Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

              Ladybower, Derbyshire, 31st, March, 2019

'A' Walk -Distance -11 miles. Leader - Gavin Barnes. Grade - moderate.   Ascent.- 1368 ft.

We start our walk at the gruesomely named 'Cutthroat Bridge' on the A57 not far from Ladybower Reservoir.

The coach will drop us off at the car park a short distance from the bridge. We will walk down the road to the start where we will head South along a good track. We walk in this general direction until we arrive at the village of Bamford.

Bamford EdgeBamford EdgeOur journey to the village takes us along Bamford Edge with its outstanding views of Win Hill, Lose Hill and Marn Tor, towering above the Vale of Edale and the Hope Valley. In addition we also have fabulous views of Ladybower Reservoir and Bamford in the Derwent Valley below us.

We gradually descend from the edge to a minor road which we will walk along before descending further into Bamford. Here there are plenty of seats for a rest and a drink if we have not already done so.

We are almost at our most southerly part of the walk and after crossing the River Derwent at the mill our journey will generally be northwards.

We make our way across the fields to the disused railway line which is now a section of the Derwent Heritage Way. We follow this track to the Dam at the Ladybower Reservoir and cross this to the picnic area and car park. We reach the A57 again and after a short walk along the side path, take the track towards the 'drowned' village of Ashopton. Vale of EdaleVale of EdaleWe return to Fairholmes along well-maintained tracks, passing some interesting buildings and the site of the former village of Ashopton which was flooded during the construct ion of the reservoir in 1944.

There is a shop at Fairholmes where refreshments can be bought.

Just in case you were wondering ....... Cutthroat Bridge is aptly named. . About 400 years ago a man was discovered with his throat cut in the stream that the bridge crosses. The man was still alive and was taken to Bamford Hall where he died two days later. In 1955 the headless corpse of the boyfriend of pop singer Gabrielle was found here. His head was found in Bedfordshire!!



'B' Walk - Distance - 8.0 miles. Leader - Wendy Satchwell. Grade - moderate . Ascent - 1060 feet.

This is a delightful walk starting with a hike over Crookhill before a stroll along the eastern banks of Ladybower Reservoir. The start of the walk is the car park of the Fairholmes Visitor Centre. 

Ladybower is the largest of 3 reservoirs and the most recently constructed, which entailed the flooding of the villages of Ashopton and Derwent and the re-housing of the inhabitants. There are a number of hill farms scattered about the area, most are involved in sheep farming.

Ashopton viaduct was built to carry the Snake Road to Glossop and the Ladybower Viaduct to carry the road from the Yorkshire Bridge to the A57. The reservoir was finally opened by King George V1 in 1945 and to mark the occasion a commemorative monument has been built close to the dam wall. The village could be sighted in the hot summer of 2018 when the water levels were low.

The walk starts at the Fairholmes Visitor Centre car park. We begin Ladybower at low waterLadybower at low waterby walking along the road, or the parallel access path by the reservoir, to the turn off leading to Ridges Coppice - where we have a slight ascent through the woods until we reach the top of Hagg Side. The views from here are truly spectacular. At the top of the wood we turn in a southerly direction and head downwards on a track along Bridge End Pasture to Crookhill Farm before reaching the A57.

We continue over the bridge and along the main road to reach our lunch stop at the Ladybower Inn. After lunch we continue along the path to Ashopton to then follow an easy route all the way along the east side of the reservoir until we reach the dam wall of Derwent Reservoir. From here, it’s just a short hop back to Fairholmes Visitor Centre where we will re join the coach.


'C' Walk - Distance - 5.7 miles. Leader - Andrew Wallace.  Grade - easy.  Ascent - very little.

This is a easy/moderate walk with good paths all the way and no stiles. There are wide ranging views over the reservoir and surrounding countryside.

 Ladybower after a very dry summerLadybower after a very dry summerWe start the walk at Fairholmes and go clockwise around the reservoir and so as long as we keep the water to our right we cannot go wrong!! There are a few undulations but none of these is too bad with the longest rise near the start of the walk. At the beginning of the walk  we pass the Derwent Dam - scene of the practice flights for the famous Dambusters raid in the second world war.

The rest of the walk is fairly straightforward. Half way round we cross  Ashopton Viaduct built in the early 1940s  where we can have lunch. Near the end we have to go down some steep steps, over a small bridge and climb back up, then it is a short walk back to Fairholmes.

The villages of Derwent and Ashopton were small but thriving communities. When the Dam was built the villagers were all relocated and the buildings submerged by the rising water. In particularly dry summers you can see the exposed foundations of some of the village buildings.



 Forthcoming Walks

                      2019 ...     April 14th - Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire

                                      April 28th - Sutton Bank, North Yorkshire

                                      May 12th - Ilkley, North Yorkshire

                                       May 26th - Brantingham/Welton, East Riding of Yorkshire