I say’ wayfaring’ in the post title, rather than plain old walking, as it’s mentioned on the back of the Colne Valley Circular Walk booklet which Jenny (fellow walker and also stargazer) had lent me:
“Thirteen miles of fascinating wayfaring in the beautiful South Pennine countryside of Kirklees, West Yorkshire. A walk full of history by moor and mill, clough and canal, weaver’s cottage and ancient hamlet.”
That saved me a job explaining the landscape we traversed through on Sunday. Except to say there’s no mention of the word ‘mud’ or horse / cow ‘slurry’ – and we splodged through a fair amount of both on the day.
We (Jenny, Taru and myself) were getting in some miles as part of a training schedule (which is also an excuse to meet in the pub and plan some nice walks) for the 22 miles of NSPCC North HACK challenge in June (that’s a link to our team Justgiving page).
The booklet was first published in 1975 with really detailed descriptions of each section by a Mr J.W Bamforth but was revised in 1985 and 1992. It’s strange to think that even the 1992 booklet looks ‘vintage’ now!
The map image here is of the route I downloaded from http://www.gps-routes.co.uk . Like a numpty I forgot to switch on viewranger tracking on the day, so haven’t been able to upload and annotate my own recorded track. The route below did vary slightly a couple of times but is essentially the same. I think the Linthwaite Ramblers are partly the new ‘custodians’ of the trail and have had to create a couple of path diversions in places (I need to check this fact but talked to someone at a recent ‘do’ who had been renovating the waymarkers).
We used the book mentioned on occasion but most of the route is well waymarked with fresh new signs on posts etc. Having said that, some are on the ‘wrong’ side of the stile or gate, based on the direction that the book suggests to take and most people would walk in any case. Not disastrous though but it’s one of those walks that cuts through farmyards or along the front of houses – so you want to have seen a waymaker to be really sure you’re ok to proceed 🙂
I’ll let the photos and captions tell the rest of the story.. we did really well with the weather despite a threatening sky and forecast at the start of the day. We saw some great views along the thirteen miles and it was a reminder that the Colne Valley is an interesting blend of the rural, remote and industrial landscapes.
The five of us (that includes the two hounds Scout and Brodie) had a good day of it. We may need to pick up the pace and not chat / photograph / mooch so much by the time we get to that 22 mile NSPCC Challenge hike 🙂
The North side of the Colne Valley (the outward leg)
We started in Marsden down at St Bartholomew’s church gates then headed up past the station, up past Jenny’s house ( she was being a top-notch purist and had walked down the hill to meet us to then walk back up again!) and were soon up on the moors..
The South side of the Colne Valley (inward leg)
After the farmhouse explore we spent another 30 minutes or so heading west and then up hill to emerge on the Meltham Road , which we crossed to get back onto moorland heading past the Scout Rocks..
The next few photos show the section which was from Scout back down past the steps at butterley reservoir ad back in to the village. And in the Riverhead for a pint and chat about the the next couple of training walks..
Jenny took some great photos of the day on a proper camera and they can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wragge/sets/72157641799623843/