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South Pennines Walk
Greenfield Reservoir & Raven Stones from Dovestone

Nat Park - Peak District - Black Hill Dovestone

Region - South Pennines

County/Area - Greater Manchester

Author - Mike Bexley

Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km

Ascent - 1800 feet / 545 metres

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SE013034
Lat 53.527261 // Long -1.98186
Postcode OL3 7NE (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Greenfield Reservoir & Raven Stones from Dovestone
Click thumbnails for larger images.

A pleasant, not to be hurried Peak District walk following good paths. The rewards are good views across the northern sectors of the Peak District National Park. Note that there is one steep short scramble on grass. For those wanting a longer or more challenging walk than this route can be extended at Fox Stone Cairn and following Walk 2017 in reverse.

The walk starts from the Car Park at Dovestone Reservoir (Grid ref. 013035). Proceed up the lane that exits the car park to the dam wall and take the path alongside the wall with the reservoir on your right. At the end of the dam the path follows the edge of the reservoir to eventually join a lane down to the dam wall of Yeoman Hey Reservoir (Grid ref 020046). This is the second of three reservoirs in this valley.

This reservoir was built in 1880 collecting water from surrounding moors. The mill owners lower down the valley objected to this stating in a high profile Court Case against The Water Board that they were losing their water from their moors. As a result a tunnel was built higher up the valley to by-pass these reservoirs. The tunnel exit can be seen on the other side of the dam. In flood conditions the water thunders through. You will also see a surprising plaque on the dam wall. My only clue is the construction company were building in his country, he came to this country for a very important event and a favour was asked.

Continue along the wide path with Yeoman Hey and later Greenfield Reservoir on your right. The path then follows Greenfield Brook to a weir and the entrance to the tunnel mentioned earlier (Grid ref. 038050). Take the steep path on the right following a brook with numerous waterfalls into Birchen Clough. Choosing an appropriate spot, scramble up the very steep bank on your right.

On reaching the top turn right along a beautiful path that at first follows the edge, passing the Trinnacle and then the Raven Stones. Also look out for Major's Cairn, which was built in memory of a dog and, a little way further on, the large metal cross placed where James Platt MP lost his life in a shooting accident.

The path reaches the high ground overlooking Yeoman Hey Dam (Grid ref 031040). At this point you take the fairly steep winding path down towards the dam wall. You can continue across the dam to retrace your steps to the start but the preferred route is to turn left along a clear path (Grid ref. 022042) keeping Dovestone Reservoir on your right. You pass the Memorial Tree enclosure and the yacht club to reach the start.

Possible extension - If you still have energy and the day is nice, instead of descending from the edge as described above, continue in the same direction stopping for the views across Dovestone Reservoir and the distant villages and towns to reach Fox Stone Cairn (Grid ref 025037), with its plaque telling of the two climbers who lost their lives in the Italian Dolomites. From this point you have two options. (a) Return to the start - The path down from this point is at first very feint. Face the reservoir and drop downhill to the right of Fox Stone to an area of small stones, then turn left with Fox Stone Cairn high on your left, the path contours around the edge to become a clear descending path going through a wide break in the trees. At the stile turn descend left to pick up the path alongside the reservoir. The path passes The Memorial Tree enclosure crosses over a stream then turns right to pass the yacht club back to you start. (b) continue with Walk v017 in reverse to make a total route length of approximately 11 miles.

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