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Leader: David Jones
Meetings: first Thursday of the month (start time varies)

See below for walk reports

LONGER WALKS Leader: David Jones
Distance is typically 10 miles. We stop for coffee and then for a picnic lunch stop. Walks are at a speed of around 2 miles per hour inclusive of stops for refreshments, so a walk of 10 miles takes about 5 hours.

The walks tend to be hilly, some more than others - I can provide an outline of what each of them will involve for anyone uncertain about their stamina and fitness.

Wet weather gear needs to be carried (whatever the weather forecast) together with food and drink, and spare clothing in winter. Boots (as opposed to walking shoes) are recommended - paths can be wet at any time of the year.

Walks will start locally in the winter when daylight hours are short, but may start further afield when the days are longer. Transport to the start of the walk will be on a car/petrol sharing basis. If you are not a driver that will be no problem.

We now walk on the first Thursday of the month. 

If you are interested in joining please contact me. 
email: d.e.jones@sheffield.ac.uk
telephone: 07975729843



(click on images to enlarge)
photo taken by Peter Wreford

October 2017

Walk around Stanage Edge and Redmires Reservoirs.

Photographs taken by David Pierce. Click on images to enlarge.

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December 2016 and January 2017

The last two months have seen considerable variations in weather, ranging from wet and foggy on some days and glorious sunshine on the others. Perhaps this is to be expected as the essence of British weather is its’ variability.

Click on images to enlarge.
2017a-250 2017b-250 2017c-250

Four of us set off from Hayfield up to Kinder via William Clough. It was a pretty grim day with visibility was less than 50 metres higher up. At one point I was quite some way ahead of where I thought we were. It was a reminder of how difficult it is to follow even well-known paths in such conditions. At least there were few enough of us to ensure that tail-enders did not go missing.

January’s walk was on Combs Moss starting from Station Road in Chapel. The anti-clockwise circuit of the moor is a walk I’ve done several times and always had good weather. We welcomed new member, Alan Gosling, who joined us for the first time. This was a complete contrast to December being a bright but cold day (unlike a week or two later with a different group when it was cold, windy, with snow in places). 



2016 Walk reports for January and February

Our January walk was one of our most challenging. Like many outdoor
enthusiasts I was concerned at the TV coverage of flooding in the Lake
District. While aware of the problems caused by unusually high rainfall
elsewhere, it had somehow escaped my notice that it's been pretty wet in
the High Peak!

Our first walk of the year took us onto Kinder via Sandy Heys where it was
very wet and windy - we were about at our limit. On reaching the downfall
we discovered that the river was in flood and quite impossible to cross in
the usual place. We had to walk upstream to beyond Kinder gates to find
some stones that we could use to cross over. After lunch cowering from the
wind in a grough we set off across the plateau to reconnect with the edge
path. We took the path down from Red Brook to the reservoir where we were
glad to be in calmer conditions. Throughout the walk, David Pierce, Howard
Joan were their usual stoical selves.

February saw Howard and I joined by two prospective new members, Ian and
Jan. Conditions, walking from Taxal to Shining Tor were wet and windy,
albeit nothing like January's walk. We returned by the reservoirs, both
full, with the overflow from Fernilee having more water than I've ever seen
it before.

Here's hoping for an improvement in the spring, whenever it arrives.

Diggle to Marsden - 2 October 2014

With five of us we had a full house for this one. We started at Diggle by examining the railway tunnel entrance on the Manchester to Leeds line. Three railway tunnels and one canal tunnel were built in the Nineteenth century. The Huddersfield Canal tunnel was the first; constructed in 1811. It is the longest and highest canal tunnel in Britain, and is famous for its narrow bore which required canal boat crew to “walk” the boat along the roof of the tunnel. All of the tunnels are connected, with the first of the railway tunnels being completed in 1949. Numerous ventilation shafts and spoil tips could be seen from the various stages of our walk.

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Our walk took us up to a stretch of the Pennine Way and to Black Moss Reservoir where a notice describes the breaching of the dam in 1810 which flooded the Wessenden Valley towards Marsden. Curiously, there was a tiny sandy beach on the reservoir shore. We progressed along the Wessenden Valley past a curious sculpture – a still life of tropical fruits by Joss Smith.

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Into Marsden, we passed by Bank Bottom woollen mills where they made soldiers’ uniforms in World War I. Then it was along the canal towpath to the Marsden tunnel entrance alongside the railway line. Here there is a visitor centre and the opportunity to take a short canal trip or travel all the way through to Diggle; to be avoided if you suffer from claustrophobia!

dj dj We carried on along the valley and then climbed rough ground to get to the summit of Pule Hill.

Then it was back down to the Pennine Way, and down to the start at Diggle. At a shade under 12 miles this was quite a strenuous walk, though one blessed yet again with the fine weather that we have enjoyed this autumn.

David Jones

Longer walks group: Report on walks January to April 2014.

(click on images to enlarge)

Longer walk report
New Mills U3A
Longer walks group: Report on walks January to April 2014.

Howard and I wasted no time in getting going with the first walk of 2014 on January 2nd.  Starting from Mam Tor we walked along the Great Ridge to Lose Hill. Though the day was fine it was very slippery underfoot on the smooth grass path down from Lose Hill and I slipped on the wet grass, got up and immediately slipped again. Fortunately only my dignity was damaged. We continued up to Win Hill, which is my personal favourite vantage point in the High Peak, and returned to the start on the path below the ridge.
Later in the same month, Howard and I met at the Coop car park, both of us having walked from home. We proceeded along the canal and up Yeardsley Lane onto Whaley Moor and then into Lyme Park via Bowstones. We walked on to West Parkgate and then to the Picnic tables outside the Information Centre for lunch. The sensible course from here would have been to take a direct route home, but instead we crossed over the A6 and walked over the golf course and returned to Mousely Bottom.
This route included a walk across a field where horses were kept.
Due to the record wet January, it was terribly muddy. We made our way around the periphery hanging onto the wire fence for fear of getting stuck in the quagmire. We parted company below New Mills Central station and I walked home to Laneside Road with increasingly aching knees. The GPS showed that I had walked 15 miles!

By the end of March, I had recovered sufficiently from this walk to do a Goyt Valley walk with Ros and David Pierce – this was a late substitution for the planned  Stannage walk due to a poor weather forecast for the other side. We had a little rain on our way up to Shining Tor but the afternoon was drier. A number of fallen trees blocked the path as a result of the February gale. We stopped to say hello to a pig in the field just below the lay by on Long Hill. Rose generously gave the pig an apple. He didn’t seem to mind that she’d taken a bite out of it before giving it to him!

On our April walk there were six of us - a record number. We drove to Stannage Edge leaving bright sunny weather in New Mills only to descend into low cloud as we dropped down Winnats into the Hope Valley. It turned out to be a fine example of a temperature inversion where cloud or fog sinks to the valley floor. Fortunately we were above the cloud on Stannage Edge. We enjoyed a sunny walk over to Burbage, Ringinglow, and then Redmires reservoirs.


Longer Walks Report March 2013

march walk

According to the Calendar the day before our walk on the 21st was the first day of Spring. Unfortunately the weather failed to take account of the season. 

On our walk up to Kinder we faced a strong wind from the north-east and it was bitterly cold - in fact as cold as I have experienced all through the winter. In view of the conditions my choice of route out from Valley Road in Hayfield up to the ridge overlooking Peep O'Day was not the best one. We struggled on until we could shelter behind a wall below South Head for our coffee. We walked up via Brown Knoll to the top of Jacob's Ladder and then up to Edale Rocks for lunch. It wasn't that easy to find shelter here as the wind seemed to be swirling around the rocks. I took a quick photo at the trig point just to prove we'd done

Given the conditions we decided to walk back down via Kinder Low End and then Tunstead Farm and so had a rather shorter walk than usual.

On the following day, as I write, it's turned to snow driven by the same strong easterly wind - probably the worst day of the winter - sorry I meant Spring. Where's that global warming everyone is talking about?

Longer Walks Report February 2013

The 28th of February was a wonderful day for walking. Joan, Howard, and myself were joined by new member Robin Lambert. The skies were clear and sunny and the cold winds that were such a feature of the weather beforehand had abated.
We did a circuit of Combs Moss starting from Long Lane in Chapel. We walked up past the Station and Bank Hall pausing only to examine the track laying machinery on the mineral line and quizzed a Network Rail engineer about how they moved such  a massive weight into position from where they were forming the track and points section.

Once up onto Castle Naze we enjoyed a wonderful view over Combs Reservoir and across the Goyt to Taxal Edge. In the further distance the white of the cottage at Bowstones reflected the early morning sun. Further over to Manchester the blue sky gave way to a rather ugly brown layer demonstrating the effect of urban pollution - lot to be said for living in the country!.

Our anti-clockwise circuit was rather less muddy than on previous occasions but there were still significant amounts of snow on the path where it runs alongside the boundary wall. The initial views over to the dark Peak are replaced by White Peak views when on the east side on Black Edge. We paused at the trig point and commented on the impact of quarrying on the White Peak and Buxton. All the quarries from Eldon over to Dowlow can be seen.

After 9 miles of walking we got back to the car about 3pm.It may have been a little chilly at times but days in the great outdoors don't come much better than this.



Longer Walks Group: Report on Walks in May and June 2012

Unusually for the spring so far, Howard, Ros and I were blessed with excellent weather for our trip to the Clwydian Hills. If you’ve ever driven to North Wales via the M56 and then Mold and Ruthin, you’ll have passed by these distinctive hills. After passing through Loggerheads we turned right onto the road up to Bwlch Penbarra where the car park provides a panoramic view of North Wales.

Our walk took us along below the west side of the hills to the pass below Moel Arthur. We then walked south climbing two subsidiary peaks culminating in the climb up to the high point of the day - the Jubilee Tower on Moel Famau.

I might add that from the car park it is only a short pull up to Moel Famau. This would make a nice short walk on a clear day if you are passing this way. The second half of our walk was along the Offa’s Dyke path. We stopped to chat to several groups who were doing the whole route from South Wales, including three women who were backpacking it all the way.

moel 1
Ros and Howard at the summit
view from top
David on the Tower
looking at the view
Views of Wales and Cheshire
Jubilee Tower

The bad weather caught up with us (and everyone else) in June. Our trip to the Lakes was postponed until the following week and then with the weather still uncertain, we opted for something closer to home – Dove Stone Reservoir. Over the day the rather gloomy morning changed to much brighter skies in the afternoon.

We set off from Dove Stone Reservoir car park passing by Yeoman Hey and Greenfield reservoirs. We managed to cross the stream in Birchen Clough and then after a brief scramble by the side of a small waterfall got to the top of the ridge from where there are wonderful views of the three reservoirs and Oldham beyond. Rather like Kinder, there are some distinctive rocks along the edge, most notably the Trinnacle, which we elected not to climb for health and safety reasons.

We then walked across the Moor to have our lunch by Chew Reservoir, one of the bleakest spots in the Dark Peak when there is snow on the ground, as there was when I was last here in January. Until the building of Kielder Reservoir, Chew (built in 1912) was the highest reservoir in England.

A further trek along the ridge took us to Alphin Pike where the clearer skies enabled distant places such as Frodsham Hill near the M56 to be seen.

The return down the hill and back to the reservoir completed our 11 mile walk.


Foel Fras walk      October 2011


We drove along the North Wales Coast Road to Abergwyngregyn and then to the Car Park not far from Aber Falls. After walking through the Forest we came out onto a steep scree slope where a path takes you alongside the Falls and onto the moorland above.




Once onto the Moorland the surrounding Peaks were covered by low cloud and some map and compass work was required to find our way onto Llwytmor and then up to Foel Fras, the most northerly 3,000 foot mountain in the Carneddau range. The photo below slightly understates the strength of the wind at the top! We found shelter out of the wind behind the wall to eat our lunch.




We descended to Drum by which time the low cloud was dispersing and enjoyed panoramic views over the North Wales coast to the Menai Straits.




And to the Great Orme just about visible here.




We continued down to join the North Wales Coastal Path which took us back to the Car Park.


David Jones

September 2011

Our September walk was changed due to poor weather;
we had a wet and windy walk from Taxal to Shining Tor.
Fortunately the afternoon was rather better.

me on the Old Man
(click on image to enlarge)

August 2011

Howard and I had an excellent day in the Lakes going up Coniston Old Man.


October 2017