Start – Goyt Valley car park SK018758, Distance – 11.5/15/17.3km, Ascent – 440/545/600m, Time – 3hr 30min/4hr 40min/5hr 20min.
Three walks based around the Goyt Valley’s excellent western ridge, stretching from Shining Tor in the south to Taxal Moor in the north. The walks all start in the valley itself between Fernilee and Errwood Reservoirs, and begin with an ascent to Shining Tor via the Stake Side/Shooter’s Clough ridge, followed by a stroll down the main ridge from Shining Tor to Pym Chair via Cats Tor.
Route 1 then returns via Foxlow Edge to Shooter’s Clough Bridge (as per the Goyt Valley Horseshoe) – this is a short but fantastic walk and probably the best walk when time’s short or as a great introduction to the mighty and all-conquering Goyt Valley
Route 2 continues north from Pym Chair, keeping on the moorland parallel to the minor road, until Windgather Rocks. This is a popular spot for climbers and a good place for a lunch stop. The route then heads east, past Taxal Moor Road and down into the valley. After crossing Mill Clough, a farm track then takes you to Fernilee Reservoir and the return stroll along the old railway line.
Route 3 continues from Windgather Rocks along the ridge of Taxal Moor (access land – no path marked on OS map, but it’s there on the ground) and then east back down to the River Goyt. The route then heads south along the river and Fernilee Reservoir. Great walking in one of the best areas of the Peak District.
Fernilee Reservoir, viewed from the dam on Errwood reservoir. The route of the old railway runs along the right of the reservoir, but there are also excellent routes through the woods on the left.
Looking down into Shooter’s Clough from the ridge between Stake Side and Shooter’s Clough. The bump on the right is Foxlow Edge and Cat’s Tor is on the skyline to the left.
Looking back down the Shooter’s Clough ridge to Errwood Reservoir. The view isn’t always obstructed like this by people with strange-shaped legs.
Late summer heather blooming in the Goyt Valley. This is the view looking down The Street from the area around Pym Chair.
A view from Shining Tor, the highest point in Cheshire and the highest hill in the Peak District outside Kinder or Bleaklow. The pointy hill in the middle is Shutlingsloe, with Macclesfield Forest to the right of it.
Shining Tor is a popular area for paraglidingists, as it’s not too far to walk to from the Cat & Fiddle and the ridge picks up the prevailing south-westerlies (that almost sounded like I know what I’m talking about…)
Looking from Shining Tor across to Charity Lane, which forms the north-eastern boundary and highest point of Macclesfield Forest. The bike-tastic (pedal and motor) A537 Cat & Fiddle road winds through the centre of the picture
Windgather Rocks, popular with climbers. It isn’t terrifyingly high and I suppose it’s the climbing equivalent of skiing a nursery slope. Cat’s Tor is the high point in the background.