Thursday, 19 April 2012

White Hill, Blackstone Edge & Rishworth Moor 15.4.12

 17 miles - 7 hours.
So it was back to Marsden again, this time for a walk I had planned that takes in the high moorland to the north of the town. Once again with it being a Sunday, the trains were dodgy. It meant getting to Huddersfield, then catching a bus to Marsden. Now that's OK going, but when you want to go home it can play on your mind a little as to whether the return bus is going to turn up at all, or leave you stranded in Marsden. But, once again throwing caution to the wind, I decided to chance it.
 I arrived into a sunny Marsden at 14:00, the town looked quite idyllic in the afternoon sunshine, and it felt warm too, considering how it had been in the week. The bus had dropped me of on Manchester Road, the main road that's runs through the town, so I walked the short distance to the deserted railway station to begin my walk.
 Crossing over the railway via the bridge, you need to turn left following the road that lies adjacent to the railway, then a quick right takes you up an incredibly steep little lane...
After a short trip your high above Marsden, the path then merges onto a grassy track. You need to go left at the end of it, and out onto a lane… 
Looking down onto the Marsden entrance of the Standedge Tunnel...
You need to follow the lane for about three quarters of a mile, it then comes to a junction…
You need to turn right here, following the lane that lies adjacent to the River Colne for about half a mile...
I spotted this well made piece of iron work, the entrance to the Hey Green Generator, which powered by water, provided the first electricity in the area to light a house in the Colne Valley in 1890 apparently...
Following Blake Lea Lane now...
You need to cut left here along the footpath through the Kissing Gate. I missed this at first and ended up walking up the steep lane to the right, not good!...
Walking next to the beginnings of the River Colne...
And then up and over this great little bridge. You need to turn right after the bridge towards - according to the map 'Stack End'...
The path now swings round to the left, and continues steeply upwards...
This brings you out onto some fine looking moorland, here looking towards high Buckstones Moss...
This is a well walked pathway, which is a branch path from, the Pennine Way...
Looking towards Standedge...
March Hill stands high across the moor...
And last weeks hike, West Nab high above Marsden to the right, and a distant Emley Moor mast to the left. Marsden here looking a bit like an oasis in the dessert...
Approaching the crossing of the A640, you need to head across this to the path directly opposite...
Once you cross the road, you are now onto the Pennine Way path...
Looking back at a distant Black Hill...
And forward to my next objective, White Hill...
Looking north west towards a distant Winter Hill, near Bolton...
Finally made it to the summit Trig Point of Moss Moor (White Hill) at 466 metres...
Looking towards my upcoming objectives, Windy Hill Transmitter and Blackstone Edge sticking up beyond it...
Descending towards the A672, and the transmitter...
Here right on the border between West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester...
The transmitter itself stands right on the border too, and is a well known sight when travelling west bound on the highest part of the M62...
About to cross over the highest point of Britain's highest motorway...
This was quite a good thing to do, due to the amount of times I've passed under this bridge it's nice to say I've actually walked over it too...
 On now towards Blackstone Edge...
Looking East towards Great Withins reservoir, and Rishworth Moor behind - which is my next port-of-call after Blackstone Edge...
 Walking across the rock strewn flat top of Blackstone Edge, there was nobody about except an Amateur Radio Operator who had erected a huge aerial near to the summit...
 Approaching the summit Trig Point...

Blackstone Edge summit 472 metres (1549 feet). There was some fantastic views from the summit that day, you could see as far as the North Wales coast along with the Carneddau Range, most of the Peak District including Kinder Scout, Bleaklow, and as far as Axe Edge Moor...
Looking north towards Chelburn Reservoir, and a distant Pendle Hill...
It's now a matter of continuing north across the boulder strewn pathway...
You will eventually reach this stile opposite the 'Aiggin Stone', this old way marker is where you turn right to continue the walk...
You are now onto a boggy Roman Road for the next half of a mile...
When you reach this bridge over one of the many drainage channels in the area, turn immediately right after it...
The path now follows one of the drainage channels...
Great Withins Reservoir again, along with Windy Hill Transmitter to the right, and the bulk of Moss Moor to the left...
You are now onto the edge of Rishworth Moor...
There has been some serious engineering in these parts at some point in time, the drainage channels are quite impressive in themselves, but the many well built bridges crossing them I found quite amazing. The path comes out onto one of the bridges, cross over it and then cut left along the path that lies next to the drainage channel for a good quarter of a mile...

Thanks to the Calderdale Countryside Service, this path is way marked...
From this marker, I cut left directly up the hillside across the rough ground towards the summit of Rishworth Moor (Dog Hill) marked by a Trig Point at 435 metres...
Looking back across Great Withins Reservoir towards Blackstone Edge...
You need to head back to the path again now heading east along the base of Rishworth Moor towards Booth Wood Reservoir...
Cutting right through a farmers field and yard...
This brings you out onto a lane, turn left onto it and follow it downhill for about 400 yards...
Now, this bit was a tad tricky. According to the map there is a public footpath cutting from the below road down onto another road that runs along side Booth Wood Reservoir. I could not locate it, so I went right here down towards the Turn Pike Pub, then left onto the busy road at the side of the reservoir...
Heading down the very steep lane towards the large dam at the end of the reservoir...
Keep following the lane around, you should notice this footpath heading steeply upwards, head up it and out onto the lane that runs under the M62...
At the beginning of this track, it says it's a 'private road only' for the famous Stott Hall Farm. But that's for drivers only, and there is a way marker and stile at the end of the tunnel to reassure you it is a footpath. Now why 'the famous Stott Hall Farm', well this is farm that sits in the middle of the M62. I think most drivers give the place a double take when travelling this stretch of Britain's highest motorway. It survived the bulldozers when the motorway came through forty years ago, probably because the motorway had to be split here anyway due to the land it sits on, and now a well known land mark to regular passing motorists, and the people of West Yorkshire...
The underpass takes you right onto a rough lane that runs adjacent to the motorway for a bit before climbing steeply up the hill side...
Cutting left from the track here directly up the hill side now, still following a pathway however...
Looking back across the M62 to Rishworth Moor in the evening sunshine...
At this point I was quite exhausted, and traversing the moor side was pretty gruelling!...
At the top of the moor side, cross over the B6114 to the path on the opposite side that takes you down towards Deanhead Reservoir. The path then crosses the dam of the reservoir, and then continues up the side of opposite Slaithwaite Moor...
Passing another farm house, the path brings you out onto the A640 road that traverses the edge of the moor. Turn right onto the road and follow it for about 400 yards again, before turning left here onto a track that cuts across the moor...
Cupwith Hill was tempting with its Trig Point at the summit, but in fading light - not a good idea...
Passing Cupwith Reservoir...
The well maintained track continues across the moor for a good one and a half miles before it starts to descend into Marsden...
Descending this incredibly muddy track back into Marsden, a welcome sight after such a huge walk...
This was one of the most tiring walks I've done. At 17 miles, it's by no means the longest - but due to the gradients involved it was a real tough one to achieve. If you attempt it, give your self plenty of time to take it gradually, not so your racing against fading light like I was on the last stretch.
 Overall though, a great trek taking in some pretty amazing scenery. Thanks for reading.
Post a Comment