Lady Clough - Doctor's Gate - Pennine Way - Snake Path

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Starting at the Forestry Commission Car Park at Birchin Clough on the A57 Snake Pass, this walk starts along forest trails in Lady Clough, following the track of the old Roman road which leads from the Roman fort at Brough (near Hope) to Glossop.

The forest path gives way to steep open grassland and eventually peters out beside the main A57. Here the walker will unfortunately need to walk for 100m alongside the busy road, but it's not as bad as it seems.

The road is quickly left behind as the walker continues along Doctor's Gate - a distinct but very rocky path across open moorland, before joining the Pennine Way at Old Woman. Legend has it that Doctor's Gate is so named because a Longdendale doctor once challenged the Devil to a horse race along it and to the Devil's irritation, won.

The Pennine Way soon crosses Black Moor, where common lizards can often be seen basking on the stone slabs of the path, before meeting the Snake Path at the foot of Kinder Scout.

The Snake Path then returns the walker down the Ashop Valley to the woodlands around Lady Clough and back to Birchin Clough Car Park.

England - Central England - Derbyshire - Peak District


Great Views, Moor, Nature Trail, Waterfall, Wildlife, Woodland
8/21/2023 - Peter Charles Smith

I have used Walkingworld for ten years or so and identified walks for my friends – a group with an average age of 60+. We average 6 walks a year. I usually suggest walks with a “Moderate” rating as this one is. The walk was undertaken on 13th August 2023; the weather was fine but there had been rain some days before. Initial section, points 1 to 3, was extremely difficult and the path through the woods was indistinct and in some places had disappeared. There were numerous fallen trees that had to be climbed over or skirted. Also there were boggy stretches and some scrambling was required to avoid these. After the woods, the path to the road (3) was indistinct and it was not clear where the climb up to the road was or where we were supposed to climb over the wall to get onto the road. Sections 6 to 7 was probably the easiest part of the walk, thanks to the path being clearly defined by the flagstones running its length. Sections 8 to 9 was boggy in places and the path was narrow and occasionally slippery, requiring extra care. In summary, the walk proved to be the most strenuous we have encountered and the “Moderate” rating is questioned, given our previous satisfactory experiences of exclusively undertaking “Moderate” walks.

3/23/2020 - Simon Worrall

Walked March 2020 on bright sunny day. The walk across the moor from WP6 to WP7 is very exposed so can be bitterly cold with the wind chill. As already commented the walk down Snake Path (WP 8 to WP9) after the initial stone path runs out was very wet and boggy in places before reaching a much better gritstone path that rises above the river before reaching WP9. We had no navigation issues on the walk but NOTE - as you approach WP11 the Forestry Commission have recently built a substantial bridge and area for parking machinery/storing timber. The bridge you cross, referred to in WP11, is not the new road bridge but the one about 30 meters beyond in the woodland as you continue to head north.

8/22/2015 - Peter Newman

We enjoyed this walk, although more strenuous than we were expecting. A couple of points to note.....the steps leading down into the woods at the start are incredibly slippery if at all wet so take extra fact even going up them on the way back was as bad even after four hours or so of sunshine on them. Also point three where you walk up to join the road...there has been some damage to the fence where it meets the wall so you may need to walk further on before attempting to reach that wall. Lovely views on this walk and stunning scenery all along the Pennine Way. Point 8, taking Snake Path to the woods....extremely boggy even in August. In several places a diversion around the path was needed as the boggy mud was quite deep. We had walking boots but not gaitors which probably would have sufficed , but anyone attempting the walk in trainers would get stuck and have to turn back. Found this walk challenging but rewarding and the instructions are easy to follow.

5/31/2014 - Cath Leahy

Great walk. Although don't be tempted to head for the road too early at the start as you may find yourself with a precarious scramble as we did and a longer road walk than you were anticipating. As others have said it's very muddy at the start of Snake path so do take your gaiters. The meadow at the end of Snake path before you head into the woods again is a very beautiful and secret place.

12/7/2013 - lee holmes

Did this walk today, maybe we should have thought it through as we had just had the worst rain ever 2 days before and we forgot our gaiters, great little walk though first section do as the guide tells you but when you start to go up towards the road don't be tempted to leave the main path for little trails that seem to go up as we did this and it was not very good for our backs let's say, the road section is minimal 7 minutes max, very dog friendly just wish was able to take ours but he had just been in for hip op, oh and the last mile or so is very pretty watch out for the herons they were huge

9/24/2012 - daron linney

Walked this on 07/09/2012 in lovely weather, with my springer Max. A fantastic walk, which we both thoroughly enjoyed. Excellent views through diverse country side.

9/20/2009 - ian caudy

We really enjoy this walk. Could be a bit wet under foot while following the Ashop River after heavy rain.

8/27/2008 - Walkingworld Administrator

Directions to walk start now updated - Ed.

8/18/2008 - Mark Everson

Great walk although my partner and I had great trouble finding the starting car park due to there being no signage for Birchin Clough at the start of the walk. Fanatstic views towards Lancashire and the walk also introduced us to Kinder Scout which we will no doubt explore in the near future.

9/10/2007 - Sam Roebuck

Please note that the signed closure of the Blue Trail does NOT affect this walk.

4/6/2006 - Eric Davies

Hi Sam A great walk, i decided to take my group on this walk but extended it a bit to take in The Edges, Fairbrook Naze and the Seal Stones, the result will be on Walking World soon. Again thanks Eric Davies Fellow Contributer

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