on the pennines

Marsden Moor and Pule Hill Circular Walk

This is a wonderful moorland and hill walk in Kirklees, West Yorkshire. The walk is full of variety, from vast open moorland to views from the top of the Pennines and a small, yet iconic hill to climb, Pule Hill.

The walk starts in the lovely village of Marsden. The best place to park here is at the National Trust car park by the canal and Marsden railway station.

standedge tunnel

From here, you walk gently along the canal for about half a mile before reaching Standedge Tunnel.

You can stop at the Visitor Centre to learn about the famous Standedge Tunnel under the Pennines, where the railway and canal go underground and stay way under your feet for a lot of this walk.

From the tunnel entrance, you sweep to the right and meander up paths and tracks up onto the moors. Our GPX route on Walkshire.com will guide the way.

bench on the trail

You should imagine that this route was taken by pack horses and handlers on the canal in its heyday, while the boats went underneath via the tunnel. It must have been hard work!

packhorse trail

It must have also been far removed from the peacefulness you get today. The area is beautiful, expansive and so quiet. I only met one other person the whole day. There is something about a walk when you really do feel away from it all.

As you climb the moors, the views become vast and the first landmark on the way up is March Haigh Reservoir. This tranquil beauty spot, far from any roads, is a great spot for the dogs to cool down as well.

reservoir stop

Carrying on up the well-laid trail, you come out onto the top of the Pennines. Here, you’ll be met with huge views across Marsden Moor and West Yorkshire.

The rocks along the edge on the top give you a great platform for views over Greater Manchester and Lancashire too. From here, you start heading south along the Oldham Way/Pennine Way.

pennines

Enjoy the views as you follow the Pennine Way southwards, before eventually turning left, back across the moor towards the unmistakable sight of Pule Hill.

Its conical shape is so recognisable.

pule hill

Before reaching the foot of the hill, you meet the A62 Manchester Road at the old Great Western Inn.

great western inn

Next, cross the road and walk to the foot of Pule Hill itself. The climb will seem steep, but heading straight up, it only takes about 15 minutes.

steep climb

The views from the top, in the breeze, will energise you for your wander downhill into Marsden.

top of pule hill

From the top, it’s a gentle descent back into Marsden. You’ll get a great view of the village as you get closer and closer.

marsden

En route, you’ll see huge brick chimney-like structures. These are the ventilation shafts for the aforementioned railway and canal tunnels that run under the Pennines.

This may be a nine-mile walk, but even though it has two climbs, it does not feel too strenuous. It is so rich in variety that it never feels like a slog at all.

Shorter routes are also available- if you park at the National Trust Visitor Centre car park, near Marsden railway station, you can view maps of a range of different routes in the area.

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