexposed'. This is probably the biggest plane wreckage site in the Peak District. The vast area and amount of debris shows you just how huge the aircraft was. Next to the wreckage is a memorial plaque that reads..

    "IN MEMORY Here lies the wreckage of B-29 Superfortress "Overexposed" of the 16th. photographic reconnaissance squadron USAF which tragically crashed whilst descending through cloud on 3rd November 1948 killing all 13 crew members. The aircraft was on a routine flight from RAF Scampton to American AFB Burtonwood. It is doubtful the crew ever saw the ground."

  13. Once you have taken in the atmosphere at the wreckage head west then south west for only twenty metres to reach the Ordnance Survey trig pillar at the 612M high summit of Higher Shelf Stones.
  14. From Higher Shelf Stones retrace your steps north east then east for twenty metres back to the wreckage site. From the wreckage retrace your steps east for seven hundred metres to rejoin the Pennine Way.
  15. Head south along the Pennine Way. The path climbs away from the top of Hern Clough then descends the Devil's Dyke above Crooked Clough. After a kilometre the path reaches the top of the Doctor's Gate path at Old Woman.
  16. Turn right down the Doctor's Gate path. The rocky path follows Shelf Brook and descends through the winding Doctor's Gate valley below Higher Shelf Stones. This is a great place to be at the end of a summers day as the sun settles in the north west and shines into the valley.
  17. The path gets boggy towards the end of the valley and then turns into a track near a farm building. Follow the track for five hundred metres to reach a junction of tracks by Mossy Lea Farm. 
  18. Here turn right and head along the track in a north west direction for just under a kilometre to reach the stile you crossed earlier in the day. Retrace your steps west along the track back to Old Glossop and the start of the walk. For refreshments after the walk Old Glossop has an abundance of excellent local pubs with wholesome food and locally brewed ales. Some pubs even sell the aptly named Bleaklow that is brewed by the local Howard Town brewery.
  19. For refreshments after the walk Old Glossop has an abundance of excellent local pubs with wholesome food and locally brewed ales. Some pubs even sell the aptly named Bleaklow that is brewed by the local Howard Town brewery





This is a short, but very rewarding walk, round Torside Reservoir, one of five reservoirs in the beautiful Longdendale Valley, in north-Derbyshire. The reservoirs were formed in the 19th century by the damming of the River Etherow. 

The Longdendale Trail runs along a disused railway line, which is now used by walkers, cyclists and horses. It runs parallel with the reservoirs in the valley, from Hadfield to the Woodhead Tunnel, along a wide well surfaced track for a distance of six miles. The Trans Pennine Trail, an international walking route which stretches through Europe, from Liverpool to Istanbul, also utilises part of the trail. 

Here the Pennine country is at its wildest on either side of the valley and it is the home to a wide variety of wildlife, including mute swans, wading birds and even grey herons. Much of the heather covered moorland is Access Land over which people are allowed to roam.  

The Pennine Way, the main north to south route through the Pennines, crosses the valley and is traversed for a short distance on the walk.   

On the northern side of Torside Reservoir, the busy A628, carrying convoys of lorries across the Pennines, contrasts sharply with the peace and quiet of the valley.  



 Length:    4 miles.   

Start/Finish:     Torside Car Park.    

Location:     B6105 linking Glossop with the A628.

Terrain:     Easy walking, mainly along the Longdendale Trail, the Pennine Way and the Torside Concessionary Path.      




1.       Walk to the top of the car park, where you will find a sign for the Longdendale Trail. 

2.       From this point a tarmac path winds gradually uphill for a short distance, through the ‘Life for a Life Memorial Forest’.

3.       On reaching the Longdendale Trail, turn right and walk along the trail for nearly a mile, before arriving at the B6105.

4.       Follow the railings by the roadside for a few yards, before going through a gap to cross the road.

5.       Once over the road, ensure you turn right to follow the Pennine Way footpath and not the Trans Pennine Trail footpath sign, which points in the opposite direction.

6.       After following a tarmac path for 30 yards, turn sharp left, as indicated by the Pennine Way sign, down an access road to Torside Reservoir. 

7.       Cross the dam wall and as the road begins to bend to the left, go to the right at a finger post sign, up a flight of steps. 

8.       At the top where the path divides, turn right to continue following the Pennine Way, through a pine forest.

9.       A few yards after going through a stile, turn right along the ‘Torside Concessionary Footpath.’ The path gradually leads you through the trees down towards the banks of the reservoir.

10.   Continue along the path until where it bends to the left towards the road, about 75 yards from the A628, turn right at a sign for the Woodhead Dam.

11.   Go to the right over a bridge, close to the dam wall and carry straight on up the service road to reach the B6105.

12.   Cross the road and ascend a short path up to the Longdendale Trail. Turn right and when you reach the first car park sign at Toriside, turn right through the Memorial Forest along the path that leads you back to the start of the walk.