The Goyt Valley’s meandering wooded vale is threaded by three railways, a canal and a turnpike – today’s busy A6. Undoubtedly the best way to reach this alluring boundary of the Peak District is by local train. This offers a terrific choice of linear walks by which to explore the area’s engaging legacy and fine countryside without suffering the trauma of the congested A6. This one links Whaley Bridge, Buxworth (also known Bugsworth) and New Mills.
Whaley Bridge boomed 180 years ago as a transport hub at the northwest end of the remarkable Cromford and High Peak Railway. This innovative combination of canals, inclines and railways linked the Wye and Goyt Valleys across the limestone plateau of the White Peak.
The town’s canal wharf was where limestone was transferred from wagons to canal boats for onward transport to Manchester.
1 Old railway
At Whaley Bridge wharf, join the old railway (Tom Brad’s Croft) and follow it over the River Goyt and up the grassy incline, (signed ‘no motor cycling’). 100m past the bench, go left on the fenced path through woods to a lane. Turn left, presently crossing the dual carriageway bridge to find the Navigation Inn at Bugsworth Basin.
The complex here is a unique surviving tramway and canal interchange of the 1790s. The basin became disused in 1927 as a result of the dominance of the railways. Recently restored and fully interpreted, it is a fascinating place to explore what was for many years Britain’s largest inland port, 50 miles from a sea-lane.
2 Waterside route
Join the towpath, with the water on your left. At the junction with the main Peak Forest Canal turn right and remain with this for 1½ miles, lapping up the fine views of the gritstone hills and ridges. Just before bridge 29, turn sharply back-right on the Goyt Way, dropping to cross the Goyt before continuing past the farmhouse to a track.
3 Station bound
About 250m beyond the viaduct, fork left on a riverside path, shortly entering The Torrs gorge amid mill ruins. Join the path signed for Newtown Station, passing under one of many bridges here. Use the Millenium Walkway, suspended above the Goyt opposite old textile mills (the Heritage Centre is up steps to the right). Cross the footbridge and follow the path past the derelict mill. Continue down Wirksmoor road and at the main road, turn right. Newtown Station is 250m beyond the canal bridge.
How to get there
Whaley Bridge station is on the Manchester Piccadilly to Buxton line. New Mills has two stations: Newtown is on the Buxton service, while Central is on the line between Sheffield and Manchester Piccadilly. Return from New Mills Newtown station. Free parking at Canal Street car park in Whaley Bridge.
Find out more
Rock Mill Lane, New Mills SK22 3BN
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