The Upper Dove and Manifold valleys are visited on this scenic moorland walk, which crosses from Staffordshire to Derbyshire and back again.
The view from Dove Ridge as you leave Longnor inspires you for the walk ahead as the path drops down to Beggar’s Bridge, where Staffordshire is left behind and Derbyshire entered.
After crossing a series of fields, a lane leads you to the small village of Crowdecote. It is named after a Saxon farmer who built a farm where the village is today. The Packhorse Inn, as its name suggests used to be a stopping place for packhorse teams.
The route continues past Toll Bar Cottage and soon re-crosses the Dove back into Staffordshire, climbing gently along a diagonal path by Under Whitle Farm. Here the Dove Valley Centre provides opportunities for individuals and groups to follow their interests in the countryside, the arts and rural crafts.
On the other side of the hill you descend into the Manifold Valley that runs over a soft clay lining. It is easy to see the difference from the more rugged limestone valley you just left.
Start/finish: Market Place, Longnor.
Location: On B5053, off the A515 Buxton to Ashbourne road, 6 miles to the south-east of Buxton.
Terrain: Only modest ascents and descents, but can be very wet and muddy in the river valleys. The signage is poor on sections of this walk and extra care should be taken. It is particularly advisable to carry an Ordnance Survey Map.
1. From Longnor Market Place walk up the road towards Crowdecote, turning left on the edge of the village up Dove Ridge.
2. Keep straight on to descend a rough track to reach a barn, where you turn left in front of the barn and then immediately right to follow the path down to the River Dove.
3. Cross the river at Beggar’s Bridge, and continue along a grass track and go over a stile at the far end.
4. Immediately you are over the stile, turn right and go over another stile and cross a series of fields keeping close to the field boundaries on the left.
5. You soon join a farm track that passes Meadow Farm on the left, and leads to a quiet country lane, where you turn right towards Crowdecote.
6. On reaching a road junction go downhill and about 25yards past the Pack Horse Inn, turn left along a farm track leading to Bridge End Farm.
7. Just before reaching the farm take the track on the right and follow it round a short distance below the farm buildings, then turn right again at a junction of tracks to re-cross the river by a footbridge.
8. Here you have the choice of three footpaths - choose the one to the left aiming slightly above the bottom left hand corner of the field.
9. In the next field, continue in the same direction to go over a stile and footbridge a short distance up from the bottom of the field.
10. You now angle slightly more to the right, to go through a small group of thorn bushes to a wall stile and then walk along the bottom of a field below Upper Whitle Farm.
11. Turn left along a farm track towards two barns that you pass on the right hand side. From this point angle slightly up the hillside to follow the path, just above a farm track, that is soon crossed at a hairpin bend.
12. A few yards from the farm track go over a stile and follow the field boundary round to a stile just above Under Whitle Farm.
13. The path continues above the farm, before joining the farm drive and reaching the Sheen to Longnor road.
14. Turn right along the road and after a quarter of a mile turn left through a gate along a wide well - used footpath. At the end of the track go through a stile on the right and turn left to follow the wall down the field.
15. The path soon bends to the right above a clump of trees to reach a stile on the far side of the field.
16. Head down the next field and walk through Over Boothlow Farmyard, leaving by the drive to the farm in the direction of the River Manifold.
17. Before reaching the river turn right, by two isolated stiles that no longer serve any useful purpose other than to act as guides.
18. Continue along an easy to follow route through a series of fields edging ever nearer to the river. Then, where the Manifold bends to the left, the path goes in the opposite direction, up the hill towards Folds End Farm.
19. Go through the farmyard, turn right up to the road, and turn left into the Market Place, where the walk started.
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Set in lonely moorland countryside, six miles to the southeast of Buxton and close to the Derbyshire border is the ancient village of Longnor.
The River Dove flows to the north, the River Manifold to the south and large numbers of visitors come here to explore the upper reaches of these two famous valleys and the rugged scenery that surrounds them.
Little was heard of Longnor, in what was a wild and rugged area at the northern most boundary of Staffordshire, before the first written reference to the founding of St Bartholomew’s Church in 1223.
Agriculture was the main pre-occupation of the few people who lived here, but by the mid-1600s, there were four annual fairs and two weekly markets.
The trading opportunities attracted more and more people to Longnor and its importance rapidly increased. New trades sprang up and local farms provided food for consumption. On market days, the streets were thronging with people buying and selling goods.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.