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This is a delightful scenic walk, in a peaceful corner of North West Derbyshire between Chapel-en-le-Frith and Whaley Bridge.


The walk starts from the Combs Reservoir car park and follows the banks of the reservoir, before going through a series of fields and along a country lane to the charming little village of Combs.


Herbert Frood was born at Combs and during his time as a boot salesman, he noticed how carters tied old boots to the wooden brake blocks on their carts to provide a more effective and longer lasting braking system. After carrying out experiments of his own he took over a mill in Chapel-en-le-Frith around 1900 and started to manufacture brake shoes. Eventually a public company was formed under the name of Ferodo, which became the largest single unit manufacturing friction brake linings in the world.


After leaving Combs the walk climbs up the hillside near to Bankhall Farm, before descending slowly towards the railway line below. This section of the route provides fine views over Combs Reservoir towards Manchester and in the other direction, the cliffs of Combs Edge.


The final part of the walk crosses Chapel-en-le-Frith Golf Course, before returning to the starting point along the reservoir embankment.






Length:   3.5 miles.


Start/finish:   Combs Reservoir Car Park. The car park is about a quarter of a mile along the narrow road below the dam.  Please do not use Combs Sailing Club car park as you may be locked in.

Location:   Off the B5470 Manchester road, one mile from the centre of Chapel-en-le-Frith. Watch out for the partly hidden sharp left turn for the reservoir, just before the sign for Tunstead Milton.


 Terrain:    One short steep climb after leaving Combs, but mainly easy walking unless wet and muddy.





1.      Leave Combs Reservoir Car Park and walk along the western bank of the reservoir.


2.      Shortly after passing the end of the reservoir, the path continues close to the field boundary on the right, through two small fields.


3.      In the third field, a footbridge on the right is crossed, and in the next field aim diagonally left to a stile in the far corner.


4.      Turn left under a railway bridge and cross a narrow field to a lane, turn left down the lane and follow it round to Combs.


5.      Walk through the village past the Beehive Inn on the left, and continue straight on, where the roads fork keep to the left signed for ‘Dove Holes.’


6.      Take the second footpath sign on the left, just after passing Millway Cottage. The sign is set back from the road in an open space and reads ‘Chapel-en-le-Frith Station.’


7.       After walking up an enclosed track for about 100 yards, continue ahead with a field wall on your right up a steeply rising field.


8.      Go through a gap in the wall in the top right hand corner of the field and carry straight on up the next field through another gap, in the centre of the wall at the top of the field.


9.      Cross the next field to go over a wall stile.  Then follow an obvious path along a steeply sloping field, keeping close to the boundary on the right.


10.     After a short while, the path starts to descend gently, and the railway line below gets closer.


11.    On reaching the far corner of this very long field, go over a stile and walk down a rough track that soon bends sharply to the left and leads you past Down Lee Farm.


12.    One hundred yards after passing the farm take the stile on the left and cross a very short field and then continue with the field boundary on the right heading towards Marsh Farm.


13.    Go through the farmyard along the access road and in 50 yards, turn left and go over two stiles in quick succession before following the hedge on the right across a field to reach a golf course.


14.    Continue straight ahead across the first part of the course to a route marker. From this point, angle to the right towards another marker about 120 yards away, from where you will find a stile in the fence on the right into a meadow.


15.    Cross the meadow, keeping close to the field boundary on the right and on reaching the main road (B5470) at the end of the field, turn left along the footpath.


16.    After a short distance, you will arrive at the left hand turn to Combs Reservoir Car Park, where you can walk along the dam bank back to the starting point. 



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The Torrs Millennium Walkway and Heritage Centre a much admired bridge set deep in the spectacular Torrs Riverside Park and gorge.  The walkway forms the final link in the Midshires Way long distance footpath. At the same time, visit the Heritage Centre, where the ‘New Mills Story’ is told. Open all year Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays 11-4pm (Tel 01663 746904).


Lyme Park (Tel 01663 762023) is a National Trust property comprising a magnificent mansion and a 1,400-acre park and formal gardens. The park contains a herd of deer. Ducks and wildfowl can be seen on the lakes and ponds in the park. In the house is a varied collection of historic furniture, textiles and tapestries. Please telephone for opening details or visit website.


Chestnut Centre (Tel 01298 814099) near Chapel-en-le-Frith, houses Europe’s largest collection of multi-specied owls and otters. Situated in 50 acres of wooded parkland. Wildlife Gift Shop and Tea Room. Please telephone for opening details or visit website.





The Beehive (Tel 01298 812758) is a large traditional pub in the centre of the tiny village of Combs on the outskirts of Chapel-en-le-Frith. A comprehensive menu is available and there is seating outside. Food is served at lunchtime and in the evenings all year. Meals are available all day on Sundays.


Stocks Café & Bistro (Tel 01298 814906) is an attractive beamed café with a particularly striking mural depicting market day in the town, in 1897. There is a good range of hot and cold meals available including home baked cakes;  the café is open- Winter: Monday to Friday from 8.30am-4pm. Saturday 8.30am-10pm. Click here for more information. 





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The small town of Chapel-en-le-Frith is situated on a high ridge surrounded by hills, six miles to the north of Buxton, close to the border with Cheshire.


The main road through the town does not inspire the traveller, even less when there is a traffic jam to endure, but for those who turn off by the King’s Arms at the top of the town, they will be delighted.


The eye-catching cobbled Market Place rises up from the main street, standing 776 feet above sea level, with a market cross, stocks and a number of colourful old inns setting the scene.   


Chapel-en-le-Frith Feature


Chestnut Centre

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