Country Walk - Totley Tunnel Top to Longshaw

This circular walk mostly on clear paths starts on the very outskirts of Sheffield. Heading out across Totley Moor, beneath which trains rumble through the Totley Tunnel deep below on the Hope Valley line running from Sheffield towards Manchester, the route heads out to the Longshaw Country Park and the visitor centre there, before heading back across Totley Moor and dropping down behind Blacka Hill, back to the start.

The Totley Rail Tunnel beneath your feet on this walk was constructed over five years, the work beginning in 1888 and the tunnel opening in 1893. The work boring this tunnel was demanding and hard, and living conditions for the labourers were poor, often with up to thirty workers sharing a house. Work continued around the clock, with one man leaving a bed as another took his place. Outbreaks of disease were rife, with scarlet fever, typhoid and smallpox common diseases.

The tunnel heading underneath land owned by the Duke of Rutland added an extra challenge as it was demanded that only one single air shaft be constructed upon his land, and that work must cease for the grouse shooting season



Length: 7.1 Miles.  Terrain - varied, wet and muddy in places

A route can be followed on the OS Maps app or website at



The walk begins at Lane Head Road, off the A621 Baslow Road which can be reached by bus, or by parking considerately near the Cross Scythes pub close to the Lane Head Road junction.

Head West, down Lane Head Road, ignoring a public footpath heading off to the left, instead following the road until a fork, and taking the left fork along the quiet Moss Road, climbing gently until the road turns to the right, ant which point a public footpath marker continues in your direction of travel, over a stile.  Keep heading generally west, past an air shaft and climbing steeply through 2 fields and (as of May 2021 - over a broken stile which may pose a challenge to those with short legs, large dogs etc) - you can see the path snaking up through the heather up the side of Wimble Holme Hill itself.

A short sharp climb up the hill gets most of the steep ascent on this walk over and done with at this point near the start, and you emerge at the top of the climb on a clear track popular with Mountain Bikers, and offering grand views back over Sheffield and the surrounding area.

Looking back over Sheffield from Wimble Holme Hill


At this point you are almost directly above the Totley Tunnel which runs below, carrying rail to and from Sheffield on the Hope Valley line, a line popular with walkers heading out to nearby Grindleford, or Edale farther out - and business or commuting travellers to and from Manchester.

As you contine West, a large dark, square air shaft comes into view and our walk continues westward passing left of this main air shaft, atop a large mound - the shaft made in a natural cavern which was discovered and utilised during boring of the tunnel.

Totley Tunnel Air Shaft


The Totley Moor at this point can get quite boggy and muddy, especially after periods of prolonged or heavy rainfall so good water resistant footwear is essential, ankle gaiters can be useful here in the early Spring or late Autumn or Winter.

The clear path continues until it emerges at a gate at the junction of the A6187 and Stony Ridge Road.  Cross with care at this point as the junction is used by fast moving traffic - the Stony Ridge Road is locally known as "Flying Mile" so be extra careful especially from traffic turning onto it around the wide bend which may be entering the road at speed.

The path continues across the junction through a small gate. Keep walking straight ahead and son after the gate, drop steeply to a wide clear path below, and head left (South), keeping on this path past a car park on your right and crossing the entrance road to the car park.

Looking towards Carl Wark from the path into the Longshaw Estate


Just before the path re-joins the main road with a white gate opposite on the far side, turn slightly right and drop down into the Longhshaw estate, and stay on this path as it eventually turns sharp right. Follow the path right, now heading North-West, cross a very clear path crossroads, then at the next path junction take a right. There are two right turns here, one very clear track and one that is less clearm turning sharper right. It is the latter of these two that you should take, heading up across grass to energe at a hand gate by the Longshaw lake.

Duck at LongshawThe lake at Longshaw


At the lake, head right, and follow the clear path which emnerges at a path juntion - go left here through another gate to reach the Longshaw Lodge visitor centre where information and toilets are available.

Past the lodge, keep straight ahead and floow the signs for the Fox House Bus Stop - the path climbs to emerge at a road junction with the Fox House pub on the left.  Keep straight ahead, heading North-East, with the pub and then the pub car park and bus shelter on your left, along the side of the busy A6187. THe right hand side is often easier to walk along as there are usually many cars parked on the left - after a short distance a narrow path exists at the side of the road.  Follow this main road a short distance to a Bridleway sign on your right. Turn right among the bridleway and through a gate.

Fox House Inn - Photo Credit It's No Game - Flickr


Stay on the clear path as it swings right, then left to reach a gate at the Stony Ridge Road.  Cross with care to another gate opposite and continue along this path as it contours around the hill then descends south to a path junction, with the large air shaft passed earlier visible to your right.  Take the left path heading East and continue along this route that continues downhill and into woodland, with a stone bridge passing over a brook.

The path finally emerges at a car park at the end of a minor road.  Head along the tarmac road as it curves right then left, dropping down to join the Lane Head Road, with the Cricket Inn visible ahead.  Take a right at the road junction to return to the start.