Taxal, Fernilee Reservoir

Walk Area
OS Map
Start Point
Altitude Information
Start Point
Low Point
High Point
Other Information
Tea Shops
Last Walked
3.50 Miles (5.60 Km)
Explorer OL24  1:25000
White Peak Area
Lay-By A4005 Long Hill
(SK 0102 8020)
666 feet   (203 meters)
570 feet   (174 meters)
823 feet   (251 meters)
Roadside Lay-By
Mar 31st 2008  Duration 2h 10m
Roadside Parking Near Taxal
Map For
This Walk.

Walk Altitude Profile:


A shortish walk along the River Goyt to Fernilee Reservoir, then back along the hillside to the Gritstone Hamlet of Taxal. This is a fairly flat walk with only a couple of short climbs, the steepest part being the acess to and from the lay-by that is the start point of the walk. In parts this walk can be a little muddy, my experience is that the final field always seems rather wet underfoot.

Getting There:

The start of this walk is a large roadside lay-by on the A5004 Buxton Road between Whaley Bridge and Fernilee. From Buxton take the A5004 signposted Goyt Valley and continue for around four miles, the road is quite twisty with several sharp bends. After passing through Frenilee the road passes through a wooded area, as the road emerges from the woods the lay-by is on the left. From Whaley Bridge take the Buxton Road south for about half a mile, the lay-by is on the right as the road swings left into a wooded area.

Unfortunately there are no tea or coffee shops on this walk, although the town of Whaley Bridge is around a mile to the north of the start / finish point for this walk,and has several pubs and cafe's.

The Walk:

From the northern part of the lay-by take the rough vehicle track that leads down toward the River Goyt. Just after the track bends towards the river look for a small gate on the left. Pass through this gate and follow the path through Shallcross Wood. On leaving the wooded area continue following path along the river towards Fernilee Reservoir. Along the way the path crosses rudimentary foot bridges over tributaries of the river, and through several gates. Several concrete capped bore holes can also be seen along this stretch of the walk.. As Fernilee Reservoir Dam is neared the path becomes a tarmac road through some water treatment works, follow this road along the left hand side of the main building on on up the slope to the top of the hill. At the top of the hill the path meets the bed of the now disused Cromford and High Peak Railway, turn right along the track and continue to the top of the Dam.

At the top of the Dam wall both the reservoir overspill and the water take-off tower can be seen quite clearly. Follow the roadway (taking care of any traffic) across the top of the Dam wall and on reaching the other side of the Dam turn right and follow the path along the hillside towards Knipe Farm.

Approach to Taxal Hamlet
Rudimentary Foot Bridge, Goyte Valley
Grass Bank Dam Wall, Frenilee

The Grass Bank Dam Wall Of Fernilee Reservoir

Fernilee Reservoir Water Take-Off Tower

Frenilee Reservoir Water take-Off Tower

Road Bridge Over Mill Clough
River Goyte Foot Bridge
At Knipe farm the track swings to the right and descends to a flat stone bridge over Mill Clough (see the image to the left) passing through two gates along the way. From the stone bridge the track ascends along the other side of the Clough to Madscar Farm.

On arrival at Madscar Farm, pass through the gate at the front of the farm and turn immediately left to follow the road that rises up above the farm buildings. At the top of the climb the road turns sharp right, from here there are fine views to the west across the Goyt valley towards Fernilee House with Shallcross Farm to the north-east, and west across open pasture to Stich House. From this view point go right and follow the path along the wall and through the gate, once through the gate continue along the wall towards Hillbridge Wood. As the path turns to the left continue across the field to the gate. Beyond this gate follow the tree line across the field arriving at the ruins of a small farm building near the field boundary. The next field is the final field that has always been anything from wet to outright boggy in parts, before setting off across the field, look for the telegraph just to the right of the bungalow on the far side of the field, make you way towards this target by the best route you can find.

Exiting the final field join Whiteleas Road across the stream that runs down from Stich House to the river, continue along this road into the Hamlet of Taxal. Taxal it's self is very small a few houses, a Rectory and St James's Church. At the church turn right along the side of the grave yard down to the river. You may note that the gave yard seems extremely large given the size of the hamlet, this is because St James's is the Parish Church for the nearby town of Whaley Bridge, and has been so for almost three hundred years. On reaching the river there is a choice of ways to cross, the ford, or to left a little down stream a narrow foot bridge. My preference is to use the bridge! If you used the ford to cross the river the track up the slope to the lay-by continues directly ahead, otherwise the track to the lay-by can be seen to rising right of the footbridge. At the top of the rise is the lay-by on the A5004 Buxton Road and the end of the walk.

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