Peak District Walks
Langsett Reservoir & Cut Gate
Date: 20th Dec 2015
Distance: 6 miles
Ascent: 1060 feet
Time: 2 hours 45 mins
Start Grid Ref: SE210004
An extended circuit of Langsett Reservoir in the north-eastern Peak District including a fine section of the historic Cut Gate path above Mickleden Edge.
Route Summary: Langsett Barn - Langsett Bank - Brook House Bridge - Hingcliff Common - Mickleden Edge - North America - Thickwoods Lane - Upper Midhope - Langsett Barn
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: As 2015 draws to a close it has been another year in which I've not got down to the Peak District as much as I'd planned. Indeed, apart from a triple whammy of walks in a single day in the middle of June, this was only my second visit to the Peak this year.
I probably wouldn't have even done this walk were it not for the fact that my wife and I were attending a rock concert in Sheffield. Having decided to stay overnight somewhere near Sheffield it made sense to take advantage of being in the area to do a shortish walk the next day. After considering a few options I finally picked this route for convenience as it was only about a 15 minute drive from the Premier Inn we stayed in.
Despite arriving at the Langsett Barn car park fairly early it was already quite full, an indication of its popularity in this part of South Yorkshire. The walk started with a nice amble on the lower path along Langsett Bank with good views of the reservoir.
At the head of the reservoir we crossed over Brook House Bridge where the Little Don river enters Langsett Reservoir. Just upstream from the bridge and weir there was a nice little waterfall dropping down from How Well. After a short detour to view the waterfall we walked back to the bridge to begin a climb on a good track.
For the next 2 miles we followed this track, an ancient packhorse route called Cut Gate which linked the upper Derwent and Little Don valleys. After the initial steep climb up from the bridge the gradient eased as the path entered some lovely heather moorland which I imagine would look particularly beautiful in late summer.
After crossing the minor bump of Hingcliff Common the track dropped down slightly to reach Mickleden Edge, overlooking the small valley of Mickleden Beck. While not really an edge in the sense of the likes of Stanedge, Curbar and Baslow Edge, Mickleden Edge was still a great spot with good views of the valley below and of the moors stretching north towards the transmitter on Holmes Moss.
Upon reaching one of the fine Peak and Northern Footpaths signs at a junction of bridleways we had a choice of routes. One option was to carry on up Cut Gate before cutting across the pathless moorland of Candlerush Edge to reach the ancient and prominent cairn on Pike Lowe. The alternative was to double back on the bridleway heading for the ruined farmhouse of North America.
Initially we decided to go for the Pike Lowe route despite the blustery conditions. However, we only made it a further quarter of a mile or so before the wind got so strong it was hard to stand. Knowing that we would only be even more exposed higher up we decided to retrace our steps back to the signpost. On the way back a brief patch of sunshine over Mickleden lit up the moorland quite beautifully.
The bridleway to North America proved to be rocky and peaty in equal measure and probably quite challenging on a mountain bike. At the ruined farmhouse we picked up the main track circling the reservoir again to enjoy a nice descent back down to the water side.
Just before reaching Thickwoods Lane we came across some large pine trees covered in Christmas decorations, clearly a local tradition. The walk concluded by walking through the tiny village of Upper Midhope down to the reservoir dam and back to Langsett Barn.
In all honesty this walk was not high on my to-do list and it was more convenience than anything else that led us here. Having said that we thoroughly enjoyed it and I've already got a couple of other routes in the area in mind for a more extended walk.