Monday, 7 May 2012

Scammonden Water to Marsden and...erm...back again!

Do you ever remember those school trips, the ones with packed lunches and places you just can't quite remember. Well, for years I have driven past a reservoir at the side of the M62 just west of Huddersfield and felt for sure I'd been there on a school trip. The location is quite nice, even considering the proximity of the M62 and there's a nice four mile or so walk around the reservoir. The reservoir is Scammonden Reservoir and this weekend I decided to go there for a walk and see if it brought any memories back.

The car park above the reservoir has a fantastic view down onto the water, although the sound of the M62 is a little distracting.

M62, a close companion.

The quality of the paths around the reservoir are of a high standard so a clean start is guaranteed. The path edges up around the sailing club and on up to the back of the reservoir towards Deanhead Reservoir.

Looking towards the back of Scammonden Reservoir to Deanhead Reservoir.

Once you reach New Lane car park at the back of Scammonden you need to head right, around 50 meters or so up the road to the path. This path will continue up to the back of the valley to Deanhead Reservoir which you will actually cross from right to left.

Deanhead Reservoir Dam can just be seen.

Once you reach the Deanhead Reservoir Dam wall it's interesting to take a look at the wall as you cross. Not to worry anyone, but the wall looks to have seen better days. And it looks like it's being monitored closely. I imagine it's safe though.

Before crossing I would look across the valley for where the path continues. Once you are across, the path gets harder to spot. To help, I have included a photo with and without a guide to show the paths line.

With path guide.

Without path guide.

As you will see when you cross to the other side, the path appears to be a very old, unused road. Following the wall seemed easiest. There is what seems to be a path that goes straight forward up the hill, but there is no stile at the top. To be honest, this is the only questionable section of the route.

Looking up the path.
Looking down the path to Deanhead Reservoir.

As can be seen on the photo with the guide, the path has a switch back at the top, over a stile and on through the farm yard of the farm that can be seen in the photos. I will make no comments about the farm or it's imaginative use of carpet on the farm track leading out to the main road, although a clean would be good.

Once up to the main road you head around 50 meters to your right and across the road to meet up with the continuation of the Kirklees Way. The initial mile or so has a similar path type as that alongside Scammonden Reservoir. The path then becomes a typical muddy/boggy/sandy path until you are at the other side of the plateau.

The path across the plateau to Marsden.

As the path starts to drop down at the other side of the plateau a lot of nice views are waiting. Off to your right the distinctive Pule Hill makes itself known.

Pule Hill.

Looking forward down into the valley ahead is a pretty good view, towards Marsden, especially if the weather is nice. I wish I could say the weather at the time was ideal.

Marsden in the valley.

Marsden is a picturesque small town. It's where several scenes were shot for Last of the Summer Wine, including Aunty Wainright's shop and at the side of the canal to name a few. I can also highly recommend a bacon sandwich in 'Crumbles on the Corner (no affiliation) if you like that kind of thing.

The route back I took was just the reverse of that taken. The climb out of Marsden is a good lung burner and another opportunity for photos.

A nice walk in dull weather, I reckon a cracker in good weather. At around 9 miles it makes for a steady walk with a sting in it's tail.

Did it bring any memories back? I'm still quite sure I've been to Scammonden Reservoir before, but can't say for sure. It was over 30 years ago, so maybe.