Peak & Northern Footpaths Society (est.1894)

Miles Without Stiles – The Longdendale Valley

Paul Easthope (Treasurer)

This article is from Signpost 54, Summer 2017

You can walk up to 16 miles, from Hadfield station to the head of the Longdendale valley, without encountering a single stile. The credit for this goes to United Utilities and the Trans-Pennine National Trail authority. After a while, you get used to the pylons in the valley and concentrate on the vista unfolding before you

[Note: R = Right, L = Left, RH = Right-Hand, LH = Left-Hand, N = North, NNE = North-North-East, E = East.]

Turn R from the station; follow the road to a RH bend (start of the Longdendale trail, previously the old railway line to Sheffield). Carry on 200 yards; take the 1st path on the L behind houses for 200 yards. Head 45 degrees N. Follow trods across playing fields to the road at the end of terraced houses. Turn L down the road to a public footpath on the R. After a few yards, take the gate on the R to Bottoms Reservoir. Turn L at the gate at the bottom; bear R across the dam; take the wide hard-core path up towards gates on the R (concessionary paths; most not shown on the map). Just before the gates, take the path down between trees (easily missed), over a footbridge across the drain and turn L, following the drain. At the building, turn R, then immediate L following the path through the trees in an E direction.

At the tarmac lane, turn R; follow the wide lane through the gates to the dam at Rhodeswood Reservoir. Turn L for a few yards, then R through the new galvanised gate. Follow the track to the lane at Torside Dam. Cross the lane; follow the track in front for 200 yards to the Pennine Way. Take the Pennine Way for 1/4 mile through trees. At a gate (Pennine Way goes up the road), turn R through another gate into Tinsel Wood. Follow the path by the reservoir to the car park at Crowden. Cross the A628 with care.

Pass the car park entrance on L; follow the lane a short distance to the T-junction. Go through the gate, take the RH path through trees behind cottages that used to be the old Youth Hostel. At the next gate, turn R; follow the Northern Horse Trail running parallel with the A628 to the road below the Woodhead Dam. Follow the lane to the small Chapel. You are now back on a public footpath. Follow the somewhat boggy and indistinct Trail down towards the A628. Just before the road, and at the end of the public bridleway, the route goes uphill again (a little indistinct in places). Pass a recently felled wood on your right. Go through the gate, take the LH track in a NNE direction down to the A6024, cross & head downhill to the wide footbridge. Turn R heading towards the A628 in front of you at the nine-arched bridge. Go up the lane ahead that becomes a grassy bridleway. Continue for 1.25 miles uphill to cross Audenshaw Clough, then take the trod that cuts the corner to the Trans Pennine trail. If you miss it, carry on up to the signpost joining the Trans Pennine trail. Turn R and follow the trail down to the A628. Take care in crossing this very busy road. The route zig-zags down to the tunnel entrance. Follow the Trans-Pennine Trail 6.5 miles back to Hadfield.

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Page title:Miles Without Stiles – The Longdendale Valley
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