The Manifold Valley from Wetton

A Wetton walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 20/09/16

This Peak District walk explores The Manifold Valley in Staffordshire. The mostly high-level route is full of interest including Thor's Cave and Throwley Old Hall with magnificent views throughout.

Technical sheet
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h15[?]
Distance Distance : 12.05km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 323m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 323m
Highest point Highest point : 314m
Lowest point Lowest point : 148m
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Wetton
Starting point Starting point : N 53.09396° / W 1.83818°
Download :

Description

(D)Exit the car park in Wetton using the stone stile at the rear of the car park. There is no footpath sign but walk north across the field to a lane. Turn left along the lane and continue until you reach a track on your left (grid ref. SK106552) signed for Thor's Cave. You soon get a good view up the Manifold Valley. Continue to Thor's Cave taking the lower path where it divides. From Thor's cave the path descends steeply on steps into the Manifold valley. Cross the footbridge over the usually dry bed of the River Manifold and turn left. Continue along the old narrow gauge railway, crossing a tarmac lane at Weags Bridge.

(1)After the bridge take the right hand track and follow this for some 500 metres until you reach a stile in the fence on your left. Cross this and continue along the farm track passing a camp site with Beeston Tor on your left. At the farm bear right up a rising track. This leads gently uphill passing a derelict barn on your left to a gate with a nice cast-iron footpath sign. Go through the gate and go half left across the field walking uphill over grass towards the skyline. The route is not too obvious but you can usually see a feint path in the grass. Continue through the field boundary and descend to Throwley Hall Farm aiming towards the middle of the buildings where there is a gate. Continue through the farmyard and join the tarmac lane bearing left and downhill.

(2)You pass the remains of Throwley old Hall on your left. Continue down the lane with a superb view of the Manifold Valley ahead. Continue down to Rushley, where you go left across the narrow stone bridge over the River Manifold. Once across the bridge take the first footpath on your left and go through fields to join the access road to Castern Hall. You can either bear left along this road or take the short cut by following the footpath which cuts off the corners in the road. Walk past the main entrance to Castern all and follow the track to the right of the buildings. This leads you to a track which goes left and into a field.

(3)Follow the grassy track with a wall on your left. Enter another field and continue north to enter a large field which slopes away to the left. The clear path up this field leads to a stile. Ignore the stile instead walk along the wall (with the wall on your right) towards the valley. This leads to a continuing footpath (not shown on maps) that follows the rim of the valley northwards. Stay on this path for about a mile until you reach Larkstone Lane (grid ref. SK111544). Cross the lane and take the footpath opposite. This leads past a stone barn on your left into another field. Go half right across this field. Before you reach the stile in a cross wall, bear left towards the field corner where another stile leads you onto Carr Lane. Go right along the lane and the car park is a short distance ahead.(A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0 - Wetton
1 : km 3.31 - alt. km 3.31 - Weag's Bridge
2 : km 5.56 - alt. km 5.56 - Throwley Hall
3 : km 8.7 - alt. km 8.7 - Castern Hall
D/A : km 12.05 - alt. km 12.05 - Wetton

Useful Information

This is one of the great walks in the Staffordshire sector of the Peak District National Park, starting from the small car park in Wetton (grid ref. SK108553) where there are toilets. The route takes in Thor's Cave, the Manifold Trail, the limestone outcrop of Beeston Tor, Throwley Old Hall, and Castern Hall. The walk is notable for the excellent views throughout the route. Refreshments are sometimes available near Weags Bridge and there is a pub in Wetton.

Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments

Average

Global average : 4.71/5
Number of opinions : 8
Description quality : 4.75/5
Routemap quality : 4.5/5
Walk interest : 4.88/5


Walker
on Mon 05 Aug 2019 09:52:29 CEST

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 03/08/19
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Struggled to find the stone step as we were in the next part of the car park. Started by horse galloping at us the full length of the field and then Doberman dogs running and barking at us. I suggest people are warned about this as it really wasn’t very nice and tell them they can walk around the road to point where you leave the track to go to Thor’s cave.
It was a hot day and the was no opportunity to fill water bottles so take plenty of food and drink. Beyond Beeston tor the path is feint there was no cast iron sign. I think instead of head for the skyline it should say to left of the crop of trees. We also struggled with volume of cows with young in this field. There was a bull in the next field. We walked with confidence and got through the cows but they were interested.
The other area we misunderstood was the clear route on stile that you had to ignore. It would be better if it said you go to the stile but then ignore it.
The instructions were good apart from this.
Some of the stiles were high and were quite lacking in repair. You do need to be able to get over them and climb


Walker
on Mon 15 Jul 2019 19:10:33 CEST

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 15/07/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

Lovely walk,which my wife and I enjoyed and are going to walk again. Followed the map and written instructions but found the route description difficult where it described ( not to go through stile but to walk alongside the stone wall confusing) .Perhaps it was us and not the instructions,so we are going to walk it again as it is a lovely walk in a lovely part of Staffordshire.


Walker
on Mon 08 Jul 2019 21:41:33 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 07/07/19
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Excellent route, was just the right level of challenge for me and my 12 year-old daughter. We really enjoyed the route. Was sometimes a bit tricky to find the correct path, but I had also copied the GPX onto Google Maps, so with that our couple of small diversions were quickly identified and corrected.

All in all, an excellent day out, great scenery and everything just as would be expected from the description.


Walker
on Mon 15 Apr 2019 11:17:04 CEST

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 15/04/19
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

Nice walk and Thor's cave with its steep steps down being an early but interesting feature. The route after the farm at Beeston Tor campsite might cause confusion. The way markers continue up past the ruined barn on a fairly straight track. Continue on the track, passing through the next field entrance gate with a nice cast iron footpath sign to the right of the gate. Continue on the track to the next field boundary gate. Don't go through the gate, one can then see a footpath sign off to one's left. This leads down to Throwley Hall farm. A somewhat different approach to the farm than taking the half-left and walking up to the skyline. At the top one again joins a farm track by the field boundary gate. From here, the footpath crosses the field diagonally and the exit gate and footpath sign is to the RHS of the farm, next to the roadway which then leads past the Hall ruins.


Walker
on Thu 07 Mar 2019 20:15:06 CET

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 27/02/19
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

Enjoyed this walk. The written route directions were excellent and I would have struggled if relying just on map. Plenty of variety on walk and really enjoyed the footpath at top the valley returning to Wetton which gave lovely views of the Manifold valley.


Walker
on Wed 10 Oct 2018 00:10:54 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 26/09/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

A first class route with good variety. Path from Castern Hall to where it crosses the Weag's Bridge is superb.

The path leaving the lane on the bend about 0.5K south of Throwley Hall. traverses the hillside and rejoins the route at Rushley if you prefere to walk on Grass.

To make the walk a little longer, we started from the car park at Ilam Hall, Taking the path Northward along the river Manifold to join the route just before Castern Hall, and on the return. crossing the lane at Rushley and crossing fields heading South East, to the footbridge over the Manifold and back to the car park. This made a walk of about 9 miles (14.5K)

Our ulterior motive was to get a lunch time pint at Wetton, however the Pub was closed. All to common these days.


Walker
on Mon 03 Sep 2018 15:28:34 CEST

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 03/09/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

Excellant walk, did it with the wife and dog on Bank Holiday Monday. Loved it, although went a bit astray at the end but that was probably down to my not following instructions properly.


Walker
on Mon 26 Feb 2018 18:36:20 CET

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 25/02/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Enjoyed our first walk in the Peak District. Some of the views were breath taking.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.