Distance: 4.6 miles
Time: 2-3 hours
Terrain: Country lanes, grassy footpaths and trails
Accessibility: Easy. Terrain mostly even and quite flat, but with stepping stones, high stiles and squeeze stiles
Start and end grid reference: SK 20747
This lovely circular walk takes in some fabulous views around the pretty village of Bamford. It starts and ends at the train station in Bamford (S33 0AH, SK 20747), and is also very close to bus stops on Routes 2C, 100, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275 and 276, so it’s easily accessible by public transport.
The route heads past Bamford Mill and then follows the beautiful Thornhill Trail to the dam across Ladybower Reservoir. From there the route heads through pretty countryside and along quiet village lanes back to the start point.
This is a circular walk of just over 4 miles. For the most part it uses country lanes and clearly-marked trails, although there are some grassy footpaths. There is a stepping stone crossing by Bamford Mill, and be aware that there are some squeeze stiles and a couple of tall stiles that might be difficult for those with reduced mobility. The walk goes right past the lovely Yorkshire Bridge Inn, which serves great pub food and real ales. Allow 2-3 hours to complete this walk at a moderate pace, allowing for rest stops to take in the views.
1. Heading out from the train station, turn right on Station Road (A6013) towards Bamford village. Just before a row of houses on the left, turn left on to Mill Lane, a quiet road that leads to Bamford Mill. After passing Bamford Mill and its cottages, turn left on a public footpath signed for the Touchstone Trail. The footpath very soon turns left again to pass between houses and then right in front of the beautiful mill.
2. Bamford Mill was built in 1782 and operated first as a corn mill, then a cotton mill, employing more than 130 people at the height of its industry. It closed in the 1990s and is now private residential accommodation.
3. Follow the path across the River Derwent, crossing via stepping stones and a lovely wooden footbridge. Pass through the gate and follow the public footpath sign to cross the field diagonally right. Pass through a couple of squeeze stiles beside wide farm gates. After the second squeeze stile be aware that the footpath turns left up a hill rather than continuing along the lane to the farm.
4. At the top of the path, pass through a small gate to emerge on to the Thornhill Trail. This lovely traffic-free trail was once the former narrow-gauge railway line between Ladybower Reservoir and Bamford station, used to transport materials for the construction of the dam. Turn right on the Thornhill Trail and follow the path through a series of gates, continuing straight on at a crossroads of paths.
5. When the Thornhill Trail twists left and reaches a quiet road, cross straight over the road and follow the bridleway on the opposite side. Continue straight on the bridleway, passing through a succession of gates, ignoring various footpaths off to the left and right. There are wonderful views of Bamford Edge off to the right from here.
6. When the bridleway ends and joins a narrow road, turn left to head slightly uphill. You will soon see Ladybower Reservoir ahead of you, where you should turn right to follow the footpath over the dam wall. This gives you magnificent views over the reservoir on one side and along the River Derwent on the other.
7. After crossing the dam wall, turn right and follow the footpath alongside the road for a short distance. You will soon pass the Yorkshire Bridge Inn on your right, which is a great stopping point for food and a well-earned drink.
8. Soon after passing the Yorkshire Bridge Inn, cross over the road and take the first road on the left, New Road. Walk up New Road, admiring the views of Bamford Edge on your left. After approx. 500m look out for a driveway to a farm signed Thie Veg on your right hand side, and follow the public footpath at the head of the driveway, crossing a stile into a field.
9. Follow the well-marked path over the fields through a succession of gates and over a steep stile. You will eventually reach a metal gate that leads to a narrow path between houses. Continue straight on to reach the road, and turn left to follow the footpath.
10. You will very soon see the Anglers’ Rest community-owned pub and café on your left. This is another great place to take a break if needed. Take the road on the left (Taggs Knoll) that heads up past the front of the pub, passing the village school on your right.
11. At a crossroads, continue straight on up the hill on Joan Lane. Be aware that there is no footpath for a distance along this lane, but it is a quiet country road. The views across the Hope Valley to the right are very impressive.
12. Where Joan Lane ends and peters off to a track ahead, take the single track road on the right, with the golf course on your left. This quiet lane leads you downhill to meet Bamford train station and your start point on the left.