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:
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.