top of page


Less than an hour’s drive from home, this unfamiliar walk was like a mini holiday, taking me over the county border for an adventurous amble around Langsett. According to the map, at one spot I even managed to hop continents!

I parked in Langsett Barn Car Park, the barn being an early 17th century cruck framed building where the toilets are located, before heading off along the lower level path on an anticlockwise route of the reservoir. Under the control of Yorkshire Water, Langsett Reservoir was constructed between 1889 and 1905 to provide fresh water for Sheffield and Barnsley. It has a capacity of 1,400 million gallons, is the biggest supply reservoir in the Sheffield district and has one of the largest earth embankments in the UK.

The glorious woodland path was flanked by towering pine trees with tantalising glimpses of distant moors beyond a vast expanse of water. A left at the top end took me down to Brookhouse Bridge over the Porter or Little Don River from where a fabulous paved bridleway zig-zagged uphill to Hingcliff Common, passing Peak & Northern Footpath Society sign No 51. If I continued ahead past Cut Gate for a few miles, following an ancient packhorse and drovers route, I would eventually find myself at Slippery Stones in the Upper Derwent Valley.

My route however was even more exciting because a left on a footpath above Delf Edge and I was on my way to North America! Evidently this little cluster of derelict farm buildings was used for target practice by tanks prior to the Normandy landings in 1944.

During the Second World War an army camp was set up at nearby Upper Midhope which was surrounded by anti-artillery guns, smoke pots and bunkers to protect the reservoirs that were considered to be a major target to the enemy.

More glorious woodland paths and tracks followed to a sharp bend and bridge over Thickwoods Brook. I then followed Thickwood Lane before turning sharp left up a stretch of old holloway to emerge at Upper Midhope, a hamlet with roots dating back to medieval times. It contains some beautiful houses, cottages and the fabulous Manor Farmhouse with 1671 datestone.

At a junction I opted to wander down Midhope Lane which was very quiet and provided me with distant views across the wide valley, more typical of Yorkshire as opposed to our narrow Derbyshire Dales.

After passing Reservoir House I noticed what spectacular stone walls there were on either side, whilst up to the right, no expense had been spared on the overflow from Midhope Reservoir, appearing like a steep staircase and not dissimilar to the Chatsworth cascade.

The lane then undulated for a mile or so before descending steeply to Midhopestones down Chapel Lane where I came across the most divine little church dedicated to St James the Less. With its origin dating back to the 14th century, the church was partially rebuilt in 1705.

A left on reaching Ye Olde Mustard Pot and I re-crossed the river to emerge by the side of the very busy A616 Manchester Road. Crossing straight over I headed up past the 3-storey Midhope Court, built in 1811 as the Rose and Crown coaching inn. A left after passing under the bridge and I could access a former railway line, used to transport stone for the construction of dam walls. This track bed now forms part of the long distance Barnsley Boundary Walk.

For over a mile it was a wide path through woodland before passing a farmyard. Soon after this it became a grassy gated footpath through fields of mixed livestock, leading me back to Langsett. The village was first recorded in a charter of 1252.

At this point my eyes became transfixed to what appeared to be a Mr Blobby house - painted white and covered with red spots! This turned out to be the Bank View Café where I treated myself to the most delicious toasted sandwich with a side order of proper chips, all washed down with a generous pot of tea. Well I had earned it!

Sally Mosley

FOOTNOTE BY NELLIE: I’m still a bit wonky on my back leg which hurts at times, so no long walks for me yet. Mum had to go on her own to do this walk and I had a little cry when she went. Don’t feel sorry for me though because me and my dad snuggled down on the sofa in peace to watch a western together and then lots of football. Dad feeds me loads of biscuits and treats when mum isn’t around to notice so I will need to get fit and slim again soon or I’ll be Nellie with the big fat belly! xx


bottom of page