This is one of the 20 stages of the GM Ringway – the new walking trail for Greater Manchester. GM Ringway Stage 8 (Broadbottom – Greenfield) is an adventurous route that ventures high into the Dark Peak.  With its spectacular scenery, it has a feel of the Scottish Highlands in places.

Note that we are now recommending a modified route from Broadbottom to the A57 that avoids a steep and slippery field section and instead includes Mellor Church. This is shown on the Plotaroute map.

This stage should only be attempted independently by experienced walkers, with good map-reading and navigation skills, in conditions of good visibility. 

Map and directions

This walk is available on the user-friendly Go Jauntly walking app. Here, photographs and written directions will enable you to follow the route on your phone. You can also download a printable PDF of the directions from the same link.

Alternatively, you can follow the route (without written directions) on the mobile-friendly Plotaroute app. To use Plotaroute on your phone’s browser, simply click the map. Then, when you’re ready to start walking, click the tracker icon (bottom right) to show your position as you follow the route.

We recommend carrying an additional power source and/or map when following online routes on your phone. For any challenging routes, we would recommend that you also have access to and know how to read an Ordnance Survey map.

Feedback on the route

To give any feedback or notify us of any issues with this route, please click on the button below


Highlights include

– Two lovely old lanes, with panoramic views across the Etherow and Longdendale valleys
– A ancient-seeming track that climbs into the Peak District National Park via an old stone bridge
– A brief trackless section through the appropriately named ‘Wilderness’ – the highest point of the entire GM Ringway trail
– Breathtaking views over Saddleworth’s Chew Valley
– A leisurely finish via Chew Piece Plantation, the only remaining area of older mixed woodland close to Dovestone Reservoir.

Accessibility and facilities

– Cafe or pub nearby
– Dogs permitted (on a lead)
– Transport via bus, or train

The route includes a considerable amount of ascent (535 m / 1755 ft) and descent and crosses high ground, including some rough, trackless terrain. Parts of the route are likely to be muddy or boggy depending on the season. Because of the varied terrain, the overall walk is not wheelchair or pushchair-friendly. However, the paths around Dovestones Reservoir near the end of the route are step-free and accessible to more users; these are detailed in a separate walk here. We will be adding step-free and shorter walks on parts of the GM Ringway over the next few months.

There are no public toilets or other facilities on the main part of the route, but there is a cafe and farm shop with toilets to the southeast of the start point at Lymefield garden centre. The pretty diversion route via the garden centre is shown on the Plotaroute map. There are also pubs at the start and end of the route in Broadbottom and Greenfield.

How to get there

Start point Broadbottom train station SK14 6BB

View start point on Google maps

End point Greenfield train station OL3 7JZ

View end point on Google maps

All stages of the GM Ringway can be accessed by public transport. This stage links Broadbottom and Greenfield stations, each on a different line from Manchester. Although both locations are also served by buses, the route is best accessed by train.

To work out how to get to and from the walk start and end points, click the Google Maps links on this page. Then click ‘Directions’ and enter your postcode or location in the relevant field. Then, for public transport options, click the train icon. Alternatively, input the postcodes shown on this page into the Traveline journey planner.