Waterhouses - a Manifold Meander

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This walk follows the track of the former narrow-gauge Leek and Manifold Railway which for nearly thirty years (1905 - 34) took milk from the Manifold Valley farms out to a standard-gauge rail link at Waterhouses. The trackbed is now a walking- and cycle-path. This walk follows the track to the rocky outcrop of Beeston Tor. The track crosses and recrosses the River Hamps several times during the course of the walk. After Beeston Tor the walk climbs out of the valley at the point where the Hamps flows into the River Manifold to the highpoint of the walk at Mere Hill, crowned by an ancient tumulus. After a very short bit of road-walking the walk drops back into the valley to rejoin the Manifold Trail near the tea rooms at Lea House Farm and then retraces its steps to Waterhouses. I've rated the walk as 'Moderate' due to the potential for poor underfoot conditions after rain on the downhill section between Waymarks 8 and 9 - in dry conditions the walk is more likely 'Easy'.

England - Central England - Staffordshire - Peak District


Ancient Monument, Cafe, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Pub, Public Transport, River, Toilets, Woodland
10/16/2018 - Richard Hardy

So noting Julie's comments - obviously everyone must judge the descent at the time they undertake the walk. It is steep, but this is noted in the walk description. Over time the condition of the path will obviously alter. If the descent looks unsafe then the following routing will return you to the walk start 1- Continue along the road to GR SK101510 which is a Y-junction - bear right 2 - Continue along the lane to GR SK101503 another junction - bear right onto the road 3 - After a short distance arrive at a further junction at SK100502 - bear right again 4 - reach the A523 at SK095500 and turn right along it to return to the start - obvious care should be taken as this increases the amount of road walking, and the 523 is a busy road Not much I can do about the river drying up though, that's down to a glorious summer, and beyond the influence of this "sun of York"

10/8/2018 - Juliet Wright

I found the final section (waypoints 8 to 9) unacceptably slippery and therefore dangerous for a steep downhill section. We did the walk on a dry day which wasn't after any significant rainfall but it was still greasy mud throughout this section. I would recommend rerouting this part. And in particular I would not recommend this section for a solo walker. Autumn 2018: the river had completely dried up which made the first part of the walk less attractive.

4/18/2015 - Phil and Sue Eptlett

Really enjoyed this walk in the peace and quiet of a midweek day in April. The first part is flat to Beeston Tor following the River Hamps which was dry on this day. The second part was very scenic and we would recommend you stop a while on Mere Hill to take in the view all round. The section between Waymarks 8 & 9 was dry underfoot but quite rocky and steep in places. Overall most enjoyable.

12/11/2011 - kevin treadwell

Did this walk on Sunday the 6th December 2011. Great walk and good paths with the exception of the final descent as stated by the walk submitter. It was raining very heavily when we did it and the the descent was lethal could barely keep our balance ended up covered in mud and soaking wet, so if you do it in bad weather have a change of clothes in the car you can get changed in the toilets on the carpark. Still enjoyed it though.

9/2/2011 - Richard Hardy

Starts and ends with some on lead walking along pavements but most of walk is lead free for well behaved dogs. Some livestock can be encountered.

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