Marsden Moor heritage trail north
Uncover the past and find out more about the rich history of Marsden Moor, from Neolithic man through to the industrial revolution, on this bracing walk with magnificent open moorland views.
Marsden Moor Estate Office, grid ref: SE047118
From the estate office head towards the train station and then onwards along the canal until you reach the Standedge Tunnel Visitor Centre.
Leave the car park and head up to Waters Road. Walk up the drive beside the Tunnel End pub and then take the path immediately behind it. Head up and across some fields to a group of houses. Go through a green metal gate and then immediately right through another gate beside the house to bring you out onto a lane. Follow the lane left past Berry Greave. When the lane starts to descend downhill turn right and follow this lane past the first house and round to a path at the back of the next house. Climb gently across the fields and at the small footbridge keep to high ground before you drop sharply down to a stream and back up again to the right of the phone mast. Turn right down Blake Lee Lane past Lower Green Owlers to a road junction. Turn left and climb up the track to White Hall Farm. In front of the farm go through the gate leading onto the moor and through some rushes, following the path along the edge of Haigh Clough to the southern corner of March Haigh Reservoir.
Here you have the option to head up to Buckstones car park for magnificent views across the estate. Cross the dam wall and take the path heading steeply up through the rocks to the car park. Once youve caught your breath and taken in the views retrace your steps back to the dam wall.
Volunteers at Buckstones
We carry out important restoration work on Marsden Moor to help conserve it for the future. Work includes gully blocking with wooden dams and heather bales to keep the peat wet and stable, to prevent it from being washed away. We also re-vegetate bare peat with cotton grass and heather to prevent erosion and provide food and shelter for birds. If you would like to help with the restoration of the moor or help with guided walks and community events, contact the estate office on 01484 847016.
Continue to head south to meet up with the Packhorse Trail where you turn right and follow the trail across Willmer Clough and up to the top to one of the old marker stones. Continue straight ahead until you come out at Haigh Gutter.
Marsden is host to an array of moorland bird species such as curlew, grouse, golden plover, dunlin, merlin, short-eared owl and even the rare twite.
Here turn sharp left to follow the Pennine Way south, making sure that when you come to a square marker stone you follow the path to the left keeping Millstone edge on your right. You will shortly arrive at the trig point at Dinner Stones.
You may find common upland plant species such as heather, bilberry, crowberry and a variety of grasses, and if you are lucky you may come across the carnivorous sundew.
Continue along Millstone Edge through a kissing gate into a field where mild mannered cows normally reside. Take care around livestock especially if they have calves or you have dogs. Go through the next gate and turn left along a path over a stile and down Thieves Clough. Follow a broken down wall until you come to the old engine house.
The moorland around you has been used by man for thousands of years from hunter gatherers ambushing prey, to packhorse roads taking goods to market. You will walk by the entrance to the longest, highest and deepest canal tunnel in Britain, later pass its cooling towers and the reservoirs that feed it. There are information panels dotted around the route, which give an interesting insight into the history and wildlife of the moor, as well as the work that we are doing to preserve Marsden Moor for future generations.
Follow the track over Redbrook Clough and onto the A62. Turn right in front of the Carriage House pub (also a hotel and camp site) and continue for a short distance before turning left down Mount Road. Continue along the road for 545 yards (500m) where you can take a path left along the Standedge Trail. The path here is boggy to begin with but soon dries out to contour around the front of Pule Hill. Continue round, passing the incline that was used to transport materials from the quarry and walk between the cooling towers for the tunnel deep below. Be careful not to wander up the hill but stay level roughly under the telephone wires, going over two stiles. Walk behind two houses before taking the path left onto the A62. Take care crossing the road and walk down hill a short distance to a path called Dark Lane that leads you steeply down between two walls to Easter Gate. Cross the river at the bottom, it can be quite high after rain so you may end up with wet socks even when crossing at the shallowest point on the right.
Cross over the packhorse bridge, following the path to the road and then down to Hey Green Hotel. Continue along Waters Road until you pass the former coach house and turn right onto a path that runs alongside the river back to the Tunnel End. Retrace your steps along the canal to Marsden.
Marsden Moor Estate Office, grid ref: SE047118
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