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Longdendale Trail

Longdendale Trail

Walking and cycling on the Longdendale trail, on old, disused railway track

The Longdendale Trail is situated in the Upper Longdendale Valley, within the Peak District National Park - south of the A628 and north of the town of Glossop. It is a very picturesque valley with its five reservoirs surrounded by high moorland. The reservoirs were completed in 1877 and were the largest artificial expanses of water in the world at that time.

Longdendale Valley provides a variety of recreation activities, including a sailing club on Torside reservoir; water skiing and fishing on Bottoms reservoir; horseriding, cycling and walking on the Longdendale Trail , (also suitable for people with disabilities); camping at Crowden and climbing at three different sites. There are two official car parks - Crowden and Torside - and a picnic area and information point at Torside.

The River Etherow, a tributary of the River Mersey, rises south of Holmfirth and then flows through a chain of six reservoirs known as the Longdendale Chain: Arnside Reservoir, Bottoms Reservoir, Valehouse Reservoir, Rhodeswood Reservoir, Torside Reservoir, Woodhead Reservoir. There was a seventh reservoir at Hollingworth, but it was abandoned later.

The Longdendale Trail is a long-distance trail that runs a distance of approximately 6.5 miles (10.4km) from Hadfield, Derbyshire to Woodhead Tunnel before crossing the A628 and climbing a steep moorland track towards the Yorkshire border at Salter's Brook.

The route follows the line of the former Manchester to Sheffield railway, converted to a safe, traffic-free trail for everyone, owned and managed by United Utilities. Its smooth level sandy surface means it is suitable for people in wheelchairs and less agile people, as well as families with small children and pushchairs. You can get onto the Longdendale Trail at Platt Street, Hadfield, Torside Car Park and Woodhead Station.

Longdendale's water used to power cotton and paper mills. Today, nearly a quarter of Greater Manchester's water comes from here.

You can walk a short section of the Trail and return along one of the paths around the 5 reservoirs or cycle the whole 6 mile route from Hadfield Station to the Woodhead Tunnels.

The Longdendale Trail forms part of the longer Trans Pennine Trail that runs from coast to coast across the UK (Liverpool to Hull).

See also

High Peak Trail

Tissington Trail

Manifold Trail

Monsal Trail

More Derbyshire Activities




Horse riding

Birds and wildlife


Water sports

Rock climbing


Activity centres and courses

Garden centres


Dining out

Peak District Trails


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