Photo showing part of the Kirklees Way

The last stretch of the Kirklees Way…

I walked the last leg of the Kirklees Way (as centred on Marsden) last week. ‘Just’ three years after walking the first part. I missed out the intervening 40 miles or so and kudos to Jenny and Taru who walked all of it , even if spaced out a few months apart.. life gets busy!

The Kirklees Way was, I think, established in 1990 and it runs for 73 miles around the Kirklees district boundary.. it covers a real mix of landscape: rural, semi-rural, moorland, urban, woodland.

I walked the ‘first leg’ back in 2014 with some of the same folks.

And I walked a section from Marsden heading towards Holmfirth once before too. The last leg (from Skelmanthorpe to Marsden) covered some of the same ground as that walk but in reverse. And I was on my last legs as we finished at mile 20.

I found the last few miles tough. I haven’t walked much at all in the last year or so, truth be told. Hence the relative radio silence on the blog. That’s through a combination of life stuff (house selling / downsizing), an ageing hound (and my guilt at doing longer solo jaunts without her) and a dodgy Achilles tendon (the lump was mostly fixed with some’shockwave therapy’, which I can recommend).

But I enjoyed the day thanks to the views and the company. And the weather, we had great walking conditions.

As mentioned, friends Jenny and Taru (with varying combos of Bob and Karl) had walked all but the last stage of the Kirklees Way, with just the final leg to go then.. all 20 miles of it. I joined them along with Bob and Mac. I can’t moan about the distance as Mac is in his seventies and chatted most of the way. Cheers Mac, show me up why don’t you?

And the mixed countryside, from farmland to woodland to moorland, along this final section from Skelmanthorpe to Marsden is uniformly beautiful. They just need to move Skelmanthorpe a bit nearer though.

See more on the Kirklees Way on the Long Distance Walkers Association site: The Kirklees Way.

Here are some photos from the day, not much in the way or urban areas at all in this section, it was pretty rural or open moorland for most of it.

Hikers walking part of the Kirklees Way
The team seetting out from Skelmanthorpe. I’d be less smiley twenty miles later…
Photo showing part of the Kirklees Way
Mac eyeing up Emley Moor tower / mast across the fields. The transmitter tower was visible for quite a bit of the total trail, not just this section, Jenny and Taru told me. Not surprising as it (and the temporary mast next to it) is 300+ metres high.
Photo showing part of the Kirklees Way
In the far distance, we could see the twin nabs of West Nab (on the left) and Shooters Nab (on the right), edging Marsden Moor Estate.. it was great to see them from a new perspective. And approximately where we were heading to…
Photo showing part of the Kirklees Way
Mac and jenny surveying some of the countryside we had traversed. Marsden was way over to their left, a good 12 or more miles still to go..
Photo showing part of the Kirklees Way
Some of the woodland that we encountered on a couple of different sections of the day. The last of the late spring bluebells were putting on a great show. I can’t remember the name of the woods though (must check).
Photo showing part of the Kirklees Way, with a curlew above moorland
Once we were past Holme village and Digley reservoir we entered open moorland. Curlew seemed to be everywhere and thier alarmed cries (less plaintive, more agitated than usual, i thought) let us know it was nesting season. As did the signs on the various gates in the area .. take heed folks.
Wessenden valley and Pule Hill near Marsden
The final sprint (I really wasn’t sprinting) down the Wessenden valley in the early eveing light. And on to the bright lights of the Riverhead, where I rehydrated with the gang…

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