You can cut the out-and-back to Back Tor and Lost Lad viewpoint (cuts 1.7 km/1.0 mi, but is certainly not recommended in good weather, however tired you are!).
Picnickers can cut the out-and-back up the road to The Strines Inn (cuts 900m and 35m ascent).
Shorter Endings lead to High or Low Bradfield and a circular bus route to/from Hillsborough Interchange (lines 61 [anti-clockwise]/62 [clockwise], both hourly Mon-Sat, every 2 hours Sun) for frequent bus and tram connections to Sheffield Station:
· either before lunch from Back Tor across the moors to High Bradfield and The Old Horns Inn (cut 7.4 km/4.6 mi and 370m ascent),
· or after lunch from Wragghouse Plantation by Dale Dike Reservoir along the Sheffield Country Walk to Low Bradfield and The Plough Inn (cut 7.9 km/4.9 mi and 313m ascent).
High and Low Bradfield are also alternative start points, with a more frequent bus service.
A Shortcut in the Afternoon cuts the loop around Dale Dike Reservoir (cut 3.8 km/2.4 mi and 70m ascent).
An obvious Shortcut in the afternoon follows Sugworth Road, where the route turns left up Lodge Moor to Moscar Cross and then loops back to the road along the old turnpike road (cut 1.0 km and 48m ascent).
At Moscar Cross you can cut down to the Moscar Lodge bus stop on the A57, for services to Sheffield or Ladybower and Bamford (cut 5.9 km/3.7 mi and 146m ascent).
A more direct finish from Cutthroat Bridge to the Ladybower Inn cuts 2.4 km/1.5 mi and 126m ascent.
The Ladybower Inn Bamford, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 0AX(01433 651 241). The Ladybower Inn is a quaint stone pub with rooms (some offering views of the picturesque Ladybower Reservoir).Open 08.00-23.00 daily. Food served 08.00-21.00 daily.
The Old Horns Inn Towngate, High Bradfield, Bradfield Dale, Sheffield, S6 6LG(0114 285 1207). The Old Horns is located at the end of the High Bradfield Ending off Back Tor.Open all day every day. Food served all day every day.
Bradfield Brewery Watt House Farm, High Bradfield, Bradfield Dale, Sheffield, S6 6LG(0114 285 1118). Bradfield Brewery is located at the end of the High Bradfield Ending off Back Tor.Open 08.00-16.00 Mon-Fri and 10.00-16.00 Sat.
The Plough Inn New Road, Low Bradfield, Bradfield Dale, Sheffield, S6 6HW(0114 285 1280). The Plough is located at the end of the Low Bradfield Ending from Dale Dike Reservoir.Open all day every day. Food served all day every day.
The Schoolrooms Mill Lee Road, Low Bradfield, Bradfield Dale, Sheffield, S6 6LB(0114 285 1920). The Schoolrooms are located at the end of the Low Bradfield Ending from Dale Dike Reservoir.Open 10.00-16.30 Wed-Fri and 09.00-16.30 Sat-Sun.
Ashopton was a small village in the valley of the River Ashop with a population of fewer than 100. In the early 1940s, the village (along with neighbouring Derwent) was demolished to make way for the filling of Ladybower Reservoir. The village was located near where the Derwent Valley joins the Woodlands Valley and the route of the current A57 Snake Road to Glossop. The reminders of the village include the name of the Ashopton Viaduct which carries the A57 (the main part of the village was located immediately to the south of the viaduct) and Ashopton Sawmill and Ashopton Cottage. Unlike the remains of Derwent Village which have become visible when water levels have dropped, Ashopton will not re-emerge from the waters of Ladybower as silt has already covered the remains of its buildings.
The Peak District (National Park)
The Peak District is an upland area at the southernmost end of the Pennines.
The Peak District National Park is one of the UK’s most popular and is located within the boundaries of five counties (Derbys., Ches., Staffs., Yorks. and Greater Manchester). Founded in 1951, it was the first national Park in England. The Park spans an area of around 1,440 km2 (550 mi2) and – despite its name – its terrain consists mainly of rolling hills, farmland, moorland and some gritstone escarpments (the "edges"). It is however significantly higher than much of the terrain in the surrounding area.
The Peak District is formed almost exclusively from sedimentary rocks dating from the Carboniferous period. They comprise the Carboniferous Limestone, the overlying Gritstone and finally the Coal Measures, though the latter occur only on the extreme margins of the area. In addition there are infrequent outcrops of igneous rocks including lavas, tuffs and volcanic vent agglomerates.
The northern Dark Peak (whose geology is gritstone) is one of the most famous landmarks in the Peak District National Park, known for its exposed and isolated tracts of moorland, as well as its expansive rolling plateau which is covered by cotton grass bogs and heather moorlands. The soil of the area is composed of moorland peat which provides the perfect environment for the plant life in the area. The areas to the flanks of the high moorland host numerous copses which are composed of Oak and Birch.
The southern White Peak (whose geology is mainly limestone) is another distinctive area within the park due to its gently sloping Limestone plateau, crisscrossed by the Limestone Dales. The Dales provide the areas’ drainage and vary in steepness throughout the area.
White to Dark
The White to Dark Way is a 43 km (27 mi) waymarked multi-day path from the White Peak to the Dark Peak developed in 2012 by TrailZilla and Country Walking Magazine. It claims to be the first major walking trail dedicated to linking the Peak District’s two 'halves', across terrain ranging from meadows, woods and farmland to wild moorland and gritstone edges, going from Bakewell to Hope. The route includes Monsal Head, Cressbrook Dale, Litton, Eyam, Stanage Edge and Win Hill. https://www.livefortheoutdoors.com/whitetodark
In 1899, the Derwent Valley Water Board was set up to supply water to Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield, and the two Gothic-style dams were built across the River Derwent to create Howden Reservoir (1912) and Derwent Reservoir (1916). West of the Derwent a large village known as Birchinlee, locally known as 'Tin Town', was created for the 'navvies' – the workers who built the dams – and their families, many of whom came from the Elan Valley Reservoirs in Wales.
Over the decades, demand for water increased. Piped intakes were constructed from the rivers Ashop and Alport to the west to feed directly into the Derwent reservoir, but soon demand increased further to the point where another reservoir was required. The larger Ladybower Reservoir, built largely during World War II, necessitated the flooding of the villages of Derwent and Ashopton, with the occupants being relocated to the Yorkshire Bridge estate, just downstream of Ladybower dam. A packhorse bridge with a preservation order on it also had to be moved, and was rebuilt at Slippery Stones, north of Howden Reservoir.
The boundary between Derbyshire and Sheffield/South Yorkshire follows the River Derwent in its upper reaches and therefore runs through Howden Reservoir.
The topographical similarity between the Upper Derwent Valley and the Ruhr Valley of Germany led to the dams being used as a practice environment for the Lancaster bombers of 617 Squadron (Dam Busters) before their attack on some of the Ruhr dams on 16-17 May 1943. The Möhne and Edersee dams were breached, but the Sorpe Dam sustained only minor damage. Two hydroelectric power stations were destroyed and several more damaged. Factories and mines were also damaged and destroyed. An estimated 1,600 civilians – about 600 Germans and 1,000 mainly Soviet forced labourers – died. Due to rapid repairs, production did return to normal after only 4 months. The Dam Busters film was subsequently filmed at the Derwent Dams.
Ladybower Reservoir is a large Y-shaped reservoir, the lowest of three in the Upper Derwent Valley. The River Ashop flows into the reservoir from the west; the River Derwent flows south, initially through Howden Reservoir, then Derwent Reservoir, and finally through Ladybower Reservoir. The area is now a tourist attraction, with the Fairholmes visitors' centre located at the northern tip of Ladybower. The east arm of the reservoir, fed by the Ladybower Brook, is overlooked by Hordron Edge stone circle.
Ladybower was built between 1935 and 1943 by the Derwent Valley Water Board to supplement the other two reservoirs in supplying the water needs of the East Midlands. It took a further two years to fill (1945). The dam differs from the Howden Reservoir and Derwent Reservoir in that it is a clay-cored earth embankment, and not a solid masonry dam. Below the dam is a cut-off trench 55m deep and 1.8m wide filled with concrete, stretching 150m into the hills each side, to stop water leaking around the dam. During the 1990s the wall was raised and strengthened to reduce the risk of over-topping in a major flood.
Drinking water must be pumped to treatment works rather than using gravity flow as in the other two reservoirs, increasing costs. It is treated at Bamford water treatment works and then flows south down the 45 km long Derwent Valley Aqueduct to supply clean water to the cities of Nottingham, Derby and Leicester. The aqueduct passes through the park of Chatsworth House. A tunnel carries some of the water from the Derwent Valley eastwards through the hill and into the lower of the two Rivelin Dams to supply Sheffield.
The building of the reservoir resulted in the submergence of the villages of Ashopton and Derwent, including Derwent Woodlands church and Derwent Hall. Ashopton stood roughly where the road to the Snake Pass met the Woodlands valley. The narrow stone Packhorse Bridge over the Derwent was removed and rebuilt at the head of the Howden reservoir. In 1976, 1995 and 2018, dry conditions caused the water level to drop and the village of Derwent to once again be exposed.
Bradfield Dale/Strines Reservoir/Dale Dike Reservoir/The Great Sheffield Flood
Bradfield Dale is a rural valley 12 km west-northwest of Sheffield City Centre and approximately 5 km long from its foot at Low Bradfield to its head on Strines Moor. The valley stands within the north eastern boundary of the Peak District National Park just to the west of Low Bradfield. It is drained by the Strines Dike which becomes the Dale Dike lower down the valley, these being the headwaters of the River Loxley. The dale contains Strines and Dale Dike Reservoirs, planned in the 1850s as two of several reservoirs supplying Sheffield. The name Strines dates from as early as the 13th century, when it was mentioned as the Water of the Strynd or Strynds (a rivulet or a stream), referring to the stream that rose on the moors at the top end of Bradfield Dale and flowed down the valley to join the River Loxley.
The Great Sheffield Flood devastated parts of Sheffield on 11 March 1864, when the Dale Dyke Dam broke as its reservoir was being filled for the first time. Around 250 people died and more than 600 houses were damaged or destroyed by the flood. An estimated 3 million m3 of water swept down the Loxley Valley, through Loxley Village and on to Hillsborough, where the Loxley joins the Don. The flood continued south down the Don into Sheffield centre, which escaped damage, being situated on the hill to the south.
The immediate cause was a crack in the embankment, the ultimate cause of which was never determined. The dam's failure led to reforms in engineering practice, setting standards on specifics that needed to be met when constructing such large-scale structures. It was rebuilt in 1875, on a smaller scale and 600m up the valley.
The road was constructed in 1777 as a turnpike road by Hans Winthrop Mortimer of Caldwell Hall, Lord of the Manor of Bamford. It broadly followed an ancient packhorse route, known as Halifax Gate, which ran between North Derbyshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire, linking Grindleford with the market town of Penistone to increase trade in wool and agricultural produce. However, the road was not profitable, as it passed through no major centres of population to provide passengers for stagecoaches and failed to attract freight traffic as heavy wagons preferred less hilly routes. Hans Winthrop Mortimer died bankrupt in 1807.
Later, some parts of Mortimer Road were bypassed by new roads, such as the stretch near Ladybower reservoir, bypassed by the Sheffield – Glossop road constructed in 1822. Stretches of the old road can still be seen though between Moscar Head Farm and Ladybower Inn, where it is now a bridleway.
Sheffield Country Walk
A 86 km (53 mi) waymarked circular Long Distance Path through parts of Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. The varied route around the outskirts of the city passes many sites and buildings of archaeological, historical and industrial interest. It follows woodland and riverside paths, crossing undulating farmland and the open gritstone moorlands to the west of the city. The waymark is yellow arrows and sheaf symbols.