Stuff I've written. All my opinions are my own, not those of any current or former employers.
One of several birding walks I submitted to Bird Watching Magazine.
A National Trust Estate that isn’t just for the springtime…
The Longshaw Estate is probably most famous to birders for the adjoining Padley Gorge
(Go Birding, April 2002), which is one of the best places in the area to see some of the
scarcer broadleaf woodland birds, such as Pied Flycatcher and Redstart. However during
winter there is still much to see.
If nothing else the feeders by the Visitors’ Centre are well worth a look, as they will
give you brilliant views of Siskin and Lesser Redpoll, and during the winter scarcer
visitors such as Brambling and Mealy Redpoll have been known to occur. Nuthatch and
Treecreeper, along with the usual tits and finches, will also reward patient observers. Be
aware everything may flush when people walk the path to the café, but it shouldn’t be
long before they reappear!
Elsewhere on the estate Green Woodpecker and occasional Crossbill are possible,
and you should always listen out for the cronking of Ravens above. On the moorland
Stonechats can be found, and recent rarities have included Great Grey Shrike. In the
summer the area becomes even more alive, with Cuckoo, Whinchat and Tree Pipit all
Archaeologists will also find much to interest them here, with the Estate’s historical
artifacts including millstone quarries, packhorse routes, mediaeval ruins and stone circles.
And of course the views along the moorland are breathtaking – well worth the trip on
Top tip – Go early – or when the café’s shut – to ensure the birds on the feeders aren’t
flushed too often.
Difficulty – Medium
How to get there: For the main car park, travelling from Sheffield, follow the A6187 for
approx 7.5 miles, continuing down Hathersage Road on the A6187 and following the
signs. The Woodcroft car park is off the B6055, 200 yards south of trhe junction with the
Where to park: There are pay and display car parks at Haywood (SK256778), Wooden
Pole (SK267790) and Woodcroft (SK267802)
Distance and time: Allow a few hours for a proper explore, although shorter visits can be
Terrain: Generally good paths, although they are variable and there are some steep
slopes. There is a map of accessible footpaths available.
Accessibility: Estate open all year; Visitors’ Centre only open at weekends between
November and March.
Facilities: Visitors’ Centre with café and toilets.
Public transport: No. 272 (Sheffield-Castleton), No. 214 (Sheffield-Matlock) and No. 65
(Sheffield-Buxton) all stop nearby. It is roughly a mile’s walk from Grindleford Station
to the Visitors’ Centre, with regular trains from Sheffield and Manchester.
Sites nearby: Padley Gorge, Burbage Valley, Stanage Edge
County Recorder: Rod Key firstname.lastname@example.org
Grid Ref: SK266800
Postcode: S11 7TZ
Maps: OS Landranger 110, OS Explore OL1