Peak & Northern Footpaths Society (est.1894)

Disley to Dove Holes a walk of 12 miles

Ken Brockway, Member

I dropped off the TransPeak bus for Manchester in June 2018 at the Rams Head in Disley. This report has some historical significance because the TransPeak no longer extends north of Buxton making this walk difficult for Derby based members. The profile of this walk is like the teeth of a saw blade so it starts up the hill passing Disley church.

Ram's Head

Once into open county the Cage in Lyme Park came into view. The paths of Cheshire East are of a very high standard. If only Derbyshire could come close.

Kissing gate

The walk beside Bollinghurst Reservoir was pleasant pasture with sheep grazing and views towards Lyme Park and colourful rhododendron.


Marked on the map is a Hotel but the sign says High Peak school. What a great setting for guests or pupils. Soon after crossing Mudhurst Lane Peak and Northern Footpaths Society signpost 182 marks the end of the first climb and it's down again. PNFS signs came thick and fast on this walk 10 spotted.


An old mill lays silent on the approach to Kettleshulme, frozen in time, it once used the fast flowing Todd Brook the water of which is later captured by the reservoir at Whaley Bridge.


I made a detour around Kettleshulme perhaps to check out the Inn but no mention in the original report so I must have passed it by. Leaving Cheshire at the foot of Taxal Edge, the map shows a direct route across the access land over the top but for a reason I detoured south perhaps I wanted to walk along part of the edge.

Taxal Edge

Through Taxal village where the churchyard is massive and the settlement very small, the track passes through a ford but a footbridge keeps my feet dry. Next is Shallcross. A small development of housing appears out of place in open countryside until I discover this was the site of Shallcross Hall demolished in the 1960s. An interpretation board at the old tramway cross explains all.

Old Tramway now a cycle track

I avoid the summit of Ladder Hill and still get views over Combs Reservoir another feeder for the canal. In Combs village I treat myself to a pint at The Beehive Inn.

Combs Reservoir

The walk is now almost over and I’m flagging so a temping climb to Combs Edge and the fort is given a miss as I try to avoid the ascent on footpaths around the hill. While walking along the road an early electric car creeps up silently behind me and patiently waits until I move to one side of the narrow road. Air shafts of the long Dove Holes rail tunnel offers a marker for journeys end.

Tunnel vent and pylon

Just time before catching the bus home to look at the Bull Ring at Dove Holes, a henge built in the late Neolithic period. Well worth a look but difficult to photograph.

Photographs are copyright Ken Brockway

Check out Ken's route here

Page title:Disley to Dove Holes a walk of 12 miles
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