Standedge circuit walk
An exhilarating circular walk, a large part of it on the Pennine Way, exploring the varied landscapes of Marsden Moor. Discover valleys and reservoirs before heading over open moorland with wonderful views before winding back to Marsden along the old packhorse route and Huddersfield narrow canal.
Marsden train station, grid ref: SE047117
From Marsden train station go down Station Road turning right to cross the bridge over the river and on to Church Lane. Just after the church, before the road bends towards the main road, take the small lane opposite at the side of 'The Cottage'. Follow this road through the tunnel under the A63 and turn right towards the roundabout with Marsden FC on the left. Go straight across at the roundabout to walk up Binn Road towards Butterley reservoir and spillway.
Turn right off Binn Road at Butterley spillway onto the wide track marked with a public bridleway sign. Follow this track up the Wessenden valley passing Butterley and Blakeley reservoirs in turn on your right.
At the Pennine Way fingerpost take a right to follow the Pennine Way downhill into the valley, across the footbridge and then up the steep slope in the other side.
At the top of the slope turn right to continue along the Pennine Way along Blakeley Clough crossing the brook to walk up the steps that lead on to the moor. Continue along the Pennine way, crossing open moorland, with far-reaching views on a clear day, until you reach Swellands and Black Moss reservoirs.
Marsden Moor is protected at a national and European level because of the blanket bog habitat and the important breeding birds it supports. You may spot some of these birds on this walk, especially when crossing open moorland. Species to watch out for include curlew, golden plover, red grouse and the elusive twite.
On reaching Black Moss reservoir go across the small footbridge and continue along the dam wall. Follow the flagged path around to the left (with fence line on right hand side). Continue along the flagged path, go through a wooden kissing gate and head downhill and through another gate to continue down to the meet the Pennine bridleway.
At the junction with the Pennine Bridleway, with Redbrook reservoir straight ahead, turn left along the bridleway until you reach Brun Clough car park.
From the car park, cross over the road (A62) and follow the Pennine Way sign up the track ahead and turn left at the top. Continue until you reach the Pennine Way/Bridleway fingerpost and turn right through the kissing gate to follow the path uphill. Follow the Pennine Way north, passing through a field with kissing gates at either end. Please be aware that livestock graze in this field. Continue along Millstone Edge taking in views across the moors and west towards Manchester.
At the stone waymarker, signed Oldham Way & Pennine Way, turn right to continue along Pennine Way with the fence line on your right hand side. Follow the path towards Haigh Gutter and the A640.
Just before reaching Haigh Gutter the road takes a sharp right across a ford and onto the footpath, this is the old Packhorse Road. Follow this path down and across the moorland with March Haigh reservoir and Buckstones to your left. At the fork with the Packhorse Road marker, continue downhill heading towards Easter Gate, taking in views of Pule Hill to your right.
Follow historic routes
In step 9 you walk along the historic Packhorse road which was constructed in the Middle Ages. This section was known as Rapes Highway, and as you walk down you may spot the stone 'PH' markers by the side of the path.
When you reach the valley bottom cross Easter Gate bridge, also known as Close Gate bridge and follow the footpath along the side of the river Colne to the road. You can follow the red waymarkers ‘Easter Gate return’ back to Marsden. Turn right off Waters Road through the gate into tunnel end nature reserve. On reaching Standedge tunnel car park head right to cross over the canal and follow the towpath alongside Huddersfield narrow canal back to Marsden train station.
Marsden train station, grid ref: SE047117
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