5 miles – allow 2½ hours.
A moderate walk with pleasant streamside walking, some fairly gentle ascents, occasional muddy or rough terrain and numerous stiles.
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Walk courtesy of New Mills Walkers are Welcome - nmwaw.org.uk
This walk begins from the free car park in Rowarth at OS grid reference SK011892, nearest postcode SK22 1EF. From the centre of New Mills follow Market Street past the Town Hall, then turn left into Mellor Road. Follow this road out of town and past the Pack Horse Inn to a five-way junction, where you turn right (signposted Rowarth and Chisworth). After ¾ mile, just after a left turn, take the first turning on the right, a no-through road. Take the next left turn and the car park is on the right.
From the car park entrance, turn right and walk into Rowarth village.
At the end of the green, turn right.
Just before you reach a disused phone box, turn left onto a footpath. Follow the footpath down to and along the stream
When you reach a farm track, cross and continue along the left-hand bank of the stream beyond. At a footbridge keep straight on, until you reach a stony track.
Turn right to a ford (with a footbridge to the left). Follow the track beyond until it meets the road.
Follow the road ahead, past Kings Clough Head Farm, ignoring a footpath sign on the right.
Turn right onto a track followed by the Pennine Bridleway. Follow the track round a right-hand bend until you reach Matley Moor Farm, then continue along the bridleway past Bullshaw Farm.
At a meeting of six paths, go through a gate on your right and then head diagonally across the field, aiming just left of the highest ground (signposted “PENNINE BRIDLEWAY Hayfield 2½”).
In the far corner of the field, go through the gateway and follow the walled track beyond.
Take a path uphill through the heather on your right and follow it to the topograph at the summit of Lantern Pike. Beyond the topograph, follow the ridge as it descends to a wall.
Turn sharp left and follow a stony path downhill alongside the wall to return to the Pennine Bridleway.
Turn right and follow the track, which shortly joins a metalled driveway and leads steeply downhill to Sitch Lane.
Turn right and follow the road to its summit, at the entrance to Wethercotes Farm on your right. Keep along the road as it heads downhill.
Pass a footpath sign on your right, then turn right into the drive to Bank Head Farm. Walk through the farmyard, then go through a field gate on your right. Turn immediately left and follow the wall.
At an isolated farmhouse, cross a stile on your left and pass in front of the house. Aim half-right across the next field towards the cottages at the far side. At the metalled driveway by the cottages, turn left and walk past Aspenshaw Hall.
Shortly before you reach the road, take a footpath on the right up a short flight of steps. Cross the stile and follow the footpath beyond, along a wall at the bottom of a wooded bank. Beyond the wood, continue along the sunken wall to Thornsett Fields Farm. Walk through the farmyard, which may be muddy. Beyond the farm, follow a footpath straight ahead across fields until you reach a road.
Turn left and walk down the lane to the Little Mill. Just beyond the pub car park, follow a concrete driveway on the right. Pass a farmhouse on your left, then follow the rocky path beyond that ascends to emerge alongside a house at the village green in Rowarth.
Rejoin the road, turn left and retrace your steps to the car park.
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