2016 01 07 Marsden

Arriving at Marsden in good time for an 8:30 start, I parked near the church and walked up to the walk meeting place: Marsden train station.  I’m the only one there.  Are there walkers in the platform shelter?  Have a look and no there aren’t.  25 minutes past 8 and I’m still the only one.  I did know that two should be on the trains due to arrive a minute or two before half past and I needn’t have worried about numbers as people joined me from just beyond the National Trust centre where free car parking was available.  So there were 11 of us on the walk – phew. 

Walking out from Marsden along the canal to Tunnel End there was gentle rain falling.  We walked out a mile or so further over the moors before cutting back under March Haigh reservoir (built to provide water for the Huddersfield Narrow Canal).  It was raining more heavily.  Now on the Colne valley north side we picked up the Colne Valley Circular Walk.  The wind started to blow hard from behind us and I could believe the 40 mph wind speed from the weather forecast.  Walking as far east as Golcar we dropped down to a lock on the canal and took our lunch there.  At least it had given over raining.  

Now heading back towards Marsden the wind was straight in our face and made for difficult walking, especially when we started to gain height on the south side of the valley.  As we crossed the main road in the valley a slight navigational blip shaved 0.3 of a mile off the route.  As Andrew remarked: “There’s not too many walking clubs where you have to apologise for taking a shortcut”. A little further along the valley, we left the Colne Valley Circular Walk and made our way to Deer Hill reservoir.  Walking besides Dear Hill conduit was reminiscent of walking in Madeira along their levada – just not as warm.  Descending once more down to Marsden we took at long flight of stairs in front of the dam to Butterly reservoir, passing old mill buildings.  Ian and Ron picked up the pace to make their trains.  19 miles and my GPS recorded 1,160 metres of ascent.  Back at home and the route on the PC gave a more realistic 804m of ascent.

Thanks to John for devising the route and thanks to those who turned out for the walk.