Length: 26.9 km (16.7 mi) [shorter and longer versions possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 660m; Net Walking Time: ca. 6 ½ hours
Toughness: 8 out of 10
The walk will start at 09.45, when the bus from Bamford arrives (groups are welcome to start earlier).
For walkers arriving from Sheffield by public transport:
Take the 09.10 bus line 275 from Sheffield Interchange to Bakewell, arrives Ashopton, Ladybower Inn 09.38. Return bus to Sheffield: 18.03.
Update: the bus options now are the 08.05 (line 275, arrives 08.35), with breakfast at The Ladybower Inn (please pre-book), or the 10.30 (line 275, arrives 11.00), or taking the 09.14 train to Bamford and risking a 3 minute connection (09.36/09.39) to the 275 bus from there to Ladybower (board front of train, go up steps, turn left along road for 50 metres).
The last bus out of the Ladybower area is now the 17.00 hours line 275 from Ladybower Inn (16.59 Strines Lane End) to Bamford Station or Hathersage (connecting buses to Sheffield). So, unless there are car drivers willing to drop people off at Bamford Station, any later finish will mean calling a taxi to get to Bamford or Sheffield.
Return bus to Sheffield: 18.45 (line 275).
Return trains from Bamford, with their connections to St. Pancras: 17.42 --> 18.29, 18.42 --> 19.29, 19.42 --> 20.49.
You cross Ladybower Reservoir and rise through pastures to Crook Hill to follow a grassy ridge with fine views to Win Hill and the Great Ridge, out towards the Kinder Scout and Bleaklow upland peat bog plateaus and across the Derwent Valley to Derwent Edge. At Alport Castles, the fascinating site of Britain’s longest inland landslip with its rocky pinnacles and debris, you turn down from the ridge along a good track through grouse moors into the wooded Derwent Valley and follow Howden Reservoir’s shore to cross Slippery Stones packhorse bridge into the open wild countryside of the Upper Derwent Valley.
From there, the return route follows the famous Derwent Reservoirs (Howden, Derwent and Ladybower) back towards the start with ever-changing views across the large bodies of water, partly in open country, at other times flanked by enchanting woods.
Three variations of the return route break the long, nearly flat reservoir-side walk by climbing up a hill or ridge with fantastic views and descending back to the reservoirs further along.
An Alternative Ending from Alport Castles descends through the tranquil Alport Dale and crosses the Woodlands Valley to ascend Win Hill’s ridge with a choice of finishes, back at the Ladybower Inn or the Yorkshire Bridge Inn or at Bamford Station.
Plenty ways to vary the route, see the pdf or the webpage for details.
Tea: The Yorkshire Bridge Inn
Ashopton Road (located 300m off route, 1.6 km from the end of the Win Hill Alternative, open all day).
For walk directions
, height profile
and gpx/kml files