This is a fairly short walk which follows a ridge between two arms of Ladybower Reservoir. It offers spectacular views of Ladybower and Derwent Edge, and also excellent views of Lose Hill and Win Hill. It starts and finishes at Fairholmes, the visitor centre at the north end of Ladybower. There is ample parking here and a bus service from Sheffield.
You could combine this walk with our Derwent Edge walk
to make a really long day (about 6 hours) and a complete circuit of the upper arm of Ladybower reservoir. Details at the end of this description.
Ladybower from Lockerbrook
Walk out of Fairholmes along the road back towards Ashopton and a few metres to the south a path branches off into the woods. Take this path, which follows a stream initially and then strikes off to the right, crossing by a small bridge the conduit which brings water from the Ashop river and climbing steadily up through the forest. Half-way up it meets a forest road - follow this round a large bend and then take the path which turns off left back into the forest. Towards the top the path has been re-routed to avoid the Lockerbrook farmhouse and it makes a sharp detour right before crossing a field and emerging on the old bridle path above Lockerbrook. Turn left and head down to the former farm, which now belongs to the Woodcraft Folk.
Continue past Lockerbrook and go up to the crest of the ridge which overlooks the Ashop Valley. Three tracks converge here. To your right a driveable track goes down to the Ashop valley. Straight ahead, there is a deep notch cut where an old bridleway comes up very steeply from Hagg Farm. To your left another bridleway follows the crest of the ridge alongside a forestry plantation.
Turn left and follow the bridleway along the edge of the plantation, enjoying all the way the view over to the Hope Cross area and Lose Hill.
The path is easy-angled, making a gentle ascent to a rise at the end of the plantation and then descending towards the rocky tors of Crook Hill. These tors are off the path but they are on Access Land, and they are well worth a short diversion to climb the tors and enjoy the view.
From here rejoin the bridleway and continue easily down to Crookhill farm. Here the footpath has been diverted to avoid the farm, so pass below it on the east side, cross the farm road and the next field and then pick up the original line again, which takes you directly down across the fields to reach the Fairholmes road only 100 metres from its junction with the A57.
Turn left towards Fairholmes but rather than following the road head rightwards across some grass towards the lake shore. Here you will pick up the track of the former light railway which was built to bring materials for the construction of Derwent and Howden dams. It has been made into a footpath and offers a delightful easy walk back through the woods to Fairholmes.
If you want to continue along Derwent Edge then when you come down from Crook Hill and reach the road, don't turn up towards Fairholmes but instead cross Ashopton Viaduct to the east side of Ladybower. Once on the far side take the track which runs up the east side of the lake, but then immediately turn right along a lane which passes above some houses with trees on your left. This emerges from the trees after 400m and meets another track. Take the right fork and continue for about another 200m until you can break off left, steeply uphill, up a steep heather bank. This leads you onto Lead Hill and Whinstone Lee and thence to Derwent Edge.