Over the years we have visited the Peak District on several occasions. Initially staying in Bed and Breakfast accommodation and in more recent years using the caravan as a base for our walking. We have always enjoyed our walks, but I always struggle to orientate myself with previous walks. If I am walking in the Yorkshire Dales, Exmoor or the Brecon Beacons I can quickly identify other peaks or places I have previously visited, but for some bizarre reason the same does not apply in this area.
Today we are going to explore the area around Goyt’s Clough, we walked here previously on a walk starting at the Cat and Fiddle Inn. On that occasion we walked towards Three Shires Head. Today we are going to start at Derbyshire Bridge and head out around Errwood Reservoir.
We start our walk from the car park at Derbyshire Bridge (Grid Ref: SK018715). Leaving the car park we turn right and walk uphill on a broad stony track.
It is a steady ascent and there are fine views as we pass the head of Berry Clough.
Soon after we pass an old milestone, the inscription has eroded away so it is impossible to read. However, in times past this would have been the main route between Buxton and Macclesfield.
1.1 kilometres from leaving the car park we take a footpath on our left. We now head north for 500 metres to reach a junction of tracks where we turn right and then soon veer to the left leaving the main footpath to follow a path which heads towards the boundary line of the access land of Burbage Edge. It has started to rain which combined with the wind makes the conditions rather unpleasant.
On reaching the edge of the access land we turn left and follow a path heading north to reach the Burbage Edge Ordnance Survey Trig Pillar, this is the 276th trig I have bagged.
From the trig we keep heading north along the fence line as it gradually descends.
Thankfully the rain has eased and we get stunning views in front of us with a rainbow in the distance.
At a wall junction we turn right and follow a path which passes above Tunnel Farm and then bends to the north to join a footpath. Here we turn left and follow the path as it goes downhill.
This path takes us to the blocked up entrance to an old railway tunnel. This was part of the Cromford and High Peak Railway. It is was completed in 1831 and was built to carry minerals and goods through the Peak District. It was one of the first railways constructed and the terrain made it challenging so there are a number of steep inclines and tight bends. The line originally connected the canals at Whaley Bridge and Cromford, running up the Goyt Valley to Buxton and across the limestone plateau to Middleton by Wirksworth, then down to Black Rocks and down again to the Cromford Canal in the Derwent Valley.
Our route now follows the disused railway line as it winds its way towards a minor road. The railway was originally powered by horses on flat sections likes this and stationary steam engines winched wagons up the steep inclines. In 1841 steam engines, built by Robert Stephenson, were introduced to operate along the whole route. The line operated into the 1960’s but declining traffic and the end of some of the local quarries meant that it was closed in 1967.
Nearing the road we pass a pond and then turn left to walk downhill besides the road (Goyt’s Lane). This road leads downhill towards the dam between the Fernilee and Errwood reservoirs, it was one of the inclines on the old railway which was powered by steam engine until the incline was abandoned in 1892.
As the road bends to the right we continue straight on to follow a path besides a wall which heads downhill towards woodland with the Errwood reservoir behind.
At a junction with a footpath we turn right and follow a route to reach Goyt’s Lane where we turn left and walk on the road to reach the Errwood reservoir where we stop for lunch.
Apparently this was the second reservoir to be constructed in the Goyt valley. It was completed in 1967 and holds 4,215 million litres of water and like its larger neighbour Fernlee it provides water to Stockport. Fernilee was completed in i1938 and holds about 5 million litres of water.
After our lunch we follow the road across the dam and then join the path running parallel to the road ascending steadily.
There are stunning views now the rain has passed.
On reaching a footpath on our left we take this and follow the clear route towards Oldgate Nick.
Oldgate Nick is a distinctive rock outcrop at the northern end of Cats Tor and is popular with climbers.
The path is now easy to follow as we head south passing the Tors.
The wind has picked up and despite the rain having stopped it is pretty bleak up here and we continue along the path until we reach Shining Tor and stop to bag the OS trig pillar.
Shining Tor stands at 1,834 feet above sea level and is the highest point in Cheshire. I have not kept a record but during our travels I seem to have visited the highest point in many counties. Perhaps it is a task for a winters evening to log them all.
From the trig we take the paved footpath that heads in a south easterly direction.
At a junction of paths we turn right and then after 100 metres turn left to follow a path downhill towards the bottom of the Goyt Valley.
This is a rugged path and takes us through Stake Clough and onto a footbridge at Deep Clough.
We then continue on the footpath through an area of cleared woodland, keeping on the path as it heads south above the tarmac track that runs through the Goyt Valley. The footpath steadily descends to reach the lane and we join it close to a waterfall.
Our route is now very straightforward we continue along the lane to return to Derbyshire Bridge. At one time this bridge stood on the border of Derbyshire, but following boundary changes it is now part of Cheshire, but still retains its original name.
We are back at the car park. It has been a stunning eleven mile walk, made more challenging by the rain and blustery conditions. However, it has helped me understand why folk rave about walking in the Peak District.
To follow this walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Leisure – OL24 – The Peak District, White Peak
29th September 2021
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2021)
All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it. To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access.
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk. It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.