South Pennine Walks
Moss Moor Edge & Buckstones
Date: 27th November 2010
Distance: 9.0 miles
Ascent: 1412 feet
Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE046118
An enjoyable tramp on a cold frosty day from Marsden up on to Buckstones and Moss Moor Edge returning via White Hill and Rapes Highway.
Route Summary: Marsden - Hatter Lee - Buckstones - Moss Moor Edge - White Hill - Haigh Gutter - Rapes Highway - Eastergate Bridge - Marsden
1. The entrance to Standedge Tunnel
2. The Upper Colne Valley with Close Moss on the skyline
3. Looking down to March Haigh Reservoir
4. On the Buckstones
5. Looking south from Buckstones
6. The A640 as it crosses over Buckstones
7. Looking north east across the M62 from Moss Moor Edge
8. Looking along Moss Moor Edge towards the mast on Windy Hill
9. The boundary fence running along the top of Moss Moor Edge
10. On the Pennine Way on White Hill
11. Moss Moor Edge from White Hill
12. The trig point on White Hill with Hailstorm Hill in the distance
13. One of the stones way markers along Rapes Highway
14. Pule Hill
15. Eastergate Bridge
16. A robin
17. Looking along the frozen Huddersfield Narrow Canal
Walk Detail: I'd initially planned a trip up into the North Pennines but having experienced a sudden snow fall on the A66 before I had no desire to repeat the experience again. As there would be a strong possibility of snow wherever I went I decided to forego use of the car and instead caught the train to Marsden. There were flakes of snow drifting in the air when I changed trains at Huddersfield so I was quite relieved when I arrived at Marsden to find blue sky overhead.
My initial route took me along the towpath of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal right up to where it enters Standedge Tunnel, the highest, deepest and at three miles in the length, the longest canal tunnel in England. With the exception of the area immediately before the tunnel the canal itself was completely frozen with a light dusting of snow on top.
A pleasant walk out of Marsden with nice views of the top end of the Colne Valley preceded a rougher section across reeds and a steep climb up on to the gritstone edge called Buckstones. The Buckstones include some nice overhanging rocks and impressive views to the south and south east. For anyone not wanting to make the rough pathless climb up out of the valley they are much more accessible from a parking area just above on the A640.
After a short section of road walking I turned off the A640 at Buckstones House for another pathless section across the moor to the boundary fence on Moss Moor Edge. The ground underfoot was mostly frozen which made progress easier though occassionally the ice creaked alarmingly when crossing some of the bogs. Rather strangely there was hardly any snow up on the moors and I probably saw more snow on the canal than I did on the rest of the walk.
From the fence I headed north a short distance north to allow a view down to and across the M62. The northern edge proved to be an excellent viewpoint. As well as the moors above Calderdale I could also make out the shapes of Pendle Hill and even Ingleborough in the far distance.
Back at the boundary fence I walked about a bit until satisfied that I had at least come close to the highest point on this rather featureless moor. I then followed the fence all the way to the trig point on White Hill.
After a couple of miles of pathless walking I was looking forward to a spell on the Pennine Way. However this was another section that has been flagged and due to the weather the slabs were, in places, like sheets of ice. It did not take me long to take a rather juddering fall.
At Haigh Gutter I left the Pennine Way to follow Rapes Highway, an historic packhorse route, which led me all the way down to the attractive and much photographed Eastergate Bridge. The final section was along the infant Colne and then the canal again. Along the way I saw numerous birds including a robin, blue tits and a dipper.
All in all this was an enjoyable walk and even better I'd been remarkably lucky with the weather.