Digley Reservoir Circuit
Difficulty level: 1 (1 to 5 scale - 1 is easy)
Distance: 8.00 km Ascent: 150m
Estimated time: 2:15 hours
Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 map sheet(s): 110
The Outdoor Leisure Map 1 - Dark Peak 1:25000 scale
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Digley reservoir lies just north of Holme and nestles into the north-east flank of Black Hill, which looms above it. It's a local beauty spot with good views down towards Holmefirth and is a nice place for a short gentle walk on the sort of day when you don't fancy making the climb up onto Black Hill.
There is a car park at either end of the dam - start from the one at the north end, which has the added luxury of picnic tables. Turn right out of the car park, ignoring the footpath sign which leads down to the lake, and walk along the old cart track around the north side of the reservoir. At one place this has been submerged by the waters, but a footpath continues to link up with the track when it emerges further on.
Towards the end of the lake a branch leads down to cross between Digley and Bilberry reservoirs - this is the return route, so pass it by and take the right branch, which soon turns uphill to join another higher track. Turn left to continue eastwards across the hillside past a barn and then an isolated farm. About 200 metres further on there is a stile. Cross this and descend to the brook which feeds Bilberry reservoir.
The path crosses a footbridge and climbs out the other side. It then starts a rising ascent of the hillside heading towards Black Hill. At this point it looks straightforward to climb up onto Black Hill from here, but a little further on there is a sign indicating that the land is private. Instead, the path gradually closes on Hey Clough, which it crosses just below the point where the ground starts to rises steeply towards Black Hill. It then turns and descends towards Holmefirth, reaching a farm track only about 500 metres after crossing the stream.
The track is easy going and gives some excellent views, with Holmefirth visible in one direction, the reservoirs below and Holme Moss away to the south. Close to the outskirts of Holme you meet another track which leads in from the left - take this and descend towards Digley reservoir. At the bottom of this track a path comes across the hillside - turn left and follow this to cross between the two reservoirs and rejoin the original track on the other side.
0 - Holme - Digley Reservoir in winter
1 - Holme farmhouse