Colne Valley Circular Walk hike Crimble Clough

Wayfaring the Colne Valley Circular Walk..

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).

CVC Walk booklet Colne Valley Circular Walk hike wayfaring

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).

COLNE VALLEY CIRCULAR WALK via OS map hike wayfaring

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..

Colne Valley Circular Walk Hike Hiking
Jenny (L) and Taru (R) climbing up out of Marsden on the Kirklees Way section, Shooters Nab – which we would walk below on the way back – in the distance on the opposite side of the valley.

Colne Valley Circular Walk Hike Hiking

Colne Valley Circular Walk Hike Hiking
Horses above Marsden, Shooters Nab across the Colne Valley in the distance.
Colne Valley Circular Walk Hike farm Dog
Watch out – loose dog in yard. The one chained outside, within inches of the right of way looked pretty unwelcoming, I don’t know the story of course but felt sorry for it.
Colne Valley Circular Walk Hike
Jenny and Taru cloud watching (above West Slaithwaite as this point)
Colne Valley Circular Walk Hike Hiking
Wise words for sat nav users.. and walkers too perhaps?
Colne Valley Circular Walk waymarker
One of the older style waymarkers . The new ones are same design but mostly yellow paint stenciled.
Colne Valley Circular Walk hike Crimble Clough
Above Crimble Clough near Slaithwaite and looking (ish) towards Golcar

Colne Valley Circular Walk hike wood lumber

Colne Valley Circular Walk
One of the many horses we met on the day
Colne Valley Circular Walk - museum hike
I’ve never actually been in the Colne Valley Museum (in Golcar) – looks a great building though and the guide-book has this as the start point of the walk (heading in the opposite direction the camera is pointing).
Colne Valley Circular Walk - viaduct Golcar Hike
The viaduct (double arched),  near where we conjectured the old Golcar railway station may have been?

The South side of the Colne Valley (inward leg)

Crossing Huddersfield Narrow canal hike
Crossing the Huddersfield Narrow canal – Titanic Mill in the distance
We headed down through Golcar and across and along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal (heading back towards Marsden briefly before turning off to our left and away from valley floor.
We headed down through Golcar and across and along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal – heading back towards Marsden briefly before turning off to our left behind this old mill and then uphill across the Manchester Road / A62 and away from the valley floor.
Colne Valley and Huddersfield Narrow canal
The bat tower (centre) is a relatively new thing (compared to the age of the old mill next to it!)
Colne valley Circular Walk - Hill Top Hike horse
This was around the Hill Top area – having to navigate some horses and one skittish pony congregated either side of a stile
Colne valley Circular Walk - Hill Top
We were overtaken at one point by a far more determined band of walkers, they didn’t appear to be on the Colne Valley Circular walk itself though
Colne Valley Circular Walk hike marsden
We were on the home straight now and stopped for a further mooch around what was once a pretty grand old house .. now long abandoned. I’m guessing it’s never been renovated because there is no actual road access to it.. just a footpath that I think comes up from Spring Grove between West Slaithwaite and Marsden.
Colne Valley Circular Walk hike marsden
Scout helping with the urban exploring of the derelict farmhouse.. a stone inset outside dates it as 1758 ..
Colne Valley Circular Walk hike marsden dog
Brodie giving me the ‘let’s get going’ look
Colne Valley Circular Walk hike marsden gate ornate derelict
Even the gates are ornate – this was clearly a family with money?

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..

Colne Valley Circular Walk hike marsden Scout
The small pond above the Scout Moor / Scout Farm area.. it was pretty cold but both dogs had a quick paddle

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..

Colne Valley Circular Walk Hike Marsden Moors
I come up to this area (Scout) a lot with Brodie – great views above Marsden
Colne Valley Circular Walk Hike Marsden Moors
The National Trust took down the Scout Moor sign and replaced it with Marsden Moor – not sure of the significance of that?
Colne Valley Circular Walk Hike Marsden Moors
Thre Trees area above Binn, Marsden (Bank Bottom Mill below – one of the many industrial heritage sites you see on the walk.
Colne Valley Circular Walk Hike Marsden Moors Wessenden Butterly
Heading down (not up, thankfully) the steps next to Butterley reservoir and on to the village below
Colne Valley Circular Walk Hike Marsden - Riverhead Pub
A post walk pint in The Riverhead

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/

2 thoughts on “Wayfaring the Colne Valley Circular Walk..

  1. Finally able to read the blog post – grrr – internet – grrr – good stuff. Tried to leave a comment but the format comes out a bit weird on my PC so I couldn’t work out how. Not to worry.

    Jenny

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