Peak District walk around the Goyt Valley, Derbyshire / Cheshire
The Goyt Valley is a beautiful place for a walk with a wide variety of scenery, including reservoirs, moorland and gritstone edges. This is walk takes in all these changes of scenery along its route and has a short and longer option.
The Goyt Valley is a beautiful place for a walk with a wide variety of scenery packed into quite a small area - open moorland and gritstone edges at the top of the hills, wooded hillsides, deep-cut streams and reservoirs in the bottom of the valley. This walk takes in all these changes of scenery along its route. The walk described has an extension which goes over Windgather Rocks and takes about 4 hours 30 minutes, but this can be shortened by turning down the road at Pym Chair (see description below) - reducing the walk to around 3 hours.
Keep going directly uphill to reach a gate and stile with a fine view of Errwood behind you. The path continues climbing to arrive at another stile which is on the crest of a broad ridge which leads from Errwood up towards the Cat and Fiddle Inn.
Don't cross the stile but instead turn left to follow the ridge uphill along a track which becomes wider as you ascend. This gradually levels off and at the point where you have virtually finished climbing there is a gate and stile in the wall on your right. This leads down across a clough and up on the far side to Shining Tor.
Return to the east side of the wall and follow the crest of the ridge northwards. This was once extremely boggy but has now been largely paved to combat erosion. It is a splendid position with good views in all directions and you can follow the ridge easily for about 3 km to Oldgate Nick and Pym Chair, where the road from Saltersford crosses over into the Goyt valley.
If you wish to follow the shorter circuit, turn right here and follow the road down 600m (path follows the left-hand side of the road) to a point where it levels off. Then cross the road to follow a good path down which branches right from the road and follows the clough below Foxlow Edge.
On the way down this path note the tiny conical chapel in the woods below you. This was built by the Grimshawe family who owned Errwood Hall and were ardent Roman Catholics.
Continue down to a stream which you cross by a small bridge, climbing up the other side and making a detour right to skirt the woods which hide Errwood Hall. Then turn left and follow the good track downhill alongside the stream (possible detour left to visit the ruins of Errwood Hall) until the track crosses the stream and you emerge near the car park where you started.
Turn right. From here a well-made farm track contours around the hillside heading south, across a brook and past some cottages to arrive after a kilometre at Fernilee dam. Take the forestry road which heads uphill to the right for 200 metres and at a bend in the road turn left over a stile to pick up a track which leads into the forest and contours around the western edge of the reservoir.
After another 2 kilometres this pretty path emerges near the foot of Errwood reservoir. Climb steeply up the side of the dam and follow the road alongside the reservoir to return to the car park from whence you started.
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