South Yorkshire Walk - Langsett and the Peak District
PUBLISHED: 17:49 07 February 2012 | UPDATED: 21:03 05 July 2014
Why not head for the Yorkshire part of the Peak District for a great winter walk. Terry Fletcher is your guide
Yorkshire is not overly endowed with lakes, just a handful scattered across the Broad Acres – Malham Tarn and Semerwater in the Dales, Lake Gormire below Sutton Bank and Hornsea Mere out towards the coast.
Fortunately what Nature forgot the Victorian water engineers and their successors have supplied. As a result the Pennine moors and valleys are liberally decorated with dozens of man-made reservoirs. This walk visits three of them in the Yorkshire part of the Peak District on a walk that is surprisingly sheltered in such an open landscape making it ideal for a blustery winter’s day.
It starts from the Yorkshire Water car park at Langsett Barn just off the Barnsley to Manchester road.
Leave the car park by a footpath to the main road and cross over to take a track between the speed camera and the Millhouse road.
Go past the house and through a metal gate before turning immediately right to take a sketchy path down the field. Its line is soon confirmed by a series of metal gates until at the bottom of the final field a wooden stile leads through the fence. Turn left along the narrow, sometimes muddy, path, which follows the route of a long-dismantled railway line, built to ferry materials for the building of the Langsett dam which is visited at the end of the walk.
The track bed soon becomes easier and is followed for more than two miles passing through woods and is only slightly marred by the proximity of the accompanying road. Eventually it reaches a road at the entrance to the Fox Wire Works. Turn right for a few yards to the main road.
Crossover and turn left to take a narrow path, and then the old road which is followed until it is possible to cross the dam of Underbank Reservoir.
On the far side turn left to follow the path over an arched bridge and then double back uphill beside the spillway until the path curves round to follow the shore of the reservoir back up the valley. The path carries on easily with a brief hiatus by the sailing club before it goes on to emerge on Mortimer Road.
Follow this uphill past Ye Olde Mustard Pot pub and turn right into Chapel Lane to pass the squat and sturdy little Church of St James with its tiny bell tower. It dates from the 14th century and the interior is as plain
as the outside, with old box pews and an almost total lack of decoration which somehow fits its setting perfectly.
Carry on along the road for another couple of hundred yards to where the
road bends sharply right. Here take a sunken track on the left which climbs steeply uphill with several twists and turns before it emerges onto Mortimer Road. Turn right downhill and after a couple of hundred yards take a footpath on the left by a small lay-by and large double gate.
Head towards the woods but before reaching them turn right and then left to descend by a wall. A flatter section follows before the path climbs
rightwards through the trees. At the crest of the hill follow a narrow path
leftwards between the wall and the protecting trees. As these thin out the
second of our reservoirs, Midhope comes into view.
Follow the wall until it leaves the protection of the trees to descend to a
stone stile which leads onto a track.
Turn left and follow this over the outflow of the reservoir and after
another hundred yards, where the lane turns sharp left, carry straight on along a farm track. Where it opens out into an area of grass and scrub continue to follow the left hand wall, passing through a small gate until a metal gate leads through a stone wall into a copse by a beck.
The path soon reaches a bridge. Ignore this and instead take a stile
hidden behind a tree on the left. Follow the twisting path until it climbs
a wooded bank to cross a stile in the wall at the top. Turn right and head for a gate and stile just to the left of the trees ahead.
Beyond this turn right and cross the dam of our third reservoir, Langsett.
Immediately after reaching the other side take a track on the left swiftly followed by a path which climbs up the bank to the car park of Langsett Barn.
Start/finish: Langsett Barn
Parking: Large Yorkshire water car park at Langsett Barn. Extra parking close by in a large lay-by on the main road
Distance: 8 Miles (13km)
Terrain: Mainly firm paths but some muddy sections, several stiles, steep climb at Midhopestones
Map: Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure 1, The Dark Peak
Refreshments: Café at Langsett, pubs at Langsett and Midhopestones