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View looking north from Wessenden Head towards Wessenden Reservoir on Marsden Moor Estate, West Yorkshire.
View from Wessenden Head | © National Trust Images/Robert Morris

Marsden Moor heritage trail south

Climb up above the Wessenden Valley on this challenging 8-mile circular walk. You'll be rewarded with views across the valley while learning about the history of this magnificent landscape, and you may spot some of the moorland plants and birds that make the area internationally important.


The weather can change very quickly across open moorland, so please come prepared.

Total steps: 7

Total steps: 7

Start point

Marsden Moor Estate Office, by train station, grid ref: SE046118

Step 1

From the estate office, head down Station Road through Marsden and cross the A62. Walk through the park and past the bandstand to come out on Carrs Road. Cross the road and take the path at the end of the row of cottages. Follow the path past a newly-renovated house behind the other houses, keeping the wall on the left and then, after a short distance, turn right. Head uphill and over a stile until you arrive at a house and stables. Turn left, then go over another stile and follow the path behind the house. Keep right until you reach a choice of three gates. Take the left-hand gate to head up the slope, where you cross a stile which takes you onto a track. Turn left and head past Upper Acre Farm to meet the Deer Hill Conduit. Turn right and follow the conduit until you reach waymark number 9. Here you can take in the view of Marsden and its mills and appreciate how important the mills were to the local economy.

Step 2

Continue along the conduit to reach waymark 10 and take in the fine views over the Butterley and Blakeley reservoirs. Keep walking along the conduit, crossing over a stile. Just before you get to the next stile, head down the field boundary to the corner stile and take the path behind Wessenden Lodge.

Step 3

When you meet the main Wessenden track, turn right and follow the path in front of the Lodge and continue down this track for about 880yd (800m). Follow the Pennine Way steeply down into the bottom of the valley and then even more steeply back to the top to meet waymark 11. Here is a good point to catch your breath and admire the views of the Wessenden Valley and former shooting lodge.

Curlew taking off at Stiffkey saltmarshes, Blakeney, Norfolk
March marks the start of the ground-nesting bird season, when species such as curlew begin to build their nests on the moor | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

Step 4

Follow the Pennine Way to the right, along Blakely Clough and up steps onto the moor to reach the Black Moss and Swellands reservoirs. More information can be found on the interpretation panel here.

Step 5

Cross the dam wall and follow the path left towards Black Moss other dam wall, then head right and follow the path northwards through one of the National Trust sheep enclosures. The area you are walking through was once very badly eroded, but by eliminating grazing and spreading heather brash and seeds the plot has recovered. Still vulnerable to wildfires, the plot was almost burnt in spring 2009. Keep walking along this path until you meet the Pennine Bridleway. Turn right and walk along the bridleway to meet Mount Road where you will find an information board about the turnpikes.

Step 6

If you fancy some impressive views of the estate from the top of Pule Hill, follow Mount Road left/westwards until you come to a signpost on your right pointing out the Standedge trail which contours around Pule Hill. This path is very boggy at the beginning but soon dries out. Continue around until you come to the path that leads you up past the quarries where you can turn back on yourself to walk along the edge to the summit and waymark 14. Walk straight back down to join Mount Road and retrace your steps to the information board.

Step 7

Carry on past the information board until just before the cattle grid where you turn left onto Old Mount Road and then follow the footpath along a track towards Hades Farm until you reach waymark 15. The path leading off the track leads down to meet up with Old Mount Road where you turn left and head back down into Marsden. Cross the A62 again and walk past St Bartholomew's church to Station Road and back to the car park.

End point

Station Road car park, grid ref: SE046118

Trail map

Map of Marsden Moor heritage walk south, Yorkshire
Map of Marsden Moor heritage walk south | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

Marsden Moor Office and Information Room, The Old Goods Yard, Station Road, Marsden, West Yorkshire, HD7 6DH

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We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

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