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Wetton Hill 371m,
4155, 17km
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Peter Walker: Track 4155 in area near Lancashire, Cheshire & the Southern Pennines (Britain)
Thor's Cave and the Manifold Valley
Length: 17.5km, Creator time taken: 3h28m, Ascent: 445m,
Descent: 444m

Places: Start at SK10917 55170, end at Start
Logged as completed by 1

Far fewer folk visiting the Peak District know about the Manifold Valley than Dovedale, which is both a shame (because scenically there's little to choose between them) and a blessing (because scenically there's little to choose between them and one's a lot busier than the other). So it was that my one day off during a week of lounging by / swimming in the pool during our holidays was spent having a dander to, along, and out if it.

I started from the village of Wetton, taking a path down to the Manifold's most renowned scenic highlight: Thor's Cave. This majestic cavern is set high in the cliffs overlooking the valley, relatively easily accessed by a path and a final easy scramble. As this is waterwashed limestone it can be really slippery when wet, but it wasn't Bon Jovi who came here for an album was The Verve (who were just Verve back then), whose 'A Storm in Heaven' LP has the classic shot looking out of the cave on the front.

Suitably impressed I dropped down to the valley floor by a steep path and picked up the old railway line that's now followed by the Manifold Way. This is followed kind-of southwards past Weags Bridge, then another path leads under the startling cliff of Beeston Tor before climbing steadily onto the moors.

At the top of this climb I went wrong (see which is the route I was trying to follow), missing a little kink back east, so I ended up having to follow a road down to Throwley Hall farm rather than hitting it directly. Continuing along the road to Rushley I crossed the river and picked up the field path to Ilam Hall, a lovely rustic residence with what looked like an excellent tea room (I didn't partake).

Heading for home now, I walked through the grounds to Ilam village itself, then took the road along the east side of the valley. This I left to take an obvious track up round the back of Castern Hall manor house. Once above the hall I hung left to pick up a less obvious path that allowed for a glorious view over the Manifold looking north. After a final look I cut back right (east) to pick up a minor road that led back to the start in around 2km.

An excellent ramble.

Uploaded on: Wed, 10 Jul 2019 (14:09:16)
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NOTE: ALL information such as Ascent, Length and Creator time taken etc should be regarded as approximate. The creator's comments are opinions and may not be accurate or still correct.
Your time to complete will depend on your speed plus break time and your mode of transport. For walkers: Naismith's rule, an approximate though often inaccurate estimate, suggests a time of 4h 14m + time stopped for breaks
NOTE: It is up to you to ensure that your route is appropriate for you and your party to follow bearing in mind all factors such as safety, weather conditions, experience and access permission.

* Note: A GPS Height in the elevation profile is sourced from the device that recorded the track. An "SRTM" height is derived from a model of elevations for parts of the earth. More detail

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Some mapping:
Open Street Map
(Various variations used.)
British summit data courtesy:
Database of British & Irish Hills
(Creative Commons Licence), a Hill-walking Website for the island of Ireland. 1100+ Visitors per day, 2100 Summiteers, 1300 Contributors.