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Langsett Reservoir near Penistone, South Yorkshire
Langsett Reservoir near Penistone, South Yorkshire

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Route No. 351 - Wednesday 21 July 2010
Langsett Reservoir circuit - 5km
Penistone,
South Pennines . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL1 The Peak District Dark Peak area at 1:25000


Footpath leaving the Langsett Barn car park
Footpath leaving the Langsett Barn car park

There are toilets at the car park and a Peak District National Park centre at Langsett Barn. The Langsett Barn centre is on the National Park boundary which runs along the A616 and across the Langsett Reservoir dam. About 100m from the car park on the A616 is a pub (Waggon & Horses) and a cafe. From the car park there is an "easy access" (i.e. wheelchair friendly) route of about 3km, but we took the path down through the woods to the road across the dam.

At last, yorkshirewalks.org must be famous! I have been contacted by people at Yorkshire water who are keen to tell everyone about the free recreational facilities that they provide. I've done some reservoir walks already, but today I met two gentlemen from Yorkshire Water, Matt & Alastair, at the "Langsett Barn" public car park at Langsett Reservoir near Penistone. The car park is off the A616 about 7km west of Stocksbridge next to the village of Langsett at map ref. SE210004.

The dry spillway by the dam
The dry spillway by the dam

Looking up the reservoir from the road across the dam
Looking up Langsett Reservoir from the road across the dam

Start of the track off the road above the dam
Start of the track off the road above the dam

Permissive path through the woods
Permissive path through the woods

We followed the track along the edge of the woodland for about 250m to a pedestrian gate into the woods on our right-hand side. The gate is the start of a Yorkshire Water permissive path at map ref. SE215999.

We crossed the dam and continued along the road for about 150m beyond the dam to a track on the right hand side of the road at map ref. SE216000.

Start of the Yorkshire Water permissive path
Start of the Yorkshire Water permissive path

Permissive path through the woods
Permissive path through the woods

Looking across the reservoir from the permissive path through the woods
Looking across the reservoir from the permissive path through the woods

A foxglove in the woods
A foxglove in the woods

The reservoir is quite low after the dry spring and summer and the brook was flowing in a deep channel in the bed of the reservoir.

We followed the clear path down through the woods and around the reservoir to a track at map ref. SE209995. Here we overlooked an inlet to the reservoir called Thickwoods Brook.

The Thickwoods Brook inlet to the reservoir
The Thickwoods Brook inlet to the reservoir

Arriving at the ruins of North America farm
Arriving at the ruins of North America farm

Harebells by the path
Harebells by the path

There was a permissive path through this woodland along the edge of the reservoir but this has been closed for the time being and we continued on a public footpath on the track to the ruins of North America Farm. During the second world war this area was a tank firing range and occasionally spent munitions are still found on the moors. The ruins of the farm are about 150m beyond the edge of the woodland with good views over the moors and across the valley with just a glimpse of Langsett reservoir through the trees.

We followed the track across a bridge over the brook and up the hillside along the edge of the woodland. This block of woodland stretches for over a kilometer along the shore of the reservoir. It is a very dense conifer forest with hardly any light penetrating to the forest floor so there is nothing growing there, no woodland flowers at all. In partnership with the Forestry Commission, Yorkshire Water has a plan the clear fell this dense conifer forest and replant it with mixed woodland to produce a more open woodland with a far richer habitat.

Ruins of North America Farm with a glimpse of Langsett reservoir in the background
Ruins of North America Farm with a glimpse
of Langsett reservoir in the background

Track across the moor from North America Farm
Looking back along the track across the moor towards North America Farm

Track across the moor from North America Farm
Track across the moor from North America Farm

Path down to the Little Don River
Path down to the Little Don River

Bridge over the Little Don River
Bridge over the Little Don River

Apparently the river has two names. This is the main inlet to the reservoir and it's a very pretty spot. There is a path up the river side which can be used to make a loop through the woods to make the walk a little longer.

From North America Farm we continued along the track across the moors for another 500m to a junction in the track at map ref. SE198000. Here we turned right to follow the track down the hillside for about 600m to a bridge over the Little Don River or Porter River.

Redundant gateposts high on the moor
Redundant gateposts high on the moor

Path to the bridge over the Little Don River
Path to the bridge over the Little Don River

Weir on the Little Don River
Weir on the Little Don River

The Little Don River or Porter River at the inlet to the reservoir
The Little Don River or Porter River at the inlet to the reservoir

Bridge over the Little Don River
Bridge over the Little Don River

Foxgloves by the woodland path
Foxgloves by the woodland path

This path is a public right of way but Yorkshire water have improved it so that it provides a wide path with a fine grained surface which is smooth for pushchairs and wheelchairs. There are a few memorial seats along this path with lovely views across the reservoir to the moors.

We crossed the bridge and climbed up the other side of the valley for about 100m to map ref. SE198007. Here, on our right we met the easy access route which we followed for about 1.5km back to the car park.

The reservoir is low now after the dry spring & summer
The reservoir is low now after the dry spring & summer

"Easy access" route back to the car park
"Easy access" route back to the car park

Enjoying the view from a memorial seat by the path
Enjoying the view from a memorial seat by the path

Barrage balloon anchorage on the reservoir shore
Barrage balloon anchorage on the reservoir shore

It had been a very pleasant gentle walk of about 5km in the sunshine and it had taken us about 2 hours to complete. I left the gentlemen from Yorkshire Water at the car park to began the drive home. This walk is one of a series of reservoir walks from Yorkshire Water who are keen to raise public awareness of the free recreational facilities that they provide. I should declare an interest here that almost 20 years ago, before I retired, I used to work for Yorkshire Water as a civil engineer. I retired just as Yorkshire Water was privatised, so I never did work for the private water company.

A couple of hundred metres before we reached the car park there was a large concrete block cast into the reservoir shore. There were the remains of steel anchorage points cast into the top surface of the block and it seems that following the Dam Busters' raids in World War 2, barrage balloons and wires were attached to this block to prevent similar attacks on the Langsett Dam. We sat on one of the memorial seats to admire the view for a few moments before returning to the car park.

A patch of bird's foot trefoil by the path to the car park
A patch of bird's foot trefoil by the path to the car park