Goyt Valley walk 22: Rainow to Lamaload

Walk distance: 9.5 miles | Date recorded: February 2020 | Start point: Rainow (SK10 5XE) | Downloads: Map pdf with key numbers | GPX file

Above: A ‘Relive’ version of the walk with photos taken in February 2020. Click to play and use the expand option to view in full-screen. Click here for more Goyt Valley ‘Relives’.

Walk description & directions

Recorded on a cold, early-February day, under skies that turned from clear blue to threatening grey, this 9.5 mile walk isn’t really in the Goyt Valley. But it is fairly close, and I’m running out of new walks within the valley. So I hope I’ll be excused for adding it here!

It’s the first walk that starts and ends beside a pub; the Robin Hood in Rainow (SK10 5XE). The landlord doesn’t usually mind if you use the pub car-park, providing you ask and then pop in for some refreshment before or after (or both!). But it’s usually easy to find on-street parking close by.

There is a bus service – No. 60 connecting Hayfield, New Mills, Rainow and Macclesfield – but I don’t think it runs very frequently. (There’s an app that lists times – NextBuses.mobi.) Also, the walk was very muddy in places when I walked it in February, so walking boots are highly recommended.

1: From the Robin Hood pub, follow the road up the slope to your left. There’s a short stretch without a pavement, but it’s easily avoided by taking the narrow lane to the left. A short distance further along the road, turn right along a farm track, following the footpath sign.

2: Follow this track for some distance until it bends to the right, and you should see a stile and footpath sign on your left, at the junction of two stone walls. Follow this path, keeping the wall on your left, towards some farm buildings in the distance.

3: Go through a metal gate and keep straight ahead through the farm yard, passing two further gates until you reach the road. Cross slightly to the left and climb a stone stile leading through a small garden.

4: Follow the footpath sign to Jenkin Chapel, but go slightly to the right of the direction it points, towards a short wooden post on the horizon. Just over the brow, go though a gate and follow the path which slopes down to your left, towards a farmhouse (this part of the walk can get very muddy).

5: Follow the permissive footpath sign to the left of the farmhouse, and go through the farmyard, exiting through a wooden gate on the left, and take the farm track up the slope to reach the road.

6: Turn left along the road for a short distance and then follow a footpath sign on the right over a stone stile down the slope, heading slightly right, towards a wooden stile in the distance. Cross the next field, and go over another stile which leads down the slope, into woodland.

7: Follow the track though the trees, down the slope to your right. Exit the trees and head down towards a small stile in the distance, slightly to the right. Through here and then down the slope towards some old farm buildings. Cross the footbridge and follow the footpath sign to the right, which leads across the valley. 

8: As the track nears the stream, look out for a gate and stile in the stone wall, just a short distance further. Go over the stile to cross the road, and follow the footpath sign directly opposite which leads left up the slope. (Or simply go left and then right along the farmhouse drive.)

9: Go to the right of the farmhouse and cross a stile leading along a wide farm track. Head up the slope for some distance until you come to another farmhouse.

10: Turn left through the farmyard gate, and then go though a small gate on the right as you exit. Go over a ladder stile on the right, keeping the wall on your right, and then cross another wooden stile leading over the moorland.

11: Keep in the same direction across the moorland, following the occasional footpath sign through a number of gates and gaps in the stone walls. Eventually you reach the ruins of Thursbitch Farm, which featured in Alan Garner’s novel, ‘Thursbitch’.

12: Go though a wooden stile to the right of the ruins, and then immediately right over another stile. Cross over the stream, and then another wooden stile, and follow the direction arrow straight ahead along the narrow path which takes you back along the opposite side of the valley.

13: As the path starts to rise, go over another small stile and head diagonally left up the slope. You soon come to a footpath sign beside a gap in the stone wall, near the top of the slope. Follow the direction of the sign down to some farm buildings in the distance.

14: Keep to the right of the barns and go across a couple of stiles, and then the narrow road. Follow the footpath sign behind and to the right of the next farm buildings, towards a ladder stile in the left hand corner of this field.

15: Head towards the trees in the far distance, crossing another ladder stile as you get close to them. Go diagonally right across this field and then over another stile, turning right along the obvious track, keeping the trees on your left.

16: Soon you will see Lamaload Reservoir in the distance. Turn right when you reach the narrow road.

17: Just a short distance along the road, follow a footpath sign on the left, through a small gate, and past a stone building (this is a good spot to stop for refreshments). Look out for another footpath sign just a bit further along which leads down towards a gate, and then up the slope alongside the reservoir, over a stile, and then around to the right.

18: Follow the footpath sign on the left, crossing the stone wall over the steps, or through the gate, and head down the slope.

19: At the foot of the slope, look out for a gate in the far left corner. You could shorten the walk at this point by following the sign on the right towards Rainow. This leads all the way back to the main road, turning right to reach the starting point. But to continue this walk, turn left up the slope.

20: As you exit the woodland, keep in the same direction, following the small footpath signs through a series of field stiles and gates until you reach a metal footpath sign on the right of the path. Head up the slope at this point, towards a short wooden post on the horizon, and keep in the same direction, passing to the right of the highest point, and through the next metal gate.

21: Follow the small footpath sign beside the gate diagonally left across the field until you reach another sign on a post beside a gap in the stone wall. Keep to the right of the wall and follow this path across a small footbridge and over the narrow road, and then cross the next field in the same direction for some distance, passing over a series of stiles. 

22: Keep following the path across the moorland, past the remains of an ancient piece of farm machinery, heading gently down the slope towards some buildings in the distance.

23: Follow the track as it widens and passes to the left of the buildings. Look out for a metal gate on the left at the top of a slope, just before you reach the modern house. Go though the gate, following the direction signs diagonally right across the fields and down the slope towards the road.

24: Cross over the narrow road, and continue in the same direction down the slope. Cross the stream and follow the path through a gate and around to the left. Follow this track for some distance across some open fields until you exit onto a narrow road.

25: Turn right along the road, past the houses, and follow it up the slope to the right. Go past the Gritstone Trail sign and follow the next footpath sign on the left, diagonally right to a ladder stile in the stone wall on the right. Cross here and turn left down the slope following the direction arrows all the way down to the road.

26: This is the road from the foot of Lamaload reservoir, to the right, to Rainow which you would come along if you’d taken the shortcut at 19. Cross the road by the cattle grid and follow the footpath sign to continue down the slope on the other side, keeping the stone wall on your right. 

27: Go through a small gate at the end of this path to reach the road, turn left and after a short distance, turn right through a narrow gap in the stone wall, heading in the same direction, left down the slope.

28: Cross a small footbridge over the stream and then a ladder stile just a short distance further. Head up the path, crossing a stone stile and another small gate, to reach a farm track. Turn right along the track, and then sharp left. Follow another series of footpath signs up the slope to your right, passing through a number of small gates.

29: Follow a footpath sign between two field gates, keeping the stone wall on your left, until you can cross a stile beside a renovated chapel. Turn left down the road to return to Rainow and the Robin Hood pub.