The walk can be started in a number of places and is accessible via public transport. There is some parking at Chapel-en-le-Frith railway station or in the residential streets on the edge of Chapel. An hourly train service runs between Manchester and Buxton.
The route climbs onto the Iron Age hill fort of Castle Naze and hugs the edges of Combs Moss, crosses streams, passes by rocky outcrops and has great views at every twist and turn. And if you time it right and arrive in Combs before 2pm you can stop for lunch at the Beehive Inn.
Though Combs Moss is open access land there are only a few access points so there is no chance of bailing out half way. Note that dogs are not permitted on this grouse moor. The path can be wet and boggy in places, so good footwear is a must.
The walks starts from platform 2 of Chapel-en-le-Frith railway station. Go through the gate beside the crossing point and take the right hand path through trees emerging onto an unmetalled road at Bank Hall Lodge. Turn left and ascend with the road with views of Combs and the reservoir below.
The track leads up to Bank Hall farm and via a gate to a field, bringing you out at a stile onto Cowlow Lane. (There is a small lay by with space for a couple of cars).
Cross the lane and go over the stile following the path ahead up onto Castle Naze. There may be climbers on the rocks here but when we walked this route a we didn’t meet another soul until we arrived in Combs.
Stop to admire the views over towards Kinder Scout in the distance and the hill fort which lies behind a dry stone wall before taking the path to the right, wending your way around the edge of Combs Moss, keeping to the outer side of the wall for a good way. The farms that border Combs village can be seen below. The path crosses a stream and more rocky outcrops before reaching an awkward stile where the wall has fallen.
Go ahead on a track that rises from the valley – the path may soon peter out but continue ahead towards the shooting lodge, keeping the wall on your left.
The lodge is a great place to stop and take in the views.
Continue on with the wall now on your right, across increasingly an peaty grouse moor, still twisting and turning with the contours of the hill. There is a path that leads down beside a wall that rises up from the valley, you can take this or continue to reach a metal gate that is often locked, in which case scramble over it and take the broad path that leads downhill to a stile and onto Old Road.
Just before the White Hall Centre, take the stile on the right that leads through fields and over a plank footbridge to the lane at Allstone Lee. Join the road at Rye Flatt farm and turn right to head into Combs village where you can stop at the Beehive Inn to quench your thirst. From the Beehive, follow the road signposted toward Chapel-en-le-Frith, taking the path that leads off right just before the railway bridge which follows the train tracks back to Chapel-en-le-Frith railway station.
Alternatively you can miss out Combs village by taking the waymarked path over fields towards Chapel from the other side of the road at Rye Flatt farm.