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Walk Derbyshire – A Winter Warmer Around the Longshaw Estate

Walk Derbyshire – A Winter Warmer Around the Longshaw Estate

I have to make an apology before embarking on the text for this walk.  In July I acquired a new hip, this was after upwards of ten years trying to ignore an ever growing problem. Fortunately I had the sense to build up a stock-pile of walks, which kept Garry and Alistair happy at Images HQ, making it possible for them to publish my walks as and when necessary.

Feeling a lot better since my session with Mr Williams, one of the osteopath surgeons on the staff at Calow Hospital where, I must add, I didn’t feel a thing, and was much entertained by what sounded like the opening bars of Giuseppe Verdi’s Anvil Chorus from his opera il Travatore!

Deciding it was time to put my boots on again, I chose this walk mainly because it is short and finishes with the alternative of a pub lunch or the excellent soup and sandwiches on offer at the National Trust tea-room next to Longshaw Lodge.  Using easy to follow paths through what was once a sporting estate, the walk drops down into the upper valley of Burbage Brook.  Here it joins one of the ancient Pack-horse tracks that once linked Sheffield to the salt wells of Cheshire, and carried finished metal goods such as scythes on the return trip.

With far reaching views throughout, the walk starts by skirting the front of the lodge, along a path between it and the open moors now grazed by sheep, but once the realm of sportsmen and their guns in search of game. Going through a swing gate, the path splits with one going south towards Big Moor, and the other bearing right, drops down to the Grindleford road.  This is the one we took, going past an attractive pond, the haunt of wild geese.  The path crosses the road by way of a stone stile and then finds its way down to Burbage Brook.  An ancient stone packhorse bridge crosses the brook which is followed upstream to another stone bridge.  Here a right turn joins a cobbled track winding its way up to the Grindleford road again.  Diagonally right across the road there is a gate house and behind it a footpath through woodland back to the car park.

Longshaw Estate and its lodge was built in the early 1800s for the Duke of Rutland as a sporting estate.  During the Great War of 1914-1918 it became a military hospital, mainly for Commonwealth soldiers.  From old photographs it looks as though many of the fitter soldiers managed to enjoy the heavy snowfalls that seem to have been more regular then than now.

In the 1920s Longshaw was bought by Sheffield Corporation as an amenity for the city whose boundary cuts through part of the estate. While the lodge has been turned into private residences, the rest of the estate having been gifted to the National Trust, is open to all.  The now famous Longshaw Sheepdog Trials take place annually in the large field below the main house.

The Walk :

From the National Trust car park, follow the path down to the National Trust tea-room and Information Centre.

Bear right and then left on to the path running between the lodge surrounds and open fields.  Follow this path up to a swing gate next to wild rhododendrons.

To your left as you walk along the first path, the raised wall apparently supporting the ground above it is called a ‘ha, ha’, or ‘haw, haw’.  Its purpose is to prevent stock from encroaching the built-up area surrounding the lodge, but without spoiling the extensive moorland view.

Reaching the gate, go through it, bearing right alongside rhododendron bushes, where pheasants are often sheltering.

Wooden signs at the side of the path point to where children might find places where friendly boggarts live.

Continue along this path until it reaches a large pond.

Skirt round the pond with it on your right and then bear left past the second stone barn before you reach the road.  It usefully serves as a shelter in wet weather, as well as offering information about the surrounding countryside and its wildlife.

Cross the road and go through a stone stile and then drop down to a stone pack-horse bridge over the narrow brook.

Cross the bridge and turn right, upstream for about a quarter of a mile, as far as the next bridge.

Turn right and cross the narrow bridge.

Follow a cobbled path, winding steeply uphill and through woodland as far as the road

Go diagonally across the road, heading towards a gate house.

Follow signs past the gate house and onto a woodland track.

Continue along the track back to the National Trust car park

Useful Information :

3miles (5km) of easy walking on well-maintained estate paths and riverside and woodland tracks.

Recommended map: as the walk cuts through the northern and southern edges of both the OS White Peak (Sheet OL24) and OS Dark Peak (Sheet OL1) maps, it can make map oriented navigation rather difficult, but hopefully my poor quality sketch map and written instructions will be sufficient.

Public transport: Regular service between Sheffield and Grindleford stop at the Fox House Inn a few yards from the entrance to Longshaw Estate.

Parking:  Inside estate (National Trust members free).

Refreshments:  Fox House Inn and Longshaw tea-room and Information Centre.

Annual sheep dog trials as advertised.

Guided walks and seasonal children’s events throughout the year.


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