Amateur Radio and Walking – SOTA

SOTA or Summits On The Air is a really neat way of combining walking and amateur radio. There is a website dedicated to this side of the hobby at www.sota.org.uk/

In a nutshell, Radio enjoys the clear views and height on top of the hills as much as I do. At height you can get a really clear signal and speak with contacts all over the world.

I got my amateur radio licence on the 5th January 2017. My callsign is 2E0KUK.

I can be found out on the hills most Sundays, and I can be tracked here

 

My Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

0.    In a village called Horton – in – Ribblesdale. Stood in a field. 6:30am. The grass a vivid green in the low contrast of a dull morning. Milling around a caravan, a group of men putting up a blue flag.
This is where I found myself on Saturday, nervously waiting to walk the Yorkshire Three Peaks.
6:45 Mallinson Number 18, ready? Yes. Off you go
1.    Leave the tent, scuff your boots on the ruts leaving the field, and cross the road. A wooden bridge over the Ribble takes you past the toilet block. A crowd of hikers waiting for the Pen-y-Ghent Cafe to open, I quickly scribble my details on a scrap of paper, Mallinson; 06:50; parked by the crown; 0795blah di blah. Push the scrap through the letterbox and grin at the Hiker who says “Can you do that? I’ve been waiting 30 minutes for it to open”
2.    Cross over the road to a gate into a field. Jostled for position by the spaniels with more energy than anyone else. Feeling a bit chilly, on with the gloves. Another gate, gravel scrunch under boots.
3.    “Left or Right”, “It doesn’t say, follow the man in the gloves”. I lead the way, closely followed by the chatty couple and the busy spaniels. The scrunch changes to a clump across a wooden footbridge to Brackenbottom.
The gurgle of the stream drowned out by the trees beating each other in the wind. Tarmac, hard under foot, the slope steep, not gentle, but easing cold legs into the day.
Farm gate, farm yard, farm gate, hill. Moss covered rocks, pathways worn deep. Boots soundless as the gradient tugs against your pack
4.    Pass some stragglers, words of encouragement. One brave soul heading back, words of agreement for his reasons, a silent prayer you will be stronger. Realise that this bit really is steep, the last bit was easy. Daydream of the glory of the finish, brought back to reality as the steep rock clacks against slipping boots. Grip with wet gloves and pull yourself up. Pavement a distant memory. Say good morning to sheep who look quizically at the crazy man. They don’t answer back.
5.    Pavement. steep, but pavement. A gate opens onto the Penine way and the high fell begins in earnest. Realise that this bit really is steep, the last bit was easy. Crunching boots under loose scree and man carved steps. Watch as a small stone makes a mini avalanche. Drumbeat of your heart pounding in your chest. foot in front of foot. hand holding where it can. No sound but your booming pulse in your cold ears. Breathing deep gulps, a last pull. Silent boots on wet slabs.
6.    thousand steps. The summit of Pen-y-Ghent. Not too bad. I can do this. Selfie and go.
7.    Through the gap in the wall. Pick up the pace, its downhill. realise that it is steep, going uphill was easy. every step a potential toboggan ride as boots shimmy for purchase on the loose top. Find a rhythm. Warm legs. daydream that quick fit make shock absorbers for hikers. Brought back to reality as a tripping stone makes me run a few steps to catch up with myself
8.    Rain. there’s a cliff face round here, if the rain stops I might see it. It doesn’t. I don’t
9.    Rain. there’s a right turn I need to take. If the rain stops, I might see it.
10.    Rain. there’s a right turn. …Ah here it is. Steep. Sunshine. Gloves off. Pass a few others. How many is that? 8 on the way up, maybe 10 at the summit, these two, call it 20. Steep. scrunch rhythm.
11.    Look back, there was a mountain there a few minutes ago. Cloud curtains the peak. The effort just a memory. Boots quiet on soft grass. Life is good.
12.    Life is not good. No-one mentioned another uphill, it’s supposed to be the 3 peaks. Oh, actually that wasn’t too bad. Life is good. Sunshine. Jacket off. Juice and a mars bar.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.    passed by a hobbit
21.    what?
22.    Blue flag waving over a mobile home. The thought of a hot cuppa spurs me on and I become aware that I have been walking for 5 miles without a thought. Now the only thought is a brew. simple pleasures. Slap of boots on tarmac.
23.    Sugar? yes honey? Do you want sugar in your coffee? What? oh, yes please. Bliss experienced through burnt lips. Introduced to old man in an old car, name in one ear, out the other. lost in a world of hot drink and still boots. Too soon the cup is drained, wave a cheery hand in the general direction of the support team, and away. Careful across the road, eyes drawn towards the immense viaduct. Boots relentless step after step.
24.    detour. hillock. hidden from view. zip, ahhh, zip. the coffee was good while it lasted. Hands washed in a deep clear pool. dried on grass, watched by quizical sheep who rudely ignore you when you say hello.
25.    Back on the trail. Rain. It won’t last. Boots splash in ever deepening puddles. It may last. Stop, waterproof trousers, check, waterproof jacket, check. Rucksack cover check. Still raining. start walking. Feeling dry and smug. Sunshine. Hot. Really hot. Stop. Jacket off. Rain. Give me strength. Jacket on. Bollocks, I don’t care. Let it rain.
26.    Hail. Christ
27.    Wind and Hail. Bloody Nora.
28.    Steep. Realise that this bit really is steep, the last bit was easy.
29.    Ears stung through my hood. When did hail start going horizontal? Ouch. Just Ouch. I don’t care what noise my boots are making. Reality narrows to 18″ wide. Reality is wet and steep. Reality hurts my ears.
30.    Thousand steps. Summit. Don’t care. No selfie. Not stopping.
31.    Down. Wind straight at you, helps slow your descent. Daydreaming, every cloud has a silver lining, but these have got bloomin’ streamers and party poppers. Back to reality as someone on the way up asks again, “how is it at the top”. “Carnage, but not too bad if you’re a duck with a death wish” A smile softens the impact and leaves them wondering if they heard you correctly. Boots giggling on the downhill scree. Sunshine.
32.    Look back, there was a mountain there a few minutes ago. Cloud curtains the peak. The effort just a memory. Boots quiet on soft grass. Life is good.
33.    Life is not good, downhill is hard! Realise that last bit was easy. Realise I am relying on cliché, and that the last bit was not easy, actually.
34.    Decide a song may lift my spirits. Lustily launch into a good song. Watched by quizical sheep. I am fairly sure that one said something, and it was not very polite. Stop singing.
35.    Scrunch under Boot, roadway. Clock under boot, wooden bridge. Crunch and skitter along pebble strewn path to the farm, and the big blue flag. Checkpoint Charlie. Who knew? Nectar comes in pyramid shaped bags!
36.    End of the path. Roadway. Cars. Feeling very vulnerable. 2″ clearance. whipped by slipstream. impolite salute. “Ingleborough 2 miles”, over this stile. I’ll take it. Silent boots on springy tundra. Life is good again.
37.    Slurp Chug Mud. Clack of gate. Clack of gate, chit chat spoiling my solitude.
38.    I stop at Braithwaites wife hole, a vacuous gap in the landscape, and let the gossipers go on ahead.
39.    A slight steepening of the land.
40.    Crossing limestone pavement majestic Ingleborough towers. At least it should do, but not today. Rain. sigh. trudge. splash.
41.    Kendal Mint Cake! woohoo! life is good! what are those ants doing on that hill in front? They aren’t ants, they are people. That’s vertical! shit. Steep. Gingerly approach. take another snort of mint cake. Realise that this bit really is steep, the last bit was easy. Get passed by a Spaniel. Head pounding, not sure if it’s a headache or a loud pulse.
42.    It’s a headache. Seriously consider missing the summit and taking the turn to Horton. Take two Ibuprofen and the turn to the summit. Steep. Realise that this bit really is steep, the last bit was easy. regret being a trooper, but carry on anyway, the view will be tremendous. Fog. sigh. crunckle of boots on a lunar landscape as the summit does not loom into view.
43.    Thousand steps. Nearly trip over the trig point. Take a selfie to prove to myself I was stupid enough to be here. Hide behind a wall and change my socks. Better than drugs! Life is good. Ok, maybe the sun isn’t shining, but hey, I have summited the three highest peaks in Yorkshire! Rain. Fog and Rain. Give me strength! time to go home.
44.    Steep. Don’t care, Its all downhill from here
45.    whistle
46.    sing
47.    sunshine. smile. say high to some cows. They don’t answer, for once I am grateful. It’s not that they are rude, just that I am sane. Just.
48.    Pass another couple. Brings my total to… Not sure, let’s say 180. Daydream about playing darts in a warm, dry pub with a beer. Brought back to reality as the field becomes pock marked with boulders.
49.    Squelch. Mud sucking Boots. The Hills don’t want you to leave. Dig deep, last push.
50.
51.    A train! Nearly home!
52.    Clack of the gate, dull ring in the tracks as you cross the rail. Left to Settle, right to Carlisle, or is it the other way round? Straight on is the finish, eyes on the prize.
53.    Thousand steps. Field. Blue Flag. Coffee. Happy.

Wessenden Head, Marsden Moor and Black Hill

This walk is up on the tops beyond Marsden. The going is tough in places, boggy and deep mud. You can avoid all the mess by sticking to the Pennine Way path, and rerouting accordingly.

This route is about 11 miles long, and would be ideal for taking your dog along, please take a lead though, there is livestock on the route. The sheep live here, you are just visiting, please be nice.

[sgpx gpx=”/wp-content/uploads/gpx/Soldiers Lump.gpx”]

elevation

At the start, find a parking space, there are plenty, but nowhere for a comfort break, so pay a visit before you get here.

I started by walking down past the first of 5 reservoirs, Wessenden Head. The path is gravel, and downhill. Easy going, but can be a little wet. Today it was frosty and snow was covering the moorland.

Start

The next reservoir soon comes into sight, this one Wessenden.

wessenden

The beautiful deep blue of the sky belies the cold. Its feels bitter at -2’C

selfie I have been warmer in Iceland!

But what a view!

The snow line was just below Wessenden reservoir, and at the farm there were some expensive beasts. deer

(8 venison legs for £50, Is that two deer?) -sorry I couldn’t resist!

Back to the walk, and we are going to be crossing that little bridge, bottom right on this picture.

grouse

Its well signpostedway following the Pennine Way, expect good footpaths, but don’t expect level. This part is very steep, use your hands to steady yourself, you do not want to overbalance here.

The stream looks amazing with the early morning sunlight glinting off the ripples, the water dancing at the start of its long journey to the sea.

river

Up the steep other side, and on to Marsden Moormoor moor2

moor3

The reservoirs of Blakeley and Swellands will be seen in passing, the path takes you up close and personal with Black Moss Reservoir

BlackMosswho knew there was a beech in the Huddersfield area?

Traversing almost 360′ around the reservoir, this hike as left the Pennine way and the clearly defined pathway is no more. It will become clearer further on, but I find I am having to take and follow compass bearings to get along. Sure, I could have managed, perhaps, or I could have retraced my steps. A map and compass is my preferred option.

Walking over the moors, with a map, you also get to see the names, I like the idea of “Black Moss” and “White Moss” and I wonder what went on in the past to give such evocative names as “Featherbed Moss”

No time to get too romantic though, the A635 is soon reached and with it the increased speed of the world. The map has a footpath marked, but alas the way was not willing to be found today. I chose instead to walk along the roadside to a disused quarry, and go off-piste. Although there is a path marked, nature had had other ideas, and almost any trace had been erased over the winter. If you are on the right track, you should find the odd cairn to guide you.

cairn

Luckily enough, there is a highly visible landmark in front of you, just look up! Soldiers Lump is the name given to the top of Black Hill, the highest point in West Yorkshire, and back to the superb pathway of the Pennine way. Whip out the old camera and grab a selfie!

soldierslump

Just for the heck of it, I walked South along the main path for about a mile, just to take a look, then doubled back to the trig point, and onwards towards the car park.

In the distance, the jewel in the crown of West Yorkshire, Huddersfield shines.

huddersfield

There is a steep downhill section which is a bit tricky, and then the crossing of Dean Clough deanclough before the last ascent and you are back at the Car Park and if you are very lucky, the welcome sight of a tea van.

Have fun, and enjoy yourself, but please be safe while you are out, and follow the countryside code.

 

The Accidental Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge

Does this sound familiar?

You decide to get fit, and the first month goes really well. Someone mentions a great challenge, and full of enthusiasm, you sign up. The next day, you realise what you have done!

Stop now and take stock! Before you venture onto the hills, question your skills and your motivation, look at your fitness level and really assess if you are going to manage.

a good few thousand people a year do complete this, a lot don’t.

Wher

Looking back to Whernside from Ingleborough. This is one of the views you will see if you can answer yes to these questions.

Can you walk a marathon? and climb the equivalent of 400 flights of stairs up and down? Can you do this carrying food, water, waterproofs, warm clothes, essentials? Without mobile phone signal? In widely varying weather conditions and temperatures? In under 12 hours?

You may have signed up for this challenge to support a worthy cause, that’s really cool, but believe me, there are no charities or sponsors who want you to be in trouble on the hills. Be prepared, or don’t set off.

There is a list of what I take every time I go out on a walk at the bottom.

With 4 weeks to go until my charity challenge, I decided to go and check it out.

I arrived just before 7 in the morning, got my boots on, and away for exactly 7am.

Pen-Y-Ghent rises majestically in front of me as I leave Horton-in-Ribblesdale and get some Yorkshire Dales dirt on my soles. It is a pleasant morning, quiet but for the birdsong, and the walking is easy enough. Its mostly a steady incline, getting colder as I get higher until the ground is covered in a dusting of new snow. The path joins the Pennine Way just in time for the last push to the summit. This is not an easy bit, you do use hands as well as feet to get up here. Whip out the old mobile for a selfie at the Trig point.

Pen-Y-Ghent Its 8am, too early to go home, and I’m not tired, so I decide to head off towards Whernside. It’s all good practice

What! going downhill is way harder than going uphill! Who knew?

Press on, I was joined by a young lad and his dog. The dog was called “Ralph” not sure about the lad’s name. We chatted for a little while as the miles passed. We parted company at the Ribblehead Viaduct. He felt the call of the burger van, where there was a cup of tea with his name on it!

viaduct Whernside is a different animal. Where Pen-Y-Ghent was frosty, and steep, Whernside was foggy, and a long drag upwards. up The misty drizzle did serve to keep me cool, every cloud…..

This is the highest of the three peaks, so out with the selfi-cam again.

Whernside At each of the trig points, there are drystone walls formed in a semi-circle with rough seating inside. I would suggest getting off the summit and stopping for a bite or drink, instead of being in the coldest spot. Don’t forget to add a layer if and when you do grab a break, you will cool down very quickly.

So there we go, two down.

The valley after Whernside has a lovely old lady selling hot snacks and drinks, she also had bottled water, so I grabbed a couple. At this point, I could walk back to the car, but as the day was getting warmer, I had fresh water, and most of my food supplies left… well it would seem rude not to go for it, wouldn’t it?

Ingleborough is a pig of a hill! It is official!

Ing I met my first group of walkers making their attempt at all 3 peaks here. They were raising money for the Meningitis Trust, and had been out since 5:20am. They are the orange dots half way up!

This climb lifts you to a ridge, which you follow up to a plateau which could be straight from a lunar landscape. The trig point safely bagged with a selfie, Ingleborough

time to head off the hill.

The elation of getting that third peak has time to dissipate by the time you get back to Horton-in-Ribblesdale. There is nothing much to say, other than at this point you are very tired, and your legs are aching. Its downhill all the way back.

Back By the time I returned, the Pen-Y-Ghent Cafe was still open, so in I went. You can be invited to join the prestigious 3 peaks club if you manage the challenge in under 12 hours. Do I get a badge? No! You must let the cafe know that you are attempting the walk, and let them know your set off time! Unfortunately, I didn’t, so no, I don’t get a badge 🙁 But my friends who set off at 5:20, they were in the log, so they do. Every cloud…….

So that was how I “accidentally” completed the three peaks. My time?

9hrs 15minutes … unofficial of course

After driving back to Huddersfield, my legs were seizing up. I had a bath, then slept for 10 hours solid. This is a serious challenge, I accidentally completed it, having made assessment of my situation at many points throughout the day. As you can see from the videos, I was not expecting to see it through this time, but the weather was favourable, I had the right gear and sufficient supplies. I was aware of my position at all times, and I was prepared to leave and get back to safety if that was required.

Please be very careful if you go out. Be prepared! and have fun.

My supplies and equipment:

Wearing

          • Rohan briefs (much more comfortable than cotton) Direct Link to Rohan
          • Bridgedale Socks (never had a blister since I started wearing these)

    • North Face Base layer

    • Cragghopper Trousers

    • North Face Fleece

    • Marmut Waterproof

    • North Face Waterproof trousers

    • Alt-Berg Boots Can be seen at this direct link
    • Rab Gaiters

    • Karrimor Rucksack

In the Rucksack

    • Anything from above, not currently being worn
    • Cragghoppers Down Jacket
    • wooly hat and gloves
    • spare socks
    • basic first aid kit
    • 10m para-cord
    • knife
    • Silver foil blanket

  • Orange ‘bivvi’ bag
  • 4 Mars bars
  • Flask of ‘Yorkshire Tea
  • water
  • Sandwiches in a tupperware box
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Mobile phone
  • Keys
  • Some money and a credit card

Free Walking

No, this isn’t about how you can walk for nothing, its about setting off to explore the town with no pre-planned route.

Lunchtime arrived, and because I had started early, most of my work was complete, so I set off for a wander.GreenheadRoad

Through the town to Greenhead Park was a good start,

Greenhead

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greenhead-Park

 

Stopping for a light lunch by the model Railway.  The sun was out, so the park was busy.

 

I exited on Gledholt road, and went for an explore in the woods.Gledholt-wood

You really should have a look here, its super.Gledholt-WaterfallStinkLily

Finally I took a little used path over the railway bridge into Longroyd BridgeTower

back to work past Snow Island.snoweir

I suppose I must have walked about 3 miles-ish and it took an hour and a half, a real break from work.

Castle Hill – Shelley – Thunder Bridge – Farnley Tyas – 11 miles

Victoria-Tower The starting point for this walk is Castle Hill, in the car park at the side of Victoria Tower. The beautiful rosy glow belies the freezing temperature at 6:30 am as the sun rises.

If you have a favourite walk in or around Huddersfield, why not write about it, and email it to us so we can publish it for others to enjoy. Our email: Contact Us @ WalkHuddersfield

Emley-Mast

This is a circular walk of 11 miles, and regardless of which way round you tackle it, you will start going downhill, and finish with a rise. (This is what happens when you start on the top of a hill). On the positive side, you can see the tower from most places on this walk, making it hard to get lost. Expect to take 4-5 hours on this walk.

[sgpx gpx=”/wp-content/uploads/gpx/Circle away from Castle Hill.gpx”]

elevation Elevation, Clockwise

Today I had company for the walk, my daughters boyfriend is just finishing basic training with the army, and volunteered to come along. As we set off heading North-East from Victoria tower, Huddersfield is veiled in low cloud. Huddersfield

The mercury is hovering around zero degrees, but the clear sky is a good indication of a pleasant day to come.

The footpath leads downhill, veering slightly more towards east, until we meet the road at Wheat Royd. Your start point is still clearly visible.Tower-Almondbury

 

 

 

 

 

Turn off the main road at Sharp Lane, and there is a footpath on the left, this takes you down a meandering path to Rushfield DikestreamRushfield-Dike

Up a rise to Birks Wood, where you join Woodsome road.

Starting to feel warm, we take a break for a brew by Woodsome Hall Golf Course, its still quiet on this road, but I suspect it will be noisier when we get to the A629, which is just around the corner. This corner of the road is treacherous, please be really cautious. The A629, although not really busy yet seems to be manic after the quiet of the walk so far, stay safe as you cross this main road. You are only alongside for 50 yards before turning Right (signposted “Lepton”)

If you have driven some of these roads, you will know how steep they are, so you can imagine that approaching on foot is disheartening, but actually they don’t seem too bad, and there are lots of spots where you can stop and chat with the locals.

Horse

A little way up the hill, turn Right along the footpath, which is well marked and a nice stretch along to the bridleway at Burton Royd lane, a good place to pause and take in the view.

If the weather is good, it is possible to see the start from hereHighburton

It is actually about 5 miles as the crow flies.

The route circles around Kirkburton on a small road, joining a footpath again at Cinder HillEmley

This is as close as we get to Emley Moor mast, which is just 1km from us.

The footpath is reasonably well marked, but a little “tyred” in places

Tyre

At Shelley, you are back on tarmac, drop down the steep hill into the lower village, then turn right along the A629. There is a turn to the left which takes you to Thunder Bridge, which is a very pretty little village, well worth a visit.Thunderbridge

Take a breather before the steep uphill sectionup to Jenkinson wood and along wood lane. Right on Farnley lane and you are well on your way to Farnley Tyas.

Thunder Bridge was always a popular destination it seemsTo-Thunderbridge

Emley mast is looking a little smaller nowFarnley On the opposite side of the road, there is a strange looking little building, which is the well head that supplied Storthes Hall in Victorian timesWell

Nearly back, Victoria Tower stands guard, waiting to welcome weary travelers backTower-from-Farnley but before you get there, there is the pleasure of Lumb Dike. Please be careful, it can be very muddy here LumbDike then start your assault on

the South Face of the HillLumb-Dike

Tower-Return

 

Kilner Bank – Just over 2 Miles

This is a short walk of just over 2 miles, which takes you away from the hustle of the town. It is surprisingly green and rural considering just how close it is. Allow yourself an hour for this walk, and expect some mud.

Elevation

[sgpx gpx=”/wp-content/uploads/gpx/Kilner Bank.gpx”]

This is a circular walk, so it can be started anywhere along the route. I am starting at Silver Street, and the steep steps up past Kilner Bank Road

StartWithin a few minutes, you are presented with a view which makes the whole walk worthwhile

Huddersfield

The footpaths are well trodden, but I was unable to see any signage, so you need to be careful to turn up towards the cricket ground. If you miss the turn, don’t worry, just follow the old disused road, and take the turning at the old quarry entrance.

The walk leads through a wooded areaBankTop

before opening to the next superb view

Huddersfield-View-2

Easily followed, but a bit muddy, this top stretch isn’t far, and you head down and back along a pretty little track, which is unmarked on the OS map

Bank-BottomThe route

is well over half way completed,

so I popped into Costa for a cheeky latte. Refreshed you pass the Stadium, I always loose track of what they are calling it these days, McAlpine, Galpharm, John Smiths?

Stadium

No such problem with the River Colne,

which lazily meanders past on the RightColne

The last short stretch passes the Golf range, exiting the car park at the rear right, then along the track to get back to the start.

 

Historic Buildings Trail

Discover Huddersfield have produced a series of little guided walk booklets, I decided to grab one and get out for a lunchtime walk and see what it is about.

This short walk is called the Historic Buildings Trail and it starts at the Railway Station

Station

Impressive as the station is, remember to look at the other buildings which surround the square.

The Walk is about a mile long, and will take about 20 minutes

elevation

[sgpx gpx=”/wp-content/uploads/gpx/Historic Buildings Trail.gpx”]

Head off along Railway street which is to your left as you look at the station. Can you spot this cheeky fella?

Cheeky

Was this a statement by a disgruntled stone mason?

A right turn at the junction takes you down past Byram Arcade, with the impressive frontage,Byram

more than matched by the inside, lots of unique shops, and a great cuppa at the BlueRooms if you have time. As you pass

 

LLoyds
Lloyds Bank

Turn Right and you are in Market PlaceMarket-Place

Keep walking through the town centre (don’t forget to look up, above the shop frontages) until you get to Ramsden Street, and turn Left down to the Town Hall

Town-Halland the libraryLibrary

Turning Right past the indoor market you take a dogleg and arrive at the ring road. Turn Left and follow the road past part of Huddersfield University. At Queen street, branch left and you will pass by the

Lawrence Batley TheatreLB

 

The end of Queen street presents you with a view of St Peters ChurchStPetersFront I prefer

the view from the other sideStPeters

The Historic Building Trail suggests you walk along Lord street, which is fine, but you can walk through the church grounds too

Peters-Walkwhichever way you choose, turn Right at Northumberland street for

the Mechanics Institute buildingMechanics

The Trail scoots alongside the building on Friendly street, what a pleasent sounding place! A 90 degree left brings you finally to the conclusion of this walk, The Wholesale Market

Market

 

There is a lot of information packed into the tiny booklet. I’m really pleased that I decided to take this short walk on.

If you get chance I recommend you give it a try. If you want on, the booklet is available from:

Discover Huddersfield

or you can

email discover Huddersfield

Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Starting out at the University of Huddersfield, at Lock 1E, this is a pleasant walk of just under 8 miles, finishing about 3 hours later at the Standedge Tunnel in Marsden. A more extended walk includes Standedge Moor, rejoining the canal at Diggle and continuing on to Ashton-Under-Lyne. This long walk comes in at 23 miles

canal

This walk is shown here as a map and can be downloaded as a gpx file

Getting to Aspley, for the start of this walk is easy, its only a few hundred yards South East of Huddersfield Town Centre. Follow Wakefield Road until you get to Aspley, and get onto the Canal Towpath.

At this point you are on the Broad Canal, so head West past the University, and you will see the start.

Lock 1E
Huddersfield Narrow Canal Lock Number 1E

Accompanied by the local ducks,

I leave the first lock and head off into the walk. Don’t get used to being on the towpath though. The canal allows barges to pass along, but the towpath is sadly no more. It is necessary to leave the canal almost as soon as you have begun, A short climbleave canal

Down the street (turn right at the bottom)street1Then keep going straight until

you get to the Kirklees College college

2EBefore you cross the main road, look back along the canal and you will see lock No.2. This is the only way to see it unless you are on a barge.

3ELock No.3 is somewhat easier to see and has the towering backdrop of Kirklees CollegekirkleesCollege

At lock No.3 you rejoin the towpath as it heads away from huddersfield and sheds modernity for tranquility.

 

 

More on this to come,

In the meantime, there is a booklet available from:

Huddersfield Canal Society

email the Huddersfield Canal Society

Walking the Meltham Way Circular Walk in Huddersfield from Blackmoorfoot Reservoir

The Meltham Way

The village of Meltham lies on the South West of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. It Famously holds an annual 40’s weekend with thousand turning up to take part. The 2016 event will be held on the 2nd and 3rd of July. See more at their website here melthammemories.co.uk

Circling around Meltham is an 8.5 mile walk, The Meltham Way. It is, in my opinion, one of Huddersfield’s finest walks.

If you are planning to try this walk, it is possible to park your car on the roadside by Blackmoorfoot Reservoir. You can get here by bus from Huddersfield. It takes 28 minutes on Bus Number 393.

Or if you are training for the Yorkshire Three Peaks, You can walk up to the resrvoir from Milnsbridge, Paddock or Crossland Moor.

Coming at it from the West you will be close to the Wills’o’nats pub, well worth a call in afterwards, or alternatively, from the East or North take a look at grabbing a pint from the Bull’s Head

The walk around Meltham is not signposted as the Meltham way, instead, there are arrows on small green plaques which say “Walk Meltham”.

The terrain is often soft underfoot, and there are a lot of high stiles and walls to climb over. These are generally in good repair, but as always, please be careful. There is also a short ladder to climb.

You will be mostly walking on the flat, but the walk has aproximately 500′ of elevation change over its length.

Expect the walk to take around 31/2 hours.

Starting from the access road on the East side of Blackmoorfoot reservoir, walk clockwise around the reservoir to half way along the South bank. You will see the start of the Meltham Conduit, a manmade feeder waterway for the reservoir.

Meltham Conduit

The entrance to the pathway is just to the left, and follows the banking along. At this end, the conduit is quite wide, and has some pretty bridges for the sheep to get from field to field, there may be trolls underneath, I didn’t hang around to find out

In the distance, you can see West Nab, the prominant point on the skyline

 

This stretch along the conduit is about a mile and a bit.

It is relatively easy going between the 4′ high walls, which have steps built into them to assist your climb.

Be careful, one of them has a long step down, and several cross onto roads which are fairly well used. The views are stunning though, so its worth taking your time.

It can be a touch windy, there is not a lot to shelter you.

 Keep going until you come across an old set of lock gearing.

Hard to miss. At this point you are going to change direction from generally SW to roughly SE, it is here that you will come across the ladder, and you cross the spillway.

This shows the spillway, and the ladder, its below the level of the land to the left, so you get a bit of shelter, an ideal spot for a drop of #yorkshiretea

Back to the conduit, and the locals are quite friendly

 

The conduit gets smaller and eventually fades to next to nothing, you cross a stile and are left wondering where to go next. At this point you are on a road/track turn right and walk uphill to see the steep sided valley of Royd Edge Clough.

Then turn left and walk down the side of the valley. If its Spring, as it was when I did this, there are some really good opportunities for Easter Photos of Daffodils with Meltham in the background.

As you follow the path on a road, look out for a right hand turn which doubles back. The signs are there, but not easy to see. They get harder, there is a gate on the next corner, which gets hidden by parked cars. Make sure you go through this gate, then only a few yards further and you turn left in the valley bottom. You will believe that you have gone wrong as you go uphill along the path with overgrown tree roots and branches at head level, but its not for long and you get to a farm yard.

In this farm yard is an attack Turkey. I kid you not! For all the times you have had a Christmas dinner, this little bugger wants revenge! Maintain eye contact at all times, and don’t stop until you are past. I turned to get this info from the farmer and the little sod had me! You have been warned.

Back to the walk, and across the Wilshaw Road you enter Meltham Gardens, which is a restful 5 minute stroll, sheltered and shaded, and no Turkey.

Out of the Gardens and the Meltham Way goes Right and Uphill towards Thick Hollins Park. Or, alternatively take a left and walk along the bottom side of Meltham Mills. This naughty little detour reduces the walk by about 40 minutes, and because its Easter Sunday, and I have family to visit, I’m taking the detour.

I rejoin the Meltham Way by taking the second public footpath on the right hand side of the main road and follow the walk meltham signs right back to Blackmoorfoot reservoir

and then to the start point

…..This is my fourth Sunday of getting up early and going out for a little walk. Today started at 5:30am at Marsh,

Walking past Royds Hall, down into Milnsbridge

I took the Right Fork in Milnsbridge to cross Manchester road and head up to Colne Valley High and then the reservoir.

At dawn, with the birds singing away you get some good views out over the valley

 

and pass the church in Linthwaite.

Just before the top of the hill is a great view of the Colne Valley

 

The total distance was about 15 miles. I am starting to feel a bit fitter, although today was very windy, which made walking tough.

Along the way I detoured to keep to my self imposed training schedule, which as far as possible I try and follow without compromising on family life.

The reason I started doing all this walking is to increase my fitness levels, and to reduce my Cholestrol, but in recent weeks I have been training harder than before as I will be attempting the Yorkshire 3 Peaks #Y3P in May. I have taken on the challenge to support the RMBI

If you have enjoyed reading this, perhaps you would be willing to sponsor me with a pound or two? If you can Thank You! here is the link justgiving.com

It would also be really cool if you could +1 this page, share on facebook, twitter or instagram