The summer months in the Peak District and Derbyshire are glorious- it’s best time of year to visit the national park. So, make the most of that nice sunny day and take a walk down the Longdendale trail!
This trail starts in Hadfield within the Peak District.
You can catch a train from Manchester or drive with ample space to park in this area. The walk this month is flat, with options of hills if desired, it has great views and can be as long a day as you fancy! As well as being a range of difficulty levels on this trail, there are also facilities, accommodation and services in the town to suit everyone.
There are many reservoirs that line the long wooded valley known as Longdendale, such as: Bottoms, Valehouse, Rhodeswood, Torside and Woodhead. They are fuelled by the river Etherow which also powered the mills of Glossop.
Here’s a little bit of history for you: John Bateman helped to construct the reservoirs starting in 1849 so the growing population of Manchester would not be without and was key feature in the industrial revolution.
Right, so off we go!
Starting with a few easily walkable hundred metres from the train station or car parking you join the Longdendale trail and head east. Common with runners, pushchairs and ramblers this old railway line is sign posted and good under foot. Passing Bottoms reservoir then very peaceful Valehouse reservoir the hustle and bustle of modern life starts to melt away.
Looking to the sides of the trail there are plenty of colourful flowers to see. The pinky purple colour of herb robert (geranium robertianum), the bright yellow of tormentil (potentilla erecta) or the bleached white of ramson (wild garlic) add another aspect to the walk. See who can smell the next clump of wild garlic before they can see it!
As we approach Torside reservoir we cross paths with the famous Pennine Way. You can now choose to cross over the dam and head back along the path on the opposite side of Rhodeswood and Valehouse reservoirs ultimately leading back to Hadfield. You could alternatively continue along the path until you reach the disused Woodhead station and tunnel… lots of great options to choose from!
With occasional picnic benches, sign posts, accessible walking and constantly beautiful surroundings, Longdendale trail is ideal for any family looking for a countryside break from the city!
This blog was written by Matt Dawson of Trekking Skills
For your own professionally guided walks contact Matt on: