Around Longdendale and the Etherow Valley from Old Glossop, Derbyshire by Richard Peace

Cycling UK continues to support the UK to cycle
This remains true during this difficult period with the ongoing threat of coronavirus Covid-19

Around Longdendale and the Etherow Valley from Old Glossop, Derbyshire by Richard Peace

Richard Peace

Cycling UK's e-bike expert and cycling author, Richard Peace takes us on a ride from the charming Old Glossop Conservation Area out to explore the Victorian dams of Longdendale, all with their brooding Pennine backdrop.

Old Glossop is a lovely little village centred around its church and is easily reachable from the train station at nearby Glossop. From here you climb through pleasant suburbs to a track with fine views back over Glossop, circling the site of Norman Mouselow castle. The latter part of the track descends and becomes a little rocky and is technically the hardest part of this route before passing through a park to emerge onto a road at Hadfield. If you don’t fancy the rocky section, there is the option of leaving the track and descending by Park Road.

You pick up a section of the Trans Pennine Trail in the form of the Longdendale trail near Hadfield train station and follow it until Torside dam, a spectacular crossing of this marvel of Victorian engineering, and follow a lovely track along the far side of this string of reservoirs (note that the GPX file shows a link to the excellent CCC site at Crowden, along a magnificent traffic-free lane). 

Back on the main route, skirt attractive Tintwistle (a worthwhile detour for the Bull's Head pub if you need refreshment) then follow roads south of Hadfield and through Hollingworth (take care on a brief section of the A57 here) before more great vistas on a reasonably technical track bring you to Mottram. Quiet Rabbit Lane is lined with idyllic residences and you then flirt with a couple of busy roads before splitting off at Warhill (check out the church and its aged sundial).

Having dropped down steeply to Broadbottom, Lymefield Garden Centre has a fine food shop and tearooms, and the site of the old mills here is now a scenic green area, making for a very fine picnic spot. An easy traffic-free section (signs indicating it may be a future section of the Trans Pennine Trail and Pennine Bridleway) known as Gamesley Sidings makes for an easy and pleasant finale to the route back into Glossop centre and down a bridleway to Old Glossop. 


Beware brief sections of heavy traffic.

For food and drink there is the Bull's Head in Tintwistle (a short detour off the route up the Pennine Bridleway); Lymefield Garden Centre tearooms; and lots of choice in Glossop. 

Also note if you are a camping fan the Camping and Caravanning Club, the site at Crowden is linked to this route via a wonderful traffic-free lane shown on the GPX file. 

Level of ride 
Type of bike 
Mountain bike