Dambusters Autumn Challenge

3. Dambusters Autumn Challenge

Saturday 11 November, 2023.     


A guided challenge walk on Derwent Edge and the hills high above the beautiful Ladybower and Derwent Reservoirs and Dams.  This shorter 14 mile challenge walk makes the most of the autumn daylight offering an earlier finish than our longer summer challenges. 


Our walk leaves from Fairholmes Car Park by the Derwent Dam. It was made famous when the RAF’s 617 Squadron flew practice sorties here with their ‘bouncing bombs’, in preparation their epic 1943 raid on the dams of the German Ruhr. A wooded path along Derwent Reservoir takes us to Abbey Brook, a fine, winding clough that leads us up to the summits of Back Tor and the Lost Lad, both fine view points.  Progress along Derwent Edge is a delight with easy paths and lots of 'rock landmarks', including The Cakes of Bread and Salt Cellar! After Whinstone Lee Tor we descend to Ladybower Reservoir and cross to the other side of the valley to ascend the lovely Crook Hill before walking over high pastures to Lockerbrook Farm and descending through woodland back to Fairholmes. 


This is a majestic walk in autumn-winter light; there are far reaching views of the surrounding reservoirs of Derwent, Howden and Ladybower, and the Bleaklow and Kinder Scout plateaus. 


Please Note:  The walk is approximately 14 miles/23km in length with 850 metres of ascent.  Participants must be fit and able to complete a full day out on the hills and be comfortable walking all day with small breaks. Please be aware that the terrain is steep and hilly and may be boggy in places.  Length and ascent may vary slightly dependent upon best route for the group, and the autumn weather. 


The cost is £40.00 per person.  Please book and pay below.  

Saturday 11 November, 2023.


  • Places available

Meeting Place and Time

We meet at 9 am to be ready to set off at 9.15 am.  The meeting place is in front of the toilets and Visitor Centre at the Fairholmes car park at the northern end of Ladybower Reservoir.  The nearest posts code is S33 0AQ, but that covers a wide area, so a sat nav might not take you to the correct place. 


Off the A57 if you are heading towards Glossop, turn right up the road that heads north up the west side of Ladybower Reservoir.  It is signposted to ‘Upper Derwent Valley’, or ‘Derwent Dams’. Drive up the road for just over 2 miles with the reservoir on your right, then look out for the turn on the right that leads into the main Fairholmes car park.  The car park is a pay & display and costs £5 per day.  The ticket machine only takes coins.


More information and a map of the Fairholmes Visitor Centre is available here. 


Please be aware that there are no mobile phone signals in this part of the Derwent Valley.


Further Information

What to wear and bring with you on guided walks
PWA General Information - Open and Chall
Adobe Acrobat Document 150.5 KB


If you would like to stay locally the night before or after this walk, please visit our Accommodation Page