Langsett Reservoir, this past weekend, was awash with families and friends out enjoying the good weather.
We had opted to do a short stroll, given the heat, and chose this destination as it is in itself a beautiful reservoir, but also the moorland that rises beyond it is outstanding.
For this route you will need OS Map OL1; certainly a worthwhile investment as it covers much of the Peak District and the wonderful walking routes to be discovered there.
The 6 mile ramble is gentle underfoot. Beginning from the Flouch car park [GR SE 200 012; no parking charge!] just off the A616 from Huddersfield towards Sheffield [or alternatively, if full, the Langsett Barn car park half a mile away, postcode: S36 9FD] we followed the way-marked bridleway through woodland towards the reservoir.
Reaching a path crossroads, bear left and the path comes to the Brook House Bridge that crosses the Little Don river. Here the water is shallow and a great place to paddle.
Across the bridge, continue through a wooden gate following the way-marker indicating ‘Derwent and Ashop Valley’ via Cut Gate; an ancient packhorse route allowing farmers to take cattle to the market in Penistone, now also a popular mountain bike route.
You climb the track up onto the moorland where the land flattens. The route is very clear; you’ll pass another track on the left [take this for a shorter walk; it passes the ruins of ‘North America’, mentioned below]. Keep going straight ahead; the path continues, the views it offers are wonderful.
The moorland hues demonstrate why this area is named the Dark Peak and is a beautiful natural contrast to the lush forest surrounding the reservoir.
The path continues for miles across the expanse of the landscape; it is certainly tempting on a bright day.
We followed the path, the land descending to our right, with Mickleden Beck burbling along the valley bottom.
At the next way-marker, turn left away from Mickleden Edge. Reaching the plateau, you catch sight of the reservoir once again.
Descend gently until another path junction at a place marked North America on the map.
Close by there are the remains of a farmhouse which was used as target practice in the Second World War; training for the D-Day landings in 1944.
This was one of six tenanted farms in the area that were abandoned when the reservoir was built in 1904.
There is also an information board telling the story of Langsett and Midhope at War; a result of a local project started in 2012 to preserve the history of military activity in the area.
We turned right, following the track [Thickwoods Lane; along which the tanks trundled to reach North America] along the edge of the woodland and then over a bridge that crosses the brook.
When the track bends right, leave it to enter the woodland by the permissive path that lines the reservoir edge.
A pretty woodland, with white anemone flowers coming into bloom and so very peaceful. The path ascends to the right to meet Joseph Lane. Turn left along the lane back to meet Midhope Cliff Lane.
Here turn left and walk along the road, across the dam where you can pause for a snack at the pub cafe, should you wish.
We passed through the gate on the left to follow the pathway back along Langsett Bank until meeting the path crossroads above Brook House Bridge from where you retrace your steps to the start.
Whether wanting to walk or just enjoy the scenery; this is a lovely spot for a family day out.
lThe reservoir was constructed between 1898 and 1904, and is now managed by Yorkshire Water. Fed by the Little Don or Porter River, it is around a mile long, and supplies water for Sheffield and Barnsley.