An interesting walk full of contrast, from the slopes of Hunshelf Bank with panoramic views over the town and beyond, to the moors, to the industrial steel mills in the valley floor.
1. The walk starts on the old Manchester Road by the dam at Underbank Reservoir.
2. Progress down the old road in the direction of Stocksbridge. When the road narrows and turns to the right take the path up onto the main road. Cross the road and take Underbank Lane up the hill, passing underneath the by-pass.
3. About 10 m after the bridge there is a signed footpath to the right, which runs parallel to the by-pass. If the path is not accessible then follow the alternative route.
Alternative route - Continue up Underbank Lane. Take the first road on the right, which is Hunshelf Road. The lane turns slightly to the right as it passes the cottages. Mucky Lane is the first lane on the left. The lane heads up hill under a series of power lines. Go up Mucky Lane rejoining the main route at (9).
4. The path opens out into a field. Walking parallel to the by-pass, continue along the bottom edge of the fields, crossing four stiles. In order to avoid overhanging trees, you may need to cross the temporary fencing.
5. In the field below the farm buildings continue along the bottom of the field to the point where the path meets the footpath that crosses the by-pass. Do not cross the by-pass, instead, turn left and go up the hill. The footpath goes by the right hand end of the ‘JB Equestrian’ buildings.
6. Climb the stone stile and then go up the wooden steps and through the gate into the riding school.
7. Cross straight across the arena and through the gate opposite. Continue up the hill to the stone stile onto Hunshelf Road.
8. Turn left and proceed for about 150 m to the next lane on the right which is Mucky Lane (one of several in this area!)
9. Proceed up Mucky Lane. After ~200 m, having passed under the power lines, take the footpath on the right, over the stone stile by the metal gate. This is shortly before the three sets of overhead power lines. The path follows the line of an old field boundary and then follow the line of the stone wall steeply up hill. Go across the field, climbing and keeping to the left of the wall. Aim for the stile in the corner near the electricity pole.
10. Go over the stile and continue down the path. The footpath passes through the yard of the property.
11. Go up the lane for about 25 m and then take the marked footpath off to the right following the contour and the stone wall along Hunshelf Bank.
12. The path passes two fields on the right and then enters an open field with gorse to the left on the slopes. Aim for the vehicle track that runs diagonally across the field. Maintain the overall direction of travel along the Bank. You will pass an old quarry in your left. When the track passes into the next field take the footpath to the right, aiming for the farm buildings of Edge Cliffe Farm and the lane out towards Pea Royd Lane.
13. Pass Edge Cliffe Farm and take the lane out to Pea Royd Lane. Go right down the hill until the road turns sharply right.
14. After ~ 200 m, take the farm track, Park Lane, on the left, along Hunshelf Bank towards the farm house.
15. Keep straight on along the track passing the farms.Do not take the various marked footpaths which go to both your left and right. Continue along the track which is parallel to the by-pass away to your right.
After about 1 km, pass through the metal gates into a farm yard. Bear right down past the farm buildings, following the lane. As you approach the next farm, heading towards Deepcar.
16. At the T junction with the lane to the next farm, take the footpath on the right that goes down the hill, keeping the fence to your left. This will bring you to a stile. Cross the by-pass. Visibility, in both directions, is good at this crossing point.
17. On entering the field aim for the telegraph pole. From the pole bear left following the slight ridge down to the bottom corner of the field. Pass through the gate and follow the lane down to Wortley Road, the A6102.
18. Turn right. Pass under the railway bridge. Continue for about 100 m, then turn right up the lane just before the houses on Truman Grove. Follow this lane up the hill, crossing the railway track, and out of the woods into open fields across to Deepcar.
19. When your reach Ellen Cliffe farm pass through the farm yard. 10 m after the wooden kissing gate, the footpath cuts down across the field on your left. There are wooden steps down at the start of this path. Aim for the far end of the wall at the bottom of the field.
20. Go through the wooden kissing gate and down, keeping the wall on your left. When you reach the River Don, turn right, keeping the river on your left.
21. Follow the path, and then the road, along the edge of the Stonebridge Homes.
22. When you reach the road: EITHER
23a. Turn right and follow the road until you reach Hunshelf Road.
OR 23b. Cross the road, turn right and passing Aldi on your left, enter the Fox Valley Retail Park.
24. Continue through the shops until you exit the retail park onto Fox Valley Way. Turn right to the junction with Hunshelf Road.
25. Passing Samuel’s Kitchen on your right, go up Hunshelf Road. Pass the junction with Pea Royd Lane which is on your right.
26. Shortly beyond the junction, just after the totem pole which is on your right, you have a choice of routes: EITHER:
27a. Turn left down Bramall Lane. This is marked with a footpath sign. Go through the barrier and enter the works. Follow the road through the works. Where there are forks in the road take the upper road on each occasion. After the electricity transformers veer right onto the track. The track swings right. Pass through the concrete blocks and the gateway (27a) OR
27b. Take the right fork, passing onto the cycleway. This was constructed in Summer 2015. Follow the cycleway. After a mile, the alternative route joins from your left.
28. Follow the path until it opens out on to Underbank Lane.
26. Turn left down the hill. Cross Manchester Road and return to the starting point at the dam at Underbank reservoir.
A walk on Hunshelf Bank
• Length – 6.0 miles
• Grade – Some uneven ground, about 1 mile on roads through the works. Some steady ascents.
• Start - Old Manchester Road, by Underbank Dam, Stocksbridge.
• Grid Reference - SK 253 994
• Maps – OL1 Dark Peak, OS Explorer 278
• Parking - on Smithy Moor Lane / Unsliven Road, Stocksbridge.
• Public transport - 57 bus to Unsliven Road. The SL1 bus allows you to join the walk at (25)
• Refreshments – available in Fox Valley and the town centre.
• Public Toilets – coin operated unit opposite Stocksbridge Town Hall.
• This walk is described in detail on Bradfield Walkers are Welcome for more interesting walks visit http://www.stocksbridge-walkers.org.uk/walks_around_Stocksbridge.html website.