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From Langsett to Crowden via Woodhead

Peak District Walk

Nat Park - Peak District - Black Hill Dovestone

County/Area - South Yorkshire & Derbyshire

Author - Peter Schofield

Length - 11.0 miles / 17.9 km    Ascent - 1700 feet / 515 metres

Time - 7 hours 10 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - From Langsett to Crowden via Woodhead
Click image to visit gallery of 3 images.

The Woodhead Pass in the north of the Peak District National Park has been a major transport artery since mediaeval times and still is today. While this walk parallels it, it is far enough away for much of its length as not to be affected while at the same time offering some fine Dark Peak moorland walking.

This Peak District walk starts from the car park at Langsett (Grid ref. SE211004). From the SW corner of the car park, follow the high level path along Langsett Bank to a junction of five paths at Crookland Wood (Grid ref. SE197007) and continue straight on through an area of cleared woodland to arrive at a barn after a further 400m. Bear left and go through a gate, continuing down through the wood to reach the Little Don river at the bottom of Fox Clough.

Cross the clough by the bridge and continue up the valley of the Little Don which to my mind is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of the Dark Peak. At a wall corner at Grid ref. SK189999 take the left hand path which drops down to the river bank and passes a solidly built stone sheepfold below Hordron Farm. The farm is now in ruins, having been evacuated when Langsett Reservoir was constructed in the early 1900s. The path meanders along the bank for a further kilometre before reaching a footbridge at the foot of Near Cat Clough.

Go over the bridge and take the clear path up Near Cat Clough which serves a number of grouse butts. As you reach the top, the oddly shaped Rocking Stones come into view before reaching the Derwent Skyline path at a red post (Grid ref. SK169980). Turn right and continue along the spectacular but sometimes boggy Derwent Skyline path over the aptly named Featherbed Moss. Extensive views open out both to the north over West Yorkshire and to the south towards the Derwent Valley, while ahead the brooding hulk of Bleaklow looms up with Barrow Stones a prominent feature on the skyline.

After four kilometres, the path arrives at a stile at Swains Head (Grid ref. SK132982). Take a look around you; as the peat stretches away endlessly in every direction, it's hard to believe that the fence actually marks the boundary of the cities of Sheffield and Barnsley!

Cross over the stile and after approximately 600m where the path takes a pronounced turn to the south (Grid ref. SK126981), head due west for 300m across the open moor to meet a clear path above Far Black Clough. Turn right and follow the path as it descends Far Black Clough, one of the Dark Peak's little known treasures. As the path descends, it becomes a vehicle track before crossing the clough at a ford. Continue along the track for a further 500m before turning right over a bridge across the infant River Etherow.

Go left through the gate to descend to the west entrance of the disused Woodhead rail tunnels. The right hand bore was opened in 1954 but enjoyed a working life of little more than twenty five years before the railway was closed. The original Victorian left hand bore is now used to carry a National Grid high voltage power line under the Pennines. It's a pity that the rest of Longdendale is so disfigured by pylons on the approach to the tunnel.

It's now easy walking along the Trans Pennine Trail for four kilometres until it reaches the B6105 just beyond Woodhead Reservoir. Leave the trail at Grid ref. SK080992 and cross the road to join the concessionary path which winds around the upper end of Torside Reservoir before reaching the A628 opposite Crowden Youth Hostel where the walk ends.

Public transport is infrequent along the A628 which may require the use of two cars to do this walk. However National Express service 350 operates three times daily between Manchester and Sheffield and stops at both Crowden and Langsett. At the time of writing, a coach was leaving Crowden at the fairly convenient time of 0950 arriving at Langsett at 1005. The coach stop at Crowden is located at the bottom of the track to the campsite (Grid ref. SK071991) and full details of times and fares can be found on www.nationalexpress.com.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1581 Langsett Reservoireasy3.0 miles
Walk 1401 Hordron Road and the Little Doneasy/mod5.0 miles
Walk 2231 The Eastern Edgeshard25.0 miles
Walk 1526 Cats Clough Head & Outer Edgemoderate9.0 miles
Walk 1695 Flouch & Winscar circular easy/mod9.0 miles
Walk 2328 Penistone to Shepley lineareasy/mod8.0 miles
Walk 2726 Penistone Circular from Scout Dike Reservoirmoderate8.3 miles
Walk 1523 Broomhead Moor & Ewden Beckeasy/mod6.0 miles
Walk 2826 Winscar Reservoir circuit from Dunford Bridge moderate8.9 miles
Walk 2238 Thurgoland Boundary Walk Oxspring easy/mod8.6 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Dark Peak Walks

Dark Peak WalksGuidebook to 40 walks in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park. 35 circular routes for most abilities, from 8km to 19km, around Edale, Marsden, Fairholmes, Baslow and Castleton, including Kinder Scout and Mam Tor, and 5 longer (25km to 45km) routes highlighting the best of the Gritstone Edges, High Moorland and Deep Valleys.
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Walking in the Peak District - White Peak East

Walking in the Peak District - White Peak EastGuidebook describing 42 half-day and day walks in the limestone landscapes of Derbyshire's White Peak, part of the Peak District National Park. One of two volumes, this book covers the east of the region, with potential bases including Bakewell, Eyam, Castleton, Birchover, Matlock and Wirksworth.
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