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South Pennines Walk
March Haigh Reservoir & Eastergate Bridge from Marsden

Region - South Pennines

County/Area - West Yorkshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 5.0 miles / 8.1 km

Ascent - 880 feet / 267 metres

Time - 3 hours 20 minutes

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SE047118
Lat 53.602744 // Long -1.930448
Postcode HD7 6AX (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - March Haigh Reservoir & Eastergate Bridge from Marsden
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The moors surrounding Marsden have influenced the history of the village. They have provided challenges for transportation, which are still evident toady, the source of power for the watermills of the woollen industry and grazing for the sheep providing some of the wool for weaving. This route uses canal towpath, moorland path and an old packhorse route to explore the lower moors to the west of the village. In addition to being a good walk, you get to sample some of Marsden's industrial past and enjoy the fresh moorland air.

The start is the Standedge Visitor Centre Car Park (Grid ref. SE047118) with its large car park just to the east of the railway station. From here walk west along the canal towpath following the many signs for Standedge Tunnel. Just before the tunnel entrance cross the canal and, keeping to the left of the visitor's centre follow the access road up to the Tunnel End pub. Take the footpath to the right and around the rear of the pub, to a track. Go left along this past Berry Greave. The track becomes a footpath and this leads without any navigational problems to a lane below Lower Green Owlers (Grid ref. SE028126).

Turn right up this tarmac lane passing a house on the right. Take the track on your left toward Hatter Lee. Just before this farmhouse is reached turn left onto the signed footpath (Grid ref. SE028127). Well walked this footpath leads you along the northern rim of Haigh Clough to the dam across March Haigh Reservoir. Bear left and climb up to the southern end of the dam (Grid ref. SE016127). This makes a pleasant place to rest enjoying the solitude of the valley.

The onward route follows a clear path heading south across the moor. This path is not marked on maps but is well walked and will lead you to the old packhorse route at grid ref. SE015125. Turn left here and continue downhill to the picturesque Eastergate Bridge (Close Gate on OS maps). Cross the bridge and follow the river downstream to Waters Road.

Turn right along Waters Road looking out for an attractive iron sculpture in the wall on your left by Hey Green Hotel. A new footpath has been constructed to the right of Waters Road and this is a more attractive option than walking the road. Reaching the Tunnel End pub, turn right down the access road to the canal. Cross the canal and follow the towpath back to the start.

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South Pennine Walks

South Pennine WalksThe 30 circular walks in this guidebook cover the South Pennines, the expanse of hill country that straddles the Lancashire / Yorkshire border between the Yorkshire Dales and Peak National Parks. These walks range from four to eight and a half miles and explore an area of varied and contrasting landscapes. For experienced and novice walkers.
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