A Walk or Ride Along the Manifold Way
The Manifold Way is a (mostly) traffic-free trail that runs for 8 miles through stunning countryside in the Staffordshire Peak District between Hulme End in the north and Waterhouses in the south. Following the former route of the Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway, in use until 1934, it follows the course of the River Manifold through the Manifold Valley.
The Manifold Way is sometimes also called the Manifold Track, but is not to be confused with the much longer Manifold Trail, the latter being a walking route that runs for 23 miles between Dovedale and the village of Flash. The Manifold Way and the Manifold Trail share the same route for some distance, but the Manifold Trail is not (legally) accessible for cyclists and the terrain is rocky and uneven in places.
At the start or end of your walk take time to explore the pretty village of Hulme End, where the former railway station building has been restored as a Visitor Centre and café. Along the way, look out for the site of the Ecton Creamery and Ecton Mine, and pause awhile at the beautiful Wetton Mill, where the remains of the millstream can be seen. There’s a little café here and it’s a beautiful riverside spot for a picnic.
Just south of Wetton Mill, look out for the mighty entrance to Thor’s Cave, set high in a steep limestone crag. This huge cave has been a site of human occupation since the Stone Age. A little further along the route look out for Beeston Tor, a popular destination for climbers, where further caves have been found to contain Neolithic and Bronze Age remains.
Finally, the Manifold Way tracks through the Hamps Valley, following the course of the often dry River Hamps through beautiful White Peak landscape and woodlands, before heading into the pretty village of Waterhouses.
How Do I Get to the Manifold Way?
The Manifold Way runs between the villages of Hulme End and Waterhouses. There are car parks at both ends, and additional parking at Wetton Mill.
Hulme End is located on the B5054 between Warslow and Hartington. The postcode for the Visitor Centre is SK17 0EZ.
Waterhouses is located on the A523 between Leek and Ashbourne.
Find out more
For more information about the Manifold Way and the places to be seen along the route, click on the button below: