Start – Goyt Valley car park SK018758, Distance – 17.5km, Ascent – 575m, Time – 5hr 20min plus stops.
Okay, it’s hardly likely to give the Snowdon Horseshoe a run for it’s money, but the Goyt Valley Horseshoe is a good way to do a full circuit of one of the best areas in the Peak District. The walk starts by Errwood Reservoir and climbs Goyt’s Lane before turning right along a path that runs parallel to the reservoir. The path enters a small wood, but this route turns left just before and ascends the shoulder of the hillside on a faint path that comes back out on Goyt’s Lane by the small pool. From here, the walk follows the route of an abandoned railway, contouring around the hill to a closed tunnel. Just to the right of the tunnel is another faint path (I like faint paths!) that passes through a gate and climbs the steep hillside of Burbage Edge. Follow the (occasionally very) boggy path across Burbage Edge before joining a good series of paths down to the Derbyshire Bridge area. The route is then more obvious, including the unavoidable walk along the A537 past the Cat and Fiddle pub and onto the Shining Tor ridge. The road walk is pretty horrible (although mercifully short), but the ridge has to be one of the best in the Peak District. The end of the walk includes a must-do diversion over Foxlow Edge, which is accessed by a pedestrian gate off The Street. The route over Foxlow Edge eventually delivers you back onto the road at Shooter’s Clough Bridge. A route full of contrasts and great views, this walk should be the next on your list!
A sunny and still start to the day. This is the small pool half way down Goyt’s Lane at the start of the abandoned railway line.
Wildmoorstone Brook running down towards Errwood reservoir, with Cat’s Tor in the background.
At the top of the steep climb to Burbage Edge, looking back the way I’d come. Half-way down the hills in the background, you can see a horizontal line running across the picture – this is the line of the abandoned railway.
The trig point on the top of Burbage Edge. Right above the trig point on the horizon is the Cat and Fiddle pub.
And here is the Cat and Fiddle pub, this time from a bit closer. At about 514m, it’s the second-highest pub in England and beloved of bikers, as the A537 (known as the Cat and Fiddle Road, unsurprisingly) is bendy and challenging.
Cat’s Tor from the descent of Shining Tor. This is the main path along the ridge and was re-laid with stone slabs a few years ago to protect against erosion of the peat. It’s a tad hard on the feet though
Autumnal colours in the woods next to Errwood Reservoir.
Looking across the dam at Errwood reservoir. I’ve no idea why the water level was so low, as there hadn’t exactly been drought conditions, but it brought the fisherman out in numbers.