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Leader: Jan Smith

Email: longerwalks@newmillsu3a.org.uk

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

See below for walk reports

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.


February 2019

on Whaley Moor

May 2018

The summit of Wardlow Hey Cop


Walk around Stanage Edge and Redmires Reservoirs.

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

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December and January

These two months saw 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 in images to enlarge

Hayfield up to Kinder

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.

Combs Moss

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). 

Taxal to Shining Tor

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 before.

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

Kinder via Sandy Heys

This 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 and
Joan were their usual stoical selves.

Diggle to Marsden

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.


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.


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!


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

April 2021