When looking for the best hikes and walks, the Ladybower Reservoir should be among the first places you consider. There are plenty of amazing walks for you to consider. Some of the walks are dog-friendly, and the difficulty levels vary. There are easy and challenging hikes. There are also options with outstanding picnic spots with to-die-for views.
The area is well kept. Getting lost is almost impossible. Even if you do, chances are you will stumble on something beautiful. Take time to take in the details around when on any of these Ladybower Walks.
Wheel Stones – Derwent Dam Loop from Thornhill
The Wheel Stones route is an advanced route that is best left for more seasoned mountain walkers. It takes about five hours to complete, and the elevation alone requires substantial effort. If you decide to take on this path, a good pair of walking boots is necessary.
The unusually shaped gritstone tors are the highlight of the walk. They are a result of years of exposure to the elements.
Crook Hill Loop from Thornhill
The Crook Hill Loop has steep constant elevation right from the beginning. However, the stunning views along the path will keep you distracted. The three-hour path is signposted, and finding your way is quite easy. There are other routes you can use. But these are muddier and can be challenging to get through.
Most walkers taking on this route come here for the views from Crook Hills, which are spectacular. There’s also plenty of ancient mystery explorations to do here. Among them is the ancient stone circle. The last leg of the path towards Ladybower reservoir is flat, giving you a much-needed break as you prepare to head back.
Win Hill from Yorkshire Bridge
This is one of the few walks that is not demanding but offers plenty of views to enjoy as you walk uphill. The 2-hour walk begins close to the Yorkshire Bridge Inn. You cross the Ladybower Dam immediately. The path takes you into the woodlands, where there is a serene mixture of rocks, exposed tree trunks and greenery. Taking a moment to soak in the environment is almost inevitable.
The path then leads you to the top of Win Hill, which stands at a majestic 463 metres with expansive views of the surrounding areas. You might want to come earlier because the peak is often bustling with tourists.
Ladybower Circular Route up to Hurkling Stones
For walkers looking for an easy and relatively flat walk, this one is it. It starts at the Ashopton Viaduct, crosses the Ladybower Dam then heads past the mill to get on the right route towards Hurkling Stones.
The stones get the name ‘Hurkling’ from the Old Norse Language, meaning to crouch. When you see the stones, you get a clear picture of why they get the name. Besides being a tourist attraction, the stones also serve as district markers.
Once you’re at the stones, you can start the gradual descent towards Crindle Clough, finally reaching Ladybower shoreline and back to the car pack.
Derwent Edge and Back Tor via Hurkling Stones
This walk starts the same way as the one above, right up to the point where you get to Hurlking Stones. From here, it heads towards Back Tor. From this point, the path is a little more advanced and has a steeper incline.
You can also take the alternative route from Fairholmes, where it is easier to find parking. Regardless of where you start, expect to take about four and a half hours to complete the walk and along the way, you get to enjoy 360-degree views of the surroundings. Lost Lad has the best views. The walk culminates at Back Tor which is the highest point of this walk.
Ladybower Inn Circular Walk Through Three Reservoirs
Walkers looking for a challenge are in for a surprise. This is one of the toughest walks in Ladybower in length and elevation. It is also one of the best peak district walks. The walk starts at Ashopton and takes you through the Derwent Edge, expansive and magnificent views of the Derwent Valley and expansive landscape.
Since this is a six-hour walk, you can stop halfway at the Strines to enjoy a meal and a drink before proceeding on the second leg of the walk.
When visiting Ladybower, you can use this opportunity to see the largest landslip in Britain – the Alport Castles. This walk is all about that. The walk starts at Fairholmes, heads north-west straddling the path to the right and ascends past the farm track.
At Alport Castles, you are greeted by wilderness and the beauty and silence of nature. It’s an incredible place to be. It has a large cliff called the Birchin Hat escarpment.
Bamford Edge Loop
The Bamford Edge loop is a three-hour long walk and among the best Ladybower walks you can find. The walk starts at the Heatherdene car park, goes up to Ashopton Road then south along Ladybower.
What makes this an excellent walk in the vast countryside views of Win Hill that stretch as far as the eye can see. From the top, the reservoir looks still and peaceful. It’s a magnificent sight, especially if you come at sunset.
Cycle Route from Derwent Bike Hire
Give your feet a break and take on a bike trail for a change. This is among the nicest cycle routes Ladybower has to offer. It is well paved and easily accessible, and it’s not too tedious so you can enjoy the serenity and beautiful nature.
If you don’t have a bike of your own, you can hire one from the Derwent Bike Hire shop. You can choose one of two routes – there’s the short route to Derwent Café and back, and there’s the circular route around Ladybower through Hope Valley and along Derwent Lane.
Derwent Water – Derwent Dam Loop from Thornhill
Closing down our list of the best Ladybower walks is this intermediate walk around the Derwent Dam Loop from Thornhill. Like many other walks, this one also starts at Ashopton. Most of the paths along this route are accessible, but it doesn’t hurt to carry a good pair of walking boots. The highlights of the walk are the Ladybower Reservoir Dam, Nice Still and the Derwent Reservoir Café.