Glossop – ‘ The Longdendale Trail’

This 18 mile  cycle ride takes you out from Glossop and  in to the open countryside of the Peak District National Park cycling through the suburbs of Glossop and then on the traffic free ‘Longdendale Trail and return via the same route. The Longdendale Valley with its five reservoirs surrounded by high moorland. The reservoirs were completed in 1877 and were the largest artificial expanses of water in the world at that time. The letters in brackets refer to the turning points shown on the map.

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The Longdendale Trail follows the route of the old Woodhead Railway Line. It has shallow gradients and a smooth surface that makes it popular with cyclists with some spectacular views over the reservoirs along the way. The Longdendale Trail, forms part of the longer Trans Peninne Trail. NCR 62, that runs from coast to coast across the UK.

The market town of Glossop is known as ‘the gateway to the Peak District’. It used to be known also as a woolen mill town, having about 30  large woollen mills in the 18th century. It was also mentioned in The Domesday Book. In Glossop you will find plenty of shops,pubs, restaurants and cafes to explore and enjoy.

Starting from Glossop Railway Station cycle left along Howard Street (A) away from Norfolk Street. After 200 yards at the end of the road TURN RIGHT up North Road.

Cycle up hill up North Road and after 1 mile you come to a ‘T’ junction at the end of the road (C). At the junction TURN LEFT down Park Road and enjoy the fine views across the open countryside as you cycle along.

Continue down the road as it takes you down Marlow Brow and in to Hadfield. As you enter
Hadfield you go over the railway line and 100 yards after the railway line TURN RIGHT along Railway Street (D) signposted Longdendale Trail (brown sign).

At the end of the street TURN RIGHT along Platt Street (E) and cycle for about 150 yards and as you reach the bridge over the roadway TURN LEFT into the car park (F) which is the entrance on to The Longdendale Trail.

Bear left along the Longdendale Trail and cycle out in to the open countryside of the Peak District. As you cycle along the trail it first takes you past Valehouse Reservoir. Then Rhodeswood Reservoir, Torside Reservoir and then finally Woodhead Reservoir. The water from the reservoirs  used to power cotton and paper mills. Today, nearly a quarter of Greater Manchester’s water comes from here

After cycling along the trail for about 7 miles the reservoir narrows to a stream, the River Etherow. Further down stream this small river meets with the River Goyt and Tame to form the famous River Mersey. At the end of Woodhead Reservoir the Langendale Trail ends by the old Woodhead tunnels (G).

At this point you can return via the same outward journey you have cycled along. The other roads in the nearby area are not recommended for cycling along. If you cycle this route near to dusk look out for the ‘ Longdendale Lights’ which are mysterious lights in the sky. The area is a favourite with UFO spotters.



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