Ainley Top to Chain Bar Roundabout – Part of the Kirklees way -12 miles

The Kirklees Way

This is the first section of the Kirklees way, starting from Ainley Top Roundabout in Huddersfield, and going clockwise on the route for about 13 miles, then dropping down to chain bar on the M606 to be picked up. This section of the Kirklees way will take about 5 hours.

The kirklees way is a big crcle around kirklees, but make no mistake, its not a circular walk. Bus links back to Huddersfield on this leg are flakey at best. To get home I needed to get my support time (Kate, my wife) to pick me up. Be prepared to grovel if you start this walk.

It is possible to park on a side street near Ainley top, or arrive by bus, but the best way is just to walk up from town especially if you are training for #Y3P.

The walk can be muddy, not just a bit, but seriously over the ankles muddy, so please be careful.

The Kirklees way follows a nice gentle downhill on a straightforward path down to Grimescar Dike and exits onto Grimescar road just above Birkby.  As is usual from most parts of Huddersfield, you can see the Victoria Tower on Castle Hill in the distance.

Take a breather, and get ready for a steep uphill section

At the top you can take in the view while you catch your breath

It is worth pointing out that the Kirklees way has been here for a while, so its not always going to be the modern circle with a yellow arrow that shows you the way. Some of the older ones can be less than obvious.

Some though are quite easy

The trail leads us onto the Huddersfield Golf Course, quite exclusive, this is probably the only way I will ever get on it 🙂 This morning I can see all the way to FerryBridge, Eggborough and Drax

And exit stage North

This was the last time on this walk that I could see my boots. Upper Cote Farm was very, very muddy

Heading generally West I walked through Upper and Lower Fell Greave, tricky, the way is not marked clearly, but you can trust your map. Another little bridge, watch out for trolls. I didn’t hang about

The second golf course of the day is Bradley

And you will have no trouble following the pathway down to the Leeds Road by Cooper Bridge.

The Three Nuns looks to be in the throws of a refit, and possibly a rename. Walk up the right hand side of it and you find yourself in a staggeringly beautiful area

which only gets better when you arrive in the picturesque village of Hartshead

Past the Church, turn left, then Right the Left again and follow the gentle slope down to that bridge over the M62 that you always wondered how to get to.

Eventually you will arrive at Whitehall road, where I turned Right to head down to the roundabout with the M606. There is a good sized layby here where you can be collected.

This is the third day I have set off early to train for the Yorkshire three peaks. There was some trepidation, because today is the first outing for my new boots. I have been breaking them in gently, but today was a real test.

The boots I have are Altberg Tethera made in Richmond, North Yorkshire, by Alt-Berg, who also make boots for the military. I have to give them a thumbs up, no blisters, and my feet were dry and warm all day. Top marks go to blackburns outdoor for the fitting service, Thanks Carol 🙂

#Y3Ptraining – Second day of endurance training – Scammonden

Last week I walked to Marsden, the first of my walks designed to build endurance for the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge #Y3Ptraining. This week, I am going a little further and introducing some incline to the walk. The route

This is a screeshot from my phone. The app is from Ordnance Survey, and it is superb!

In a nutshell, the plan was to walk uphill from Huddersfield to the motorway, cross the bridge to Outlane and keep going until I reached Scammonden, Make a circuit of the dam, and return over the moors to home.

Total Distance:  16 miles

Total Time: 5 1/2 hours

Pictures of the route


Early Morning start, so the M62 is deserted and its wonderfully quiet.


Open country public footpaths make it feel like a great adventure.


Eerily quiet at the dam


Decided to take a selfie!

The Locals were not sure what to make of me.

It was cold. 3’C going round the dam. I was wearing a 3 layer system of wicking base layer, fleece and windproof outer. As you can see from the selfie, I was down to base layer and still warm enough, lots of effort getting here up the hills. As soon as I stop I just throw the fleece on to keep warm.

I made this a long walk because I’m training for the three peaks, but Scammonden offers a couple of carparks and is a pleasent walk of about 3 miles around. Later in the day Kate decided she would like this walk, so we came back and I walked round again, just as the sun was setting.

At the end of this second day I have learned a couple of lessons.

Walking back over the moors got muddy. Trainers are not great in mud.

A hot drink of #yorkshiretea is great, but 1litre flasks get heavy quick!

and the tricky subject of sweaty areas. Walking produces heat, and you sweat. Cotton can absorb some moisture, but it holds on to it. After 10 miles the technical fabrics of the rest of my outfit are cool and comfortable, but the cotton briefs are less so. This will need to be thought about for next week.

Update, Rohan produce some base layer briefs in a style similar to the M&S ones I normally wear. A pair have been ordered.

#Y3Ptraining day 1 – return – Huddersfield Narrow Canal to Milnsbridge

I took photos of the locks on the way back. I will be writing a post with those another day, so for now, you just get one, and a couple of videos.

Footwear:I am still wearing the old faithful Merrel training shoes, my new boots are in the process of being broken in.

Socks: Bridgedale Trekker

Base Layer: Craghoppers Shirt

Mid Layer:  Craghoppers Fleece

Top Layer:  Craghoppers Aquadry Waterproof

Trousers:     Craghoppers Kiwi

Pack:           Craghoppers 15l day sack

At the end of the walk, I am feeling totally knackered. Feet are hurting, and shoulders too. Long hot bath for me.

Total distance 14 miles,

Time taken 4.5 hours

Lessons learned?

Take a spare pair of socks, look for a pack with a waist belt.

Overall the kit I was wearing performed ok. I am sure that I was wearing too much, as there was a wicking tshirt under all the layers. The walk was not overly taxing, so overheating was less of an issue than it could be. For next week I will look to adjust what I wear.

#Y3Ptraining day 1 – outbound – Standedge, Marsden’s end of the tunnel

Sunday 6th March 2016

It’s Mothers Day today, but I won’t be visiting mine. Its the first day of endurance training for the three peaks #Y3Ptraining.

Why am i doing the #Y3P ?

I left the house at 5:30,

Milnsbridge Early in the morning


Its quite pleasant strolling along this early in the morning. It feels like you are the only person awake. And so quiet! If you only do it once, you should try getting up early, just to experience the wonder of it.


 Sun rise, and I am about 4 miles in, the hills above Slaithwaite are a beautiful golden yellow.

Not all the great views are the great vistas. Sometimes, you can find pleasure in seeing something that you would normally just walk past.

And sometimes all you can say is “thats weird”. Like the tanks at James Dysons, which were clad and painted to “blend in” with the surroundings. At 30′ high, I think the camouflage is spot on.

Eventually, the road walk brings you to Marsden, where you will find the locals walk in the middle of the road. Today, even though the forecast was for clear skies, it was snowing.

Having arrived at Marsden, you need to head into the town centre, then up to the “Railway” pub, which is by the canal. There is a 15 minute walk along the towpath to get to Tunnel End. Apparently the visitor centre opens in March.

Made it! First 7 miles done.

How does a Yorkshire lad celebrate?

A drop of the amber nectar #YorkshireTea

A quick bite of a sandwich, and we’ll head back along the canal.

Footwear:I am still wearing the old faithful Merrel training shoes, my new boots are in the process of being broken in.

Socks: Bridgedale Trekker

Base Layer: Craghoppers Shirt

Mid Layer:  Craghoppers Fleece

Top Layer:  Craghoppers Aquadry Waterproof

Trousers:     Craghoppers Kiwi

Pack:           Craghoppers 15l day sack

Along with Craghoppers hat and gloves

So, half way through today’s endurance walk. I am feeling fit, and reasonably pleased with the clothing. Only niggle is the pack, which seems to be pulling on my shoulders, like it needs to be wider.

I will detail the return leg in the next post.


I am in training for the Yorkshire 3 peaks

The story so far:

On the 2nd October 2015 I quit smoking, helped tremendously by the NHS “Stoptober” campaign. Then, like so many others, I gained a few pounds, which were added to my considerable bulk (16st 8lbs) At 5’9″, Obese, possibly morbidly obese? Long story short, a blood test early December showed cholesterol at 6.6 and some other numbers, and possibly diabetic too.

What better time to need to watch your intake than the Christmas holidays.

I am proud to be a Freemason, but the meals…..

I downloaded”myfitnesspal” onto the phone, and started watching what went in, and where I used the calories.

To achieve my 10,000 steps daily goal, I began walking to work some of the time. I was averaging 2,000 steps before, but soon was able to do my 10,000 without too much aching.

By the end of the year, the average was 12,000 a day.

I pushed a bit harder in January, partly because the weather was mild, and partly because I started enjoying myself. By Month end, I was up to 16,000 average, and 22,000 on a good day. Down to 14st 8lbs. Lost 2st Am I the only person dancing round punching the air shouting “I’m overweight! Hoorah!” BMI just touched 29.5, official, I am not obese anymore. #overweightandhappy

February was an odd month. The enthusiasm started to go, no weight being lost, generally getting bored.

To try and get back some oomph, I started this blog, to record my lunchtime walks, but there is only so much you can say about the same area and still be interesting. On the point of giving it all up, I saw a message in my inbox about the three peaks challenge.

I think I signed myself up without thinking it through.

I have now had a few days to read up on what’s involved, and what it takes to achieve this.

In equal measures I am excited, scared, confident and nervous.

I have worked out a training plan for the next 10 weeks and I am sharing what happens on Facebook. You can find me using #Y3Ptraining or #Y3P

Sunday, endurance training, walked 15 miles, loved it. Step count = 31,000, personal best, very chuffed. Feeling ok on Monday, which is a rest day, so only walked to work and back.

Any tips greatly received.
Wish me luck!

Castle Hill and Victoria Tower – Ancient (the monument or the walker?)

Distance: 3.75miles

Duration: 1 1/2 hours

Min/Max Elevation: 216′ – 890′

If you want great views of Huddersfield, you need to get up high. One landmark which stands out for this is Jubilee tower, on Castle Hill, so that’s where I’m heading. This walk starts and ends at the Subway sandwich shop on Wakefield road, and I availed myself of a 6″ to eat at the top of the hill.


There are a lot of different routes, but I chose this one as the most direct, I need to get there and back during my lunch break. After crossing the main road, Its a straight trek up Dog Kennel Bank, and keep heading towards the tower, which is visible almost all the way. You will pass Longley Nature reserve, which may be worth a look another day.


After passing through Lowerhouses, the road starts to look much more rural, and the wind can really rattle your bones.


I haven’t been up here for a while, and I was surprised at just how much work has been done. Kirklees have made a good job of making this a place worth visiting with the kids. Lots of info dotted about regarding the wildlife and the history of the hill.

Always a good idea to be prepared for a turn in the weather, a walk to Castle Hill is no exception, and true to form, it got colder, and wetter as I arrived.

This is at lunchtime!

My main reason for walking up here was the views, 

which didn’t disappoint.

I couldn’t enjoy them for long though. After enjoying my butty, its back the way I came.

This would be a more pleasant  walk if I had more time to explore around the top, and maybe take a different route back. If you can, make a day of it, you won’t be disappointed.

Castle Hill is a scheduled ancient monument. This is a big deal! Do not leave any litter here, you can’t take vehicles anywhere except the car park (why would you want to?) No Fires either!

Scheduled Ancient Monument

Scheduled Ancient Monument

Who stole the canal? Heading West from Aspley – 2 miles

On Facebook, the ability to walk from Aspley to Marsden on the canal bank was questioned, so yesterday, I decided to walk home that way and see what happened.

At Aspley, you can sneak under the main road, making it possible to avoid being killed by the traffic, always a bonus.

Go down a few steps

And into the tunnel


You will magically arrive safe, by the University

Leaving that part of the university behind, the canal changes to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. It was the Broad Canal up to this point.


Is this analogous with how we will change with all this walking? I quite like the idea of morphing from broad to narrow 🙂

Anyway, back to the canal, which we won’t have for much longer. Some serious metalwork supports the banking just prior to the canal entering a tunnel, which we can’t follow. There is a steel staircase which it is necessary for us to climb. Be really careful if it is wet or cold, this can get really slippy.


We can now answer the question. No, it is not possible to follow the canal from Aspley to Marsden, however, turn left at the top of the stairs, walk to the bottom of the road and turn right. Head to the Kirklees College building. Total distance away from the canal is 350m.

When you get to the college, you are back with the canal, and can continue along to Longroyd bridge.  


The Tow Path is well maintained, and tarmac all the way along this stretch.

At Longroyd Bridge, we will follow the left fork, and go under the main road via this short tunnel. Some thoughtful person even sign posted the route for us.


From here on, the route is really straight forward, but not for me, as this is part of my homeward walk, and I don’t live in Marsden. So I leave at sunset at Milnsbridge.

Sometimes it Shines – Kilner Bank Quarry – 2 1/2 miles


Distance: 2 1/2 Miles

Duration: 1 hour

Min/Max Elevation: 176′ – 400′

Bright sunshine, but a little bit chilly. Today’s walk  takes in some great views over the town. If you are going to follow this route, be aware that there are a couple of relatively steep inclines, and some areas are soft under foot. That being said, its not too long a walk, and you can call in at Costa for a cheeky cappuccino.

First, get yourself to Silver street, there is lots of on-street parking. The walk start at the side of the Furniture mill.


Almost straight away, the first steep part presents itself. Go to the top and get on Kilner Bank Road

Up Down

This should get your heart pumping, so why not have a pause at the top and soak up the view


Further along, Kilner Bank has been gated to prevent access by car, and it now makes for a very pleasant stretch, but because its so sunny, we are going higher, so take the path just to the left hand side of the gate on the right in this picture.


Through the field and into the woods

The pathway here is nice and easy to follow, and is quiet and peaceful, away from any traffic. The first easy point to cut the walk short is coming up, and will take you down to the stadium.

But today, we will keep going, past another field, and then turn down off the hill. Now heading back the opposite direction, and at a lower level, there are some really pretty paths.


And some pretty views of the town


Which leads towards the Odeon.  Cheeky Cappuccino anyone?

Post refreshment, curiosity to see the level in the river gave me all the reason I needed to return using the Riverside walk past the stadium, as I did yesterday.


The river is much lower than yesterday.

Then as you walk past the golf range, you are back into the woods for a nice easy last section back to the start.

A nice straight forward walk for a lunchtime, this walk requires a basic level of fitness and mobility.

Have fun, and please take any litter home with you.

Sometimes it Rains. Aspley Marina Canal Walk – 4 Miles

At lunchtime, I go out for a short walk. Work is just outside the town centre of Huddersfield, right by the University. Surprisingly, the countryside is really close by, and it can be explored during a lunch break. Today it is raining, so I will get wet. Photos and map will be added when I get back.

Aspley Marina, Leeds Road and the Stadium

Distance: 4 miles

Duration: 1hr 20mins

Min/Max Elevation: 176′ – 315′

This circular route can be started anywhere along the route, and you can go in either direction equally well.

I set off from the car park at the Asda supermarket, and crossed over the river to Aspley Marina.

The route then follows the canal bank to Lock 9 about 2 miles along the tow path. Along the way you realise how much the canal is tied to our industrial past. Although it is now tranquil and teeming with wildlife and birds, you pass by areas built to be served by the canal, and still used for industry today.


The canal area has been maintained and a lot of work is in evidence where cleanup and tidying has been undertaken. This leaves you with some great views, although, as usual, certain people feel the need to decorate the area.

The first point at which we have the chance to adapt the walk to a shorter circular route comes at the Great Northern Retail Park


If you want, you can cross Leeds road here, and head back along Gasworks street and St Andrews Road. But we are going further, along past the incinerator, and past our second turn around point at Vine street.

As we head along towards Leeds road playing fields, there are some superb locks

Most days there is something happening on the playing fields, training or events. Today there was a match

Leaving the canal, and heading back along Leeds Road, there is not much of interest unless you are hungry, then you can avail yourself of McD or KFC. It gets pretty again as we approach the Stadium. Today the river is quite full.

The walk ends with a short stretch following the Riverside walk, which passes the Golf range, and brings you out on Silver street, right next to the Asda car park.

The weather wasn’t too bad after all. It drizzled all the way, but never got particularly heavy.

The Meltham Way

The Meltham Way
The village of Meltham lies to the South West of Huddersfield, in West Yorkshire.

Meltham famously holds an annual 40’s weekend with thousands of people turning up to take part. Many visitors dress in wartime clothing and arrive in their old cars. Last year there was even a WWII tank.

The 2017 event will be held on the 1st and 2nd of July. See more at their website here

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.
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 man-made 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 prominent 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 become almost invisible, 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 a few yards further, 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, you are on the correct track, shortly you come across a farm yard.

In this farm yard is a viscious attack Turkey. I kid you not! For all the times you have had a Christmas dinner, this little devil 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.

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 return to the start point


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