This circular walk takes you from the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) at Dunford Bridge, past Winscar Reservoir (pictured) and into the woods at Hades. You then will return via Snailsden Moor. Included are extensive views over both South and West Yorkshire, and a number of steep ascents/descents.
The car park was once on the Woodhead railway route (Sheffield to Manchester) that closed in 1981. It is now part of the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT), a route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders linking the North and Irish seas, which passes through the Pennines, alongside rivers and canals and through historic towns and cities in the North of England.
1. Leave the car park. Cross the road and follow the road opposite (Don View). After 100 m, take the lane on your right. After a further 100 m, take the path on your left ascending the bank.
2. After passing through a wooden gate, turn right onto Winscar Reservoir wall. Winscar suffered from leakage for many years. Yorkshire Water drained the reservoir in 2001 and using £400,000 worth of specialist grouting and artificial membrane corrected the problem.
During the repairs, old pipework systems from the Dunford dam, which was built in 1850 and submerged by the Winscar dam when it was built downstream in 1975, were used to divert water around Winscar.
3. Turning right, follow the path anti-clockwise round the reservoir. Continue following the access road, passing the car park, until the path meets the main road.
4. Turn left and follow the road past Harden Reservoir. Turn left opposite Harden Lodge onto a signed bridleway.
5. Follow the path and, after 200 m, at the T-junction, turn left. After 250 m, turn right towards the woods. You skirt old quarry workings and emerge onto Linshaws Road. Turn left, then right onto the marked track, into the woods.
6. After 500m, this track takes you past the ruins of Hades. As you pass the ruins, on your right, you will see ‘Hades’ spelt out in the dry stone wall. Hades was the Greek God of the underworld. The name of this, now ruined, village is not pronounced in the two syllable biblical manner. You say the word with one syllable and a silent “e”, as in the nearby Hade Edge.
7. The road then descends and takes a sharp righthand hairpin over a stream. The road and walls were extensively renovated in 2016. After a further 350m, at the crossroads, turn right onto the Kirklees Way. After 150m, follow the marked path down to your right. On your right, you will pass the Three Arches, a 1993 installation by Lynne Regan. This was funded by Kirklees Metropolitan Council and Public Arts.
8. Keep descending through the woods. When you reach Holme Styes reservoir, follow the path, right, along the shoreline. Continue, passing through a gate. When you reach the road (Cote Lane), turn left.
9. After 100m, turn left onto the marked path. About half-way down, take the right turn and descend down the steps. At the bottom of the hill, cross the metal bridge.
10. Keeping the stream (Fox Clough) on your left, follow the path as it rises. Do not take the well-trodden right fork. At the top of the hill, bear right at the ruined buildings. After 150m, at the next building, turn left onto Weather Hill Lane.
11. At the end of the lane, turn left onto Cartworth Moor Road, passing Moorfield ‘Mistake’ Farm on your right. When you reach the cross roads, turn left onto Linshaws Road, keeping the woods on your left.
12. After 1km, as the road begins to level out, take the sharp right turn through a small wooden gate (adjacent to a metal gate) onto a well-marked track towards Cook’s Study Hill. To your right is Holmfirth and Huddersfield. Holme Moss TV mast is ahead of you, in the distance.
13. After about 200m, take the left fork. After another 100m, take the path to your left, descending.
On your left, you will pass Snailsden Reservoir, the highest of a feeder group of reservoirs which supplies NW Sheffield.
14. Without crossing the stream, follow the path to the right as is slowly ascends. You will pass a ‘DHWWB’ marker stone on your right.
15. When you reach a shooting butt (marked no.8), turn left and cross the wooden planked bridge.
16. The path ascends the hill steeply. It is difficult to make out. However, 10m after a grouse butt, the path becomes more defined. Turn right along the ridge of the hill. To your left is a trig point (475m).
17. The path slowly bends to the left (Snailsden Pike End) revealing extensive views to the South, including; Winscar Reservoir and the A616, Woodhead Pass.
18. Follow the path as it curves round the hill, following Snailsden Edge. As the path leaves the edge, it bends to the right, descending.
After passing through an old gateway, you descend steeply towards buildings and the Western end of Winscar Reservoir.
This is the point where the River Don joins the reservoir system.
19. When you reach the gate marked, ‘Private No Access,’ bear left parallel to the metal fence. Cross the wall either by the stone stile or through a gap in the fence or wall and descend to the road.
20. Continue along the road (Wetstone Edge). You will pass Harden reservoir on your left just before reaching the road. Turn right back onto your original route.
21. Take the right turn towards Winscar reservoir. At the end of the car park, take the marked footpath off to your left. This slowly curves away from the Winscar Reservoir offering views to your right towards Dunford Bridge and Upper Windledon Reservoir.
22. Follow path to the road, then turn right and drop down to your starting point at Dunford Bridge.
This walk is described, in detail, on the website of Stocksbridge Walkers are Welcome: Stocksbridge - Walkers welcome
Hades from Dunford Bridge
• Length – 8.5 or 7.5 miles
• Grade – Mostly well-defined paths, stiles and steady ascents. There is a short stretch across open moorland
• Start –TPT car park at Dunford Bridge. Alternatively, you could start from the car park at the top of Winscar reservoir, missing the loop at the south end of Winscar reservoir
• Grid Reference – SE158 024
• Maps – OL1 Dark Peak, OS Explorer 288
• Parking – TPT car park at Dunford Bridge or car park at Winscar reservoir
• Public transport – 92/92A Barnsley/Holmfirth bus route stops at the TPT car park
• Refreshments – none on this route
Please note: on older maps, there is a ‘PH’ at Dunford Bridge: the ‘Stanhope Arms’ closed some years ago
• Public Toilets – none on the route