Back Tor, Bradfield Moors and Reservoirs

This Peak District walk explores the moorland and resevoirs that lie between Ladybower and Bradfield. Walking is generally good but do expect some short boggy sections after heavy rain.

Technical sheet
No. 292991
A Bradfield (South Yorkshire) walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 24/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 6h15[?]
Distance Distance : 11.03mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1355ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1381ft
Highest point Highest point : 1736ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 705ft
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Peak District
Location Location : Bradfield (South Yorkshire)
Starting point Starting point : N 53.44677° / W 1.63188°
Download : -


(D)From the roadside parking at grid ref. SK246945 take the moors track through the gate onto the Fitzwilliam (Wentworth) Estate on the Dukes Road to Flint Hill. As you get to the top of the hill the path gets to be less of a track and more boggy - but still reasonably easy walking. As you start to descend slightly towards Cartledge Flat the path becomes paved as it crosses Hobson Moss until just before the rocks at Cartledge Bents. The two main paths leading southwards from Cartledge Bents merge again shortly after the rocks and the path becomes paved again all the way to Back Tor.

(1)The main ridge leads off to Lost lad on the right but we are turning left towards Cakes of Bread and Wheel Stones which are clearly visible ahead. After 300 metres, turn off left onto the Foulstone Road at a boundary stone marker. The path becomes a moors track as soon as it comes to the grouse butts on your left. Carry on down along the Foulstone Dike and past the cottage at Foulstone Delf until you get to the road at Strines Bridge then follow it to the left.

(2)After 500 metres, turn off to the right on the bridleway to Stubbing House Farm and Brogging House. At the dam wall turn right towards it then off left on the path (in memory of Bessie Andrews) leading down to the Strines Reservoir outflow stream. Cross the stream on both footbridges and take the Yorkshire Water permissive path along the north side of the Dale Dike reservoir. When you get to the end of the reservoir continue straight on past the commemorative stone, through the gate and past more commemorative notice boards before you come onto Dale Road.

(3)For those new to the Bradfield area - the paths are quite often numbered. Welcome to walking by numbers! Turn right on Dale Road then almost immediately left on public bridleway no.40 climbing up the valley side to the Mortimer Road. Turn right on the road then off right on the road down Wilkin Hill. Just after the former Outdoor Pursuits Centre, now derelict, take the path on the left (no.116) through Windy Bank Wood.

(4)Follow the path through the woods over the Emlin Dike, past the remains of Agden House in the trees to your left, then over Agden Dike. When you come to gateposts take the path to your left - almost back on yourself - and climb up Agden Side until you reach a gate at the top and a path that runs along the top in front of the wall. Turn left following the path parallel to Smallfield Lane which comes out on Agden Side Road - where you learn you were on footpath no.140.

(5)Cross the road and take the path that is off on your left. It keeps to the right of the walls as it initially goes over Cowell Flat then heads north west and back towards Bar Dike and the on-road parking.(A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 1171ft - Parking on Mortimer Road
1 : mi 4.47 - alt. 1729ft - Take lefthand path after Back Tor
2 : mi 6.75 - alt. 997ft - Turn right on bridleway
3 : mi 8.49 - alt. 761ft - Turn right on Dale Road
4 : mi 9.27 - alt. 856ft - Follow path over Emlin Dike
5 : mi 10.34 - alt. 981ft - Cross road and take path on left
D/A : mi 11.03 - alt. 1171ft - Parking on Mortimer Road

Useful Information

This walk covers some of the moors from Ladybower to Bradfield and gives an idea of the moorland that feeds the reservoirs to the north west of Sheffield - including the Dale Dike reservoir. The original dam here was breached in 1864 and resulted in over 240 being killed and 600 houses being damaged or destroyed. There is no direct view into Ladybower from the walks highest point at Back Tor - just the suspicion of the valley below - but there are plenty of other walks along the Wheel Stones - Lost Lad ridge for those wanting to see Ladybower.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 5/5
Number of opinions : 2
Description quality : 5/5
Routemap quality : 5/5
Walk interest : 5/5

on Mon 07 May 2018 10:25:56 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 06/05/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Lovely walk, nice and easy to follow but with a few challenging parts to the walk. Fab views,woods and water everything to make an enjoyable walk.
Will defiantly do it again.

on Mon 02 Apr 2018 11:49:36 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 29/03/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

We did a slight variation on this walk route, beginning and ending in Low Bradfield, which makes it possible to undertake the walk for those without a car, as Low Bradfield can be reached by the 61 bus from Sheffield. From Low Bradfield there is a path over Kirk Bridge below Agden dam wall up to High Bradfield, then round the back of the church following a path through the graveyard and into the woods beyond. The path descends to cross Roche End Brook and then you need to traverse the fields beneath the edge at Agden Rocher past the ruins of Rocher Head. Eventually a track leads up to a minor hill road and this links up with the published route just above point '5' on the map.

The route was easier to follow than expected as a result of recent path improvement work so was easier to follow and not as boggy as feared. The walk is pretty remote and we met only one other person the whole way round. Back Tor is an impressive formation and there are some fine views to be had, particularly if the weather is better than it was for us.

There is a seat where the path crosses the minor road close to Bar Dyke for those who might want to picnic or just to rest en route. Otherwise, the Strines Inn makes a convenient stopping point for refreshments by following a short detour to the right after reaching the minor road below Foulstone Delf.

If returning to Low Bradfield, follow the minor road to the right below Thornseat (point 3 on the map).

Starting and ending the walk in Low Bradfield increases the length of the walk to about 13 miles. We managed it in 7 hours. The walk is reasonably strenuous but is reasonably easy to navigate in good weather and the terrain is not too boggy for those with decent footwear.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.