A mixture of steady walks through fields and along the river Manifold, coupled with a few fairly steep ascents and descents. Visit Thor's Cave.
|Walking on tracks and in fields/ meadows and along the River Manifold.||4 to 4.5 hours (including breaks).|
|Starting/ End Positions||Distance|
|Round walk from the Car park at Wetton (SK108551). Many thanks to Anita.||7 miles (11.2 Kilometres).|
Map Guide: OS Landranger 119 or Outdoor Leisure 24.
Park in the car park at Wetton village. To start the walk, turn left out of the car park and then turn left again at the road. As you walk past the church and the pub, the road starts to climb. Keep ahead where the sign reads 'Back of Ecton' and go through the gate at the top.
Climb the following stone stile and carry on to the sign post 'Wetton Hill'. Climb the stile here into a field and walk down the middle of the field to a stile in a fence. Cross this and continue down the field towards a wall with another stile.
You can see 'Back of Ecton' ahead in the distance. Continue down the hill keeping the wall on the left hand side of you. When the wall stops, continue across the field heading for the far left hand corner. The field start to climb slightly before coming to the stile. Climb over this and the next one quite close. Now you should be on a track. Keep ahead here as the track rises, follow this up and turn right through a half open rusty old metal gate in a wall.
This narrow path continues alongside the wall to a stile. Abandoned copper mines can be seen on the right. Climb the stile, turn left and walk along a path on a slight ridge. Carry on across a small and then a large field and head towards the triangulation pillar on the summit of Ecton Hill. Good views can be seen from here.
From here turn right along a path and through a small gap in the wall. Head for and climb the stile in the wall on the left. Follow the path down the hill by the fence on your right. The path here is steep and can be slippery when wet so care must be taken. Eventually you will come to another stile near the large house. Climb over this and head down the track to the road near Dale Bridge. Turn left through a gate onto the Manifold Track here.
Walk along the track for around 3/4 mile until you come to a road. Go through the tunnel here. Follow the track for another 1 1/4 miles to Wetton Mill. Here a nice refreshment break can be had at the side of the River Manifold.
Continue from the Mill on the track keeping the river on you left hand side. Thor's Cave can be seen from the footpath high on the hill side on the other side of the river. Close up of Thor's Cave. You will come to a bridge just below the cave where you will want to cross it.
Follow the steep path up. You can take a minor detour up the Thor's Cave by turning right of the main track for this walk, but be warned it is steep and there are lots of steps. View of Manifold Valley from Thor's Cave and inside of the cave.
Continue from the cave by retracing your steps back down the hill to the main track on the same side of the river. Turn right and head up this steep path through trees and woodland. Climb the stile you will find here and carry on up the fields. View back towards Manifold Valley. You will need to climb two more stiles ahead, the last one putting you onto a lane. Turn right along the lane and retrace your steps back to the car park.
Walk first completed: February 2001
Walk last updated: May 8th 2003