If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you can create an 8-mile circuit by combining steps 1–23 from the orange route, steps 8–13 from the green route and steps 3–24 from the purple route.
MOVE YOUR MOUSE OVER TO ZOOM IN ON THE MAP
2 miles: Fairly easy
Visit the intriguing ridge-top church of St Thomas the Apostle, and explore the stream-side village of Mellor.
Some short ascents and descents; field paths and streamside sections may be muddy after rain. Allow 1½ hrs.
1 From the front door, turn left (uphill) and then immediately left into Dove Bank, by the old Sunday School. 2 Keep straight on at a junction. 3 At the end of the track go through a gate, past a spring, and walk along the top of the first field. 4 Cut diagonally across a second field to a squeeze stile. Then follow the bottom of the next two fields to emerge between farm buildings onto Church Road. 5 Turn right and walk up the road, using the walled path on the left. Pass the Parish Centre, then turn left into the churchyard. 6 By the church door take a path on the left that descends some steps and leaves the churchyard. 7 Follow the obvious path down the slope to a stile and thence to Knowle Farm. Turn left and walk down the farm drive until you reach a wood on the left. 8 Take the footpath that leads down some rough steps to a stone bridge over a stream. 9 Climb the steep steps up the far side of the valley then walk along a hedged path between gardens to the road. 10 Cross over and walk down the drive opposite. 11 At the bottom, turn left along a track by a stone building with a small stream on the left. 12 Ignoring any paths off to the left, keep along the path as it curves right and follows the stream uphill, fording (or jumping!) the stream partway up. 13 When you enter an open field, keep alongside the stream to pass to the right of some stables, until you emerge by the bridge on Gibb Lane. 14 Turn left and walk down the lane to a junction. 15 Turn left and walk down into Mellor. 16 When you reach the main village street, turn right to return to the Oddfellows.
Brook Bottom and Mill Brow
4 miles: Moderate
Fine views, attractive stone-built hamlets and a pleasant stream-side interlude.
No major difficulties, though some paths may be muddy in wet weather. Numerous stiles. Allow 2 hours.
1 From the front door, turn left (uphill) and then immediately left into Dove Bank, by the old Sunday School. 2 Take the first right, cross the cattle grid and follow the farm drive beyond. 3 Just short of Podnor Farm, turn right and follow the fence to a squeeze stile beside a gate. 4 Turn left, aiming for a Peak and Northern Footpaths Society (PNFS) sign just visible at the top of the field. 5 Cross the wall stile next to the sign (no. 336) and another at the far side of the next field (to the left of the ruinous Meadows Farm). 6 At Hambleton Fold Farm swing right into a walled footpath then, before you reach the paved area by the farmhouse, turn left across the lawn at PNFS sign no. 256, signposted Mill Brow. 7 Leave the garden via a step stile next to a gate and continue to a stone stile at the bottom of the next field. 8 Follow the wall on your left to a gateway and then beyond into the farmyard of Chatterton Lane Farm. The footpath exits via a wooden door and a flight of stone steps to reach the road. 9 Turn right, ignoring the first footpath sign on your left and then leaving the road at the bottom to follow a track on the left (“B.O.A.T. 22 Marple”). 10 Follow this track uphill and down, ignoring a side-track on the left and a footpath on the right until you descend to the stream at Brook Bottom. 11 A short distance up the hill on the other side of the valley, leave the track along a signposted footpath on the left, up some stone slab steps opposite the entrance to Brookbottom Farm. 12 Go through a gate and then immediately left over a stile, and follow the right-hand edge of the next field (above some ruinous buildings, one with a brick chimney). 13 At the bottom of the field, cross a stile and descend to cross the stream at a footbridge. 14 At a driveway, keep right (signposted Mill Brow) to pass PNFS sign no. 469 and skirt Hollywoods Cottage beyond. 15 Follow the obvious path parallel to the stream, until you reach the road in Hollywood End. 16 Turn right, initially uphill, passing Gird Lane on your right and Holly Vale on your left. 17 Leave the road along a metalled lane on the left opposite the Hare and Hounds. 18 Walk down until you cross the stream, then at the entrance to Greenhill Farm take the right fork, uphill. 19 When this track swings left, take the footpath on the right. 20 Cross a stile into a field and follow the gradually ascending path above a pond near a mill chimney. Take the higher gate at the far side of the field below some holly trees. 21 At the top of the next field go through a gate and walk between the buildings beyond. 22 At the next farm (Townscliffe Farm) ignore the path to the left (signposted Mellor Church), instead taking the path straight on to the right of the farmhouse (Longhurst Lane). 23 When you reach the metalled drive by the stream, turn left. 24 Walk up the hill to Knowle Farm. Just inside the farm entrance turn right and cross two stiles, then follow the obvious path uphill (crossing another stile partway up) to the churchyard. 25 On exiting the churchyard, turn right and walk downhill along Church Road. 26 At Church Road Farm, take the footpath on the left. 27 Beyond the farm buildings, walk along the bottom of two fields, then go through a squeeze stile on the right. Follow the fence on your right to a gate and then walk along the top of the next field, passing a spring at the far end. 28 Follow the track beyond a further gate to emerge by the old Sunday School just above the Oddfellows.
Roman Lakes and Cobden Edge
5 miles: Moderate
Superb views, bird-rich lakes, historic buildings and a bracing climb to a hilltop cross amid gritstone quarries.
One long ascent, some rocky paths, and some muddy sections may be encountered in winter. Allow 3 hours.
1 From the front door, turn right (downhill) and follow the road to the Devonshire Arms. Turn left into Gibb Lane. 2 Follow the lane to a junction, where you turn right (signposted to the scout camp and golf course). 3 Cross a stream and keep on up the lane, passing a covered well as you approach the hamlet of Tarden. 4 Walk past the cottages and farms of Tarden and follow the road as it bends left to the golf course entrance. 5 Ignore the road to the clubhouse on the right, keeping on past the 1st tee and bending right by a bench. 6 Pass the entrance to the main car park on your right, following the lane signposted to Linnet Clough Scout Camp and Activity Centre. 7 Pass the camp entrance and follow the track beyond (signposted to Marple Bridge on PNFS sign no. 461). 8 Follow this track downhill all the way to Bottoms Hall. 9 Beyond the farm buildings and house turn left into the unsurfaced Lakes Road. 10 Pass the entrance to Roman Lakes Leisure Park to meet the River Goyt. 11 Walk under the railway viaduct and past the weir, and then past Floodgates Cottage. 12 Pass a couple of houses (Roman Lodge and Strawberry Hill) - it’s worth a short detour to view Roman Bridge over the river on your right, but keep to the left bank of the river to continue. 13 The track eventually leaves the river and passes under the railway to reach Windy Bottom. 14 Beyond the farm, the track curves back rightwards towards the railway line. 15 At a junction of bridleways, turn left, uphill and away from the railway. 16 Follow this track uphill, crossing one of the fairways of the golf course. 17 At a crossing path, turn right, away from the golf course and past a house called The Shielan. 18 At the next junction, turn left up the track and pass the buildings of Cross Gates Farm. 19 Cross the next drive and walk up a walled hollow way, which curves steeply uphill between farms and past a small quarry. 20 Ignore a downhill track on the right with a stone gatepost, to reach a driveway. 21 Turn left along the driveway, with views over the golf course on your left, until you meet the road at Paradise Farm. 22 Clamber up the rocky slope to the cross and admire the wide view while you get your breath back. 23 Behind the cross, follow a path that leads to the left of a disused quarry, then bear left on a path that leads back to the rocky trackway of Black Lane. 24 Turn right (uphill, briefly). As you reach the brow of the hill a wide view to Kinder Scout is revealed. 25 Continue along Black Lane, now descending, until you reach a T-junction of tracks. 26 Turn left and follow Primrose Lane for quarter of a mile until you reach a road. 27 Cross straight over the road into the entrance drive of Birchenough Farm. 28 At a crossroads of paths before the first farmhouse, turn right (signposted to Moorend on PNFS sign no. 466). 27 Swing left in front of another farmhouse, across a cobbled yard, and then exit the farmyard to your right by a stile next to a gate. 28 Follow the right-hand edge of the next field to a gap in the wall in the far corner. 29 As you descend the last field, aim for the left-hand end of a row of houses in the bottom, where you will find a squeeze stile and footbridge. 30 Swing left and follow a short path through gardens to return to the Oddfellows.