Roman roads are (mostly) ‘straight’ (that’s probably not true but let’s go with received wisdom) but I used Viewranger last week to create a circular trip on the moors around Marsden. Since I found out a roman road passed through my village, I’ve been intrigued to find out more and to walk as much of it as modern boundaries allow.
The hike route I ‘created’ navigates (on the southern, home leg) part of a Roman road that once ferried troops between York and Chester and takes in the remains of a fort at Castleshaw (two forts actually, they downsized to a smaller one in the later empty-nester years of the Empire). Read More…
I’ve had a few shortish walks on the hills and moors over the past few weeks but nothing that could really be called a ‘proper’ walk / hike. And the annual ‘Snowdon in the Snow‘ date looms so I wanted to get some leg-stretching in. The recent snowy conditions were perfect timing for myself and son Joe to hit the hills
We basically took the same route as my last post – up the Wessenden Valley in Marsden and onto the Swellands area (home of two adjoining reservoirs) and describing a big loop back down in to Marsden. But what a difference the snow made.. it took us an hour or two longer than last time and was pretty tough going in parts. Both of us had ice spikes on which made a big difference in places!
On Saturday I did the last of my route / map check walks for the soon to be published Marsden Walkers Are Welcome guides. Despite really strong winds on the exposed parts of the moors the weather was great. No actual rain, for the walk or indeed the whole day, amazing
The overview of the walk from the WaW site is : “This 6.5 mile walk will take you from the Marsden centre into the scenic Wessenden Valley, containing ancient woodlands and deep upland reservoirs, then onto sections of the Pennine Way and Standedge Trail close to the watershed and above Swellands Reservoir. This walk contains some sustained ascents, descents and rough terrain.”
Time to walk off some more of those mince pies (I made them, pretty good as it happens), so Joe (Robin to my Fatman) and I headed out again this morning to walk one of a set of new routes marked out in some soon-to-be-printed leaflets. A while back I helped the Marsden Walkers Are Welcome group check rights of way /paths in one particular OS grid (as part of the national Walkers are Welcome initiative) and these new maps are part of that. I think there will be six in total initially. I volunteered to check two of the routes before the 9th Jan deadline (when I think they go to print) and report back any errors / confusing path descriptions etc. Today’s route was “Intake Head’. Next weekend I’ll be doing ‘Swellands’.
The obligatory Boxing Day walk / hike / ramble. I think this was more of a ramble, as we (Son Joe and I and Brodie Dog, of course) set off with no clear route planned.
We headed south up the Wessenden Valley in Marsden where we live – a ‘day out’ route for 120 years a least. But the low winter sun in our eyes was a bit too much.I’m not complaining – too much rain of late – but after 45 minutes or so, we got fed up looking ground-ward the whole time.
We definitely had a blast of air, a really strong cold wind to clear the Christmas day head
Folks did a similar thing years ago – I found reference to an old advert extolling the walk up Wessenden (and the air / wind):
There are mountain and moorland, rivulet and lake,
Health giving breezes, Fernbank and Brake,
Bracken and heather, shrubbery and tree,
Good road to get there, these are all free
Nowadays it would probably have mentioned free wifi too?!
The lodge at the top doesn’t do teas anymore and the Isle of Skye Inn a further walk up, is long gone, so there was no compulsion to stick with the dazzling sun.
So we diverted right (West) when we got to the intersection with the Pennine Way and headed across the moors towards Black Moss and Swellands reservoirs and then Standedge.
We did get the ‘health giving breezes’ though.. I love clear sky and a bit of wind but it was actually a tad too biting on the tops - definitely had those cobwebs blown away!
That’s about as much of a hike write-up from me as you’ll get on this post. It being Boxing Day, we have visitors due and there’s 5 gallons of ginger wine to make a dent in.
I’m planning another couple of walks in the next week or two – helping to ‘stress test’ some soon to be published route maps for Walkers Are Welcome, so I’ll be writing those up.
And then it’s the annual Snowdon trip in early Feb which I’m looking forward to.
In the meantime – have a brilliant New Year’s eve!