Goyt Valley walk 3: Valley views

Walk distance: 2 miles | Approximate time: 2 hours | Date recorded: April 2011

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Walk description & directions

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).

1: The starting point is Errwood Hall car park, beside Errwood Reservoir. If the road is closed – which it is on bank holidays and Sundays between May and the end of September – park at one of the other car parks on either side of the dam wall, and walk along the road to reach the starting point.

2: Walk up the grass slope, past the information board, go through a gap in the stone wall at the top, and head down the path which bends to the right.

3: After a short distance, take some steps on your left and follow the path as it winds up and then along the side of the valley.

4: You soon come to a natural alcove in the rock on the left which has some small niches carved into the stone. Before the pine trees were planted, this would have been a pleasant spot to take in the view over the valley. So it may well have formed some kind of viewing platform in times gone by.

5: Walk a little further and, if the trees aren’t obscuring the view, you should be able to see the ruins of Errwood Hall on the opposite side of the valley.

6: Keep to the track as you exit the trees and go through a pair of stone gateposts. This path leads all the way down to Shooter’s Clough – a small stream which once joined the River Goyt in the now submerged hamlet of Goyt’s Bridge.

7: Cross the narrow stream and turn right along the footpath.

8: Look out for some stones to the right of the track, just over the wall. These are the ruins of Shooter’s Clough Cottage which was once the home of the manager of Castedge coal mine. The mine was a short distance further along this small valley, but nothing now remains.

9: As you reach the end of the footpath, there’s another sad pile of stones opposite. This is all that remains of Castedge Farmhouse. Both buildings – along with Errwood Hall and 11 other farmhouses – were demolished in 1934, during the construction of Fernilee Reservoir. From here you could take a short detour to visit the graves of the Grimshawe family on the hilltop behind the ruins. But to continue the walk, turn right along the track.

10: Fork left and walk through two impressive stone pillars which once formed the rear entrance to Errwood Hall. You soon pass some stone steps on the left which lead up to the Grimshawe graves. But this path can get overgrown and difficult.

11: Continue along the path and you will soon see the ruins of Errwood Hall. A set of steps at the end of the path once formed an impressive archway leading down to the ornamental gardens, with a central fountain. Again, there a lots of photos on the website showing the hall in all its former glory.

12: After exploring the ruins, walk down to the path in front of the hall and turn right. Then left at the junction of paths. This track leads all the way back to the car park.