Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike

Walking The Kirklees Way – part of the NSPCC HACK training

I walked a big chunk of the Kirklees Way on Sunday with friends Taru and Jenny. We’re jointly doing the NSPCC ‘HACK’ challenge in June and this was one of several training walks we’re doing.  And this time we had Carl, an Iron Man participant, along with us. So no pressure then 😉

I was going to call this post ‘Five go mad on the moors’ or similar; as we had the destination (Taru’s old family house – an ancient hall) and the home-cooked tea we knew was waiting for us, fixed in our minds. And the 2 boy, 2 girl and a dog combo lent the day an Enid Blyton feel.  Can’t remember who came up with the theme but it kept us amused, chatting across the misty moors up to Cupwith Reservoir and then on to Scammonden.

We started at Marsden and walked 16 or so miles at an average of 2 miles an hour. So not a heads-down rush but with occasional steep inclines and a bit of mud and slurry to navigate, it was a sociable but purposed pace.

The Kirklees Way was,  I think , established in 1990 and it runs for 73 miles around the district boundary and –  a bit like its little sidekick The Colne Valley Circular –  encompasses moorland, agricultural, industrial heritage and suburban scenery.

The route is shown below via my Viewranger track builder – one OS and the other Google physical. You can see how much of it was green as we hugged the outer membrane of suburban Huddersfield:

Kirklees Way Huddersfield Map Hike Viewranger

Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike Map

We walked across moors, through woods,  traversed golf courses and housing estates and crossed fields.  And navigated paths, causeways, green lanes, farm roads, B roads, A roads, motorways and dykes by way of gates, stiles and ginnels.

To then finish at a medieval hall (modernised a la Grand Designs in Jacobean, Elizabethan and Victorian times) for a fantastic sunday tea. A memorable day all round.

The M62 is the dominant feature of this section of the Kirklees Way, even when you can’t see it and are walking down a greenway you can often hear the white noise of constant traffic in the distance.

That didn’t mar the walk in any way – it’s as much an interesting artefact as the old green ways and the Roman road we walked on / near in some places. A response to the needs of commerce and community along the continuum of human progression.

And that white noise was echoed by white vision – the weather stayed misty for most of the day so some of the high level views were obscured by tints of pewter grey and leaden white. But it wasn’t raining and I didn’t get sunburnt – so great walking weather.

The photos below are in walk order, only some are annotated but hopefully you get a feel for the hike.

Kirklees Way Hike Marsden Hudderfield
A misty start, up above Marsden on the The Kirklees Way
Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
We went through quite a few farmyards – this one more eclectic than some
Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
Heading down to Scammonden reservoir

Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike

Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike

Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
The first of two golf courses we crossed..
Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
Crossing the M62. I prefer more remote places but it is actually interesting being a pedestrian / wayfarer where normally you would be a driver travelling much faster!
Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
Scout keeping tabs on my pie consumption
Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
Another farmyard with interesting things to see.. Mum sheep was making sure I kept walking..
Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
Quarmby (family?) 14th century ‘Haigh Cross’ – a preaching post I think – with a date of 1304 but was rebuilt after ‘wilful destruction’ in the 1800s. The road next to this abandoned farmhouse traverses a Roman Road – I think the same one that goes through Marsden.

Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike

Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
Some of the walk took in housing estates, on the surface not that interesting but navigating the way along old lanes and greenways then into the suburbs reframes these areas, previously I’ve whizzed past in a car on my way to the motorway etc
Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
.. and back into some woods (this section of the Kirklees Way has a fair bit of tree cover and adds to the contrast of vistas)
Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
Golf course #2 .. it was an all girl competition by the looks of the golfers we saw. We only got a couple of double takes as we traipsed past ..
Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
Our boots were put to the test as we took the slurry challenge – avoid the deep slurry to our left!
Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
Taru’s boots passed the test .. covered but no slurry in her socks 🙂

 

Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
One of the old stiles still in existence but the old wall (I guess) to the right hand side is long gone
Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
Back into the woods in Upper Fell Greave then across the Huddersfield to Bradford Road and into Lower Fell Greave .. lots of old (medieval I think) coal diggings / pits pockmark the woods.
Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
From the woods we were then at the back of Taru’s old family house (her Mum and others in the family still live here). Actually an old hall that started life as a medieval family house, was upgraded by the Jacobeans, Elizabethans and Victorians. And was also a police station and dormitory. Then a council house (!) for many years..
Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
This selfie showing my happiness to be at the end of the walk but also anticipation of the tea we had kindly been promised and appreciation of what a fantastic house this is.

Kirklees Way end of the trip

Kirklees Way Huddersfield Hike
Taru, Jenny and Carl relaxing in front of the roaring central fireplace. Sadly my camera phone ran out of juice .. otherwise you would have been subjected to lots of photos of amazing architecture but also cake upon cake (courtesy of and big thanks to the lovely Daz and Christoph)

 

Other Links:
http://www.ldwa.org.uk/ldp/members/show_path.php?path_name=Kirklees+Way

6 thoughts on “Walking The Kirklees Way – part of the NSPCC HACK training

  1. oh, I know that house! I’ve often walked that way.
    I ‘did’ the Kirklees Way back in the 1990s, using public transport to get me home/take me back to where I stopped last time. It was a great adventure. These waymarked paths are brilliant for introducing me/one to an area. Calderdale Way was the first, soon after I moved here. It’s all mud-glorious-mud out there at the moment.
    Heather

    • Hi Heather, I haven’t walked the Calderdale Way as such, although I have walked part of it for a fundraiser and I’ll be walking part of it again soon with a some friends.

      I can imagine it’s muddy just now – the paths behind where I live (on the edge of Marsden Moor) have been like streams of late and are now mud slides :-/

      I like your blog by the way, great writing.

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