This is a short, but very rewarding walk, round Torside Reservoir, one of five reservoirs in the beautiful Longdendale Valley, in north-Derbyshire. The reservoirs were formed in the 19th century by the damming of the River Etherow.
The Longdendale Trail runs along a disused railway line, which is now used by walkers, cyclists and horses. It runs parallel with the reservoirs in the valley, from Hadfield to the Woodhead Tunnel, along a wide well surfaced track for a distance of six miles. The Trans Pennine Trail, an international walking route which stretches through Europe, from Liverpool to Istanbul, also utilises part of the trail.
Here the Pennine country is at its wildest on either side of the valley and it is the home to a wide variety of wildlife, including mute swans, wading birds and even grey herons. Much of the heather covered moorland is Access Land over which people are allowed to roam.
The Pennine Way, the main north to south route through the Pennines, crosses the valley and is traversed for a short distance on the walk.
On the northern side of Torside Reservoir, the busy A628, carrying convoys of lorries across the Pennines, contrasts sharply with the peace and quiet of the valley.
Length: 4 miles.
Start/Finish: Torside Car Park.
Location: B6105 linking Glossop with the A628.
Terrain: Easy walking, mainly along the Longdendale Trail, the Pennine Way and the Torside Concessionary Path.
1. Walk to the top of the car park, where you will find a sign for the Longdendale Trail.
2. From this point a tarmac path winds gradually uphill for a short distance, through the ‘Life for a Life Memorial Forest’.
3. On reaching the Longdendale Trail, turn right and walk along the trail for nearly a mile, before arriving at the B6105.
4. Follow the railings by the roadside for a few yards, before going through a gap to cross the road.
5. Once over the road, ensure you turn right to follow the Pennine Way footpath and not the Trans Pennine Trail footpath sign, which points in the opposite direction.
6. After following a tarmac path for 30 yards, turn sharp left, as indicated by the Pennine Way sign, down an access road to Torside Reservoir.
7. Cross the dam wall and as the road begins to bend to the left, go to the right at a finger post sign, up a flight of steps.
8. At the top where the path divides, turn right to continue following the Pennine Way, through a pine forest.
9. A few yards after going through a stile, turn right along the ‘Torside Concessionary Footpath.’ The path gradually leads you through the trees down towards the banks of the reservoir.
10. Continue along the path until where it bends to the left towards the road, about 75 yards from the A628, turn right at a sign for the Woodhead Dam.
11. Go to the right over a bridge, close to the dam wall and carry straight on up the service road to reach the B6105.
12. Cross the road and ascend a short path up to the Longdendale Trail. Turn right and when you reach the first car park sign at Toriside, turn right through the Memorial Forest along the path that leads you back to the start of the walk.
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PLACES OF INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Glossop Heritage and Tourist Information Centre (Tel. 01457 855920) is situated at the top of Norfolk Square, facing the Town Hall and Market Arcade and is the place to find out more about the history of the town. The Centre shows the way in which the town, its setting and its people have developed in its long history. There are permanent and temporary exhibitions on display covering the town's development and local subjects of general interest. The Tourist information Centre is now housed in the same building.
Old Glossop is the name given to the original town; it has some fine 17th and 18th century cottages, clustered around the Market Square and Cross. The church is Norman in origin and has an 18th century sundial as well as a ghost in the vicarage! Manor Park is set in sixty acres of gardens, woodlands and lakes.
Howard Park and Victorian Swimming Pool is a beautifully laid out 12 acre park, with a magnificent Victorian Swimming Pool, paid for by a donation from the Wood family, who were rich mill owners in the town.
The Queen’s Arms (Tel. 01457 862451) is an attractive old pub, situated at the corner of Shepley Street, in Old Glossop. The pub is open every day and food is available daily.
The Chocolate and Coffee Shop (Tel. 01457 864604) is situated close to the Heritage Centre on Henry Street. Open from Monday to Saturday for 9am – 5pm (last orders 4.30pm) serving light meals, cakes and chocolates.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
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There are two distinctive parts to Glossop, the busy, bright and modern town centre and the quieter unspoilt, former village of Old Glossop, on the north-east side of the town.
The old village, once the centre of a vast, scattered, mountainous parish had a market and fair as far back as 1290 and grew around a market cross and parish church. Ancient buildings from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries are tucked in along its narrow streets.
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