Choose a Goyt Valley walk

There are many wonderful walks in and around the Goyt Valley. I’ve included some of my favourites on this website. And there are more in the pipeline. Apart from walk 12, all of them are circular. Please do get in touch if you’d like to recommend one to add to the list, or if you spot any mistakes in the directions. To help you choose a walk, I’ve included brief descriptions below. Simply click on any title to view full directions, along with a map, plus a short video. And click here to view all the maps on one page.

Walk 1: The Riverside

Distance: 2 miles | Rating: Very easy | Start point: Errwood Hall car park
Recorded in early March 2011, this short walk is the easiest in this series, but includes one of the most scenic spots in the valley, as it runs down to the River Goyt (which is very much a stream at this point). This part of the walk is along a solid track making it ideal for wheelchair users, or families with small children and baby-buggies. There are also some great paces for picnics, alongside the Goyt.

Walk 2: Errwood Hall

Distance: 2 miles | Rating: Easy | Start point: Errwood Hall car park
This is one of the most popular walks in this part of the Goyt Valley; visiting the evocative ruins of Errwood Hall, before heading up the hillside to the Grimshawe family graves. It also passes the remains of two stone houses – both demolished at the same time as the hall in 1934 – Castedge Farmhouse and Shooter’s Clough Cottage.

Walk 3: Valley views

Distance: 2 miles | Rating: Easy | Start point: Errwood Hall car park
The third walk in this series took me a while to discover. It’s a very easy stroll – although it can get a bit muddy after rain – and offers some tremendous views across the valley. It passes the ruins of Errwood Hall and can easily be extended by visiting St Joseph’s Shrine or the hilltop graves the Grimshawe family who once owned the 1000 acre estate (see walk 4).

Walk 4: Errwood Hall & The Shrine

Distance: 3 miles | Rating: Easy | Start point: Errwood Hall car park
I’ve included some old photographs of Errwood Hall in this latest walk video, taken in late April. It reaches as far as the small, circular St Joseph’s Shrine, before returning along Foxlow Edge. (Click here for more information on the shrine.) About 3 miles long, there are some wonderful views to enjoy from the top of Foxlow Edge – at least there would have been, if it hadn’t been quite so hazy!

Walk 5: The Packhorse Bridge

Distance: 2 miles | Rating: Very easy | Start point: Errwood Hall car park
This gentle, two-mile walk starts from Errwood Hall car park, goes a short distance along the single track road towards Derbyshire Bridge, then along the riverside path, before passing the site of Goytsclough Quarry to reach the small, picturesque packhorse bridge. I’ve included a few old photographs in the video of both the bridge and the quarry.

Walk 6: Taxal Edge

Distance: 6 miles | Rating: Moderate | Start point: Main car park
This six-mile circular walk passes along a forest track before climbing up to the ridge of Taxal Edge. The walk then drops down to the attractive hamlet of Taxal, with its picturesque church, before returning along the bank of the River Goyt. This wonderfully scenic and tranquil river-side section reveals what was lost when the valley was flooded. There’s then a choice of routes to return to the car park – along either side of Fernilee Reservoir.

Walk 7: The rhododendrons

Distance: 4 miles | Rating: Moderate | Start point: Errwood Hall car park
I timed this walk to capture the rhododendrons which bloom so magnificently in June. But it’s a really enjoyable stroll at any time of year. It starts from the bridge beside Errwood Hall car park. After passing the ruins of Errwood Hall, it heads up an old track alongside Shooter’s Clough Valley. There are some magnificent views all along the walk, especially from the top of the ridge.

Walk 8: Shining Tor

Distance: 5 miles | Rating: Moderate | Start point: Errwood Hall car park
At about five miles, this walk is one of the longest in the series. There are a few uphill slopes along the way, and a mile-long section across open moorland, but the rewards are some stunning panoramic views. The path leads along Foxlow Edge, then a short distance along the old Roman road known as The Street, before heading along the ridge line towards Shining Tor.

Walk 9: Buxton to Errwood

Distance: 8 miles | Rating: Moderate | Start point: Buxton
This eight-mile circular walk starts at Burbage, on the western edge of Buxton, passing along easy moorland paths to Errwood Reservoir, before returning to the starting point on Bishop’s Lane. It’s a fairly easy walk, with no steep slopes. But it can get muddy in places – particularly after rain – so walking boots are recommended.

Walk 10: Old Goyt’s Lane

Distance: 3 miles | Rating: Easy | Start point: Top of Bunsall Incline
This easy, three-mile circular walk follows the old lane which was once the main route into the hamlet of Goyt’s Bridge from Buxton. It then meanders across open moorland before returning along the disused track of the High Peak Railway line. The walk can get muddy along the moorland section, but it’s one of the easiest in this series. And includes some wonderful views, both across Errwood Reservoir, and from the old railway track.

Walk 11: Derbyshire Bridge

Distance: 3 miles | Rating: Easy | Start point: Derbyshire Bridge
From the small car park at Derbyshire Bridge the walk follows the old Buxton to Macclesfield road before crossing open moorland to reach the small packhorse bridge which once stood in the heart of the hamlet of Goyt’s Bridge. Personally I prefer this walk in Spring – before the ferns have grown too thick. And there may be too much walking on tarmac for some people’s tastes.

Walk 12: Cromford & High Peak Railway

Distance: 15 miles | Rating: Moderate | Start point: Buxton
The walk traces the northern section of the Cromford and High Peak Railway, from Burbage on the outskirts of Buxton, through the beautifully scenic Goyt Valley, to its end point at the canal basin in Whaley Bridge. The best way to return to Buxton is by train. Some of the route is now on private land and inaccessible, so there are a few detours, including small sections beside the road. And some parts can also get overgrown in late Summer, so early Spring is perhaps a better time.

Walk 13: Errwood Reservoir circular

Distance: 5 miles | Rating: Moderate | Start point: Main car park
There are some wonderful panoramic views during this easy and enjoyable 5-mile walk around Errwood Reservoir. The narrow path on the east side of Errwood can get muddy after rain – so walking boots are essential. But I took the photographs during a fairly damp February, and it wasn’t a problem. The walk can easily be extended by visiting the ruins of Errwood Hall. Or if you’re feeling really energetic, going around Fernilee Reservoir as well.

Walk 14: Fernilee Reservoir circular

Distance: 4 miles | Rating: Easy | Start point: Main car park
An easy, four mile stroll around Fernilee Reservoir. It’s possible to shorten the walk by crossing the dam wall at the northern end of the reservoir. But I prefer to go a little further, crossing the Goyt about half a mile down stream. The return path along the river bank reveals the picturesque scenery which was lost forever following the construction of the twin reservoirs.

Walk 15: Errwood to Goytsclough

Distance: 5 miles | Rating: Moderate | Start point: Errwood Hall car park
There’s a mix of easy walking along tree-lined footpaths with up and down striding across rough (and often muddy) tracks in this five mile walk to discover what remains of Goytsclough Paint Mill. It’s not my favourite walk in the series, but it does have its rewards, particularly if you’re interested in the industrial history of the Goyt Valley. But it’s perhaps better on a fine day – rather than the end of a fairly damp March.

Walk 16: Fernilee woodland walk

Distance: 3 miles | Rating: Easy | Start point: Car park at foot of Bunsall Incline
The walk along the eastern shore of Fernilee Reservoir is probably the most popular in the Goyt valley, particularly for dog-walkers and families with young children. Many people simply walk along the old railway track, but I always prefer to do a complete circuit. And for this walk, I’ve gone along the woodland path on the other side, rather than keeping to the shore-line.

Walk 17: Foxlow Edge

Distance: 1.5 miles | Rating: Easy | Start point: Lay-by beside ‘The Street’ Roman road
This short circular walk is perfect for dog-walkers – and anyone who wants a quick leg-stretch, but prefers getting away from the more popular paths around the twin reservoirs. There are some wonderully panoramic views over the surrounding Peak District countryside, with the added bonus of a visit to the evocative circular stone building known as St Joseph’s Shrine.

Walk 18: Fernilee Reservoir west walk

Distance: 2.5 miles | Rating: Easy | Start point: Fernilee carpark
Starting from the small carpark at the northern end of Fernilee Reservoir, this easy circular stroll goes along a wide gravel track above the western side of the reservoir, returning along the picturesque shoreline path. It’s great for dog-walkers and includes some wonderful views – both from the higher section across the valley, and from the lower section across the reservoir.