The grey skies and ominous clouds that greeted me this past Sunday morning did not exactly fill me with much eager desire to go outside, and as the raindrops started to fall I decided that a short walk, donned head to toe in waterproof clothing, would suffice for the day’s activity, writes Caroline Spalding.
Victoria Tower atop Castle Hill overlooks Huddersfield and is, for the me, the icon of Kirklees, like Stoodley Pike is to Calderdale.
Visitors can climb the tower for a small fee and enjoy the wonderful vistas looking out across the farmland and moorland all around.
There are a number of short walks that can be followed, however our route this week totalled approximately 6 miles, which was more than sufficient in the terrible weather. Start from the car park and climb the steps up to the Tower – GR SE 152 139 [OS Explorer 288].
From Victoria Tower, bear north-east going beyond the tower to follow a path that mirrors the road beneath and is called Clough Hall Lane.
Passing through fields and beside a few properties, past Ashes Common Farm, continue for some time until climbing very slightly to join a tarmac lane – Wheatroyd Lane.
Turn right and descend, rounding the bend until the path leaves the lane through a gap on the left just before the property up ahead.
Cut across a field until meeting a track; continue the descent to meet Lumb Lane beneath.
Turn left and then right on meeting Sharp Lane. Follow the quiet lane, crossing the stream and at Royd House turn right to walk up what appears a driveway.
Pass to the right of the buildings and then just before a stile take the right-hand pathway [however keep venturing straight ahead to the right of the fence – GR SE 164 139].
This follows a pretty pathway along Lumb Dike to enter Molly Carr Wood. Beneath the trees you arrive at a path cross-roads; turn left to cross a large field and enter more woodland; Royd House Wood; where signs inform you this is part of the Farnley Tyas Estate.
Leaving the forest, a short, steep ascent approaches the hamlet of Farnley Tyas itself with Castle Hill behind.
Reach a plateau, bear left and leave the field via a track to emerge next to the Golden Cock pub.
Turn right and then just before the churchyard take the path on the left.
Ahead a rolling landscape is revealed.
Cross the fields, this path is the Holme Valley Circular Walk. Continue, crossing two lanes, until eventually descending to meet Hall Ing Road; another quiet lane where the land descends steeply ahead; somewhere nestled below is the village of Brockholes.
Venture right along the lane where currently the most plump and sweet blackberries are ripe for picking.
Beyond the crossroads take the path on the right to climb slightly up across farmland and fields.
At the far field boundary a rather overgrown narrow passageway descends left – GR SE 152 122 [I had intended to climb but made a navigational error; the paths not being quite as the map depicted].
Therefore you once again meet the lane at the bottom; turning right and then right again at the next way marker.
Passing beneath trees; bear left when you can and then when you believe you might be really lost, cross the stepping stones [SE 150 124] and begin the ascent up above the trees to enter a field with buildings up ahead.
Pass to the left of the property and join the lane which continues left back to meet a lane next to High Royd Farm.
Turn right and when the road bends right, take the waymarked path left.
When it splits, bear right and again climb slightly; it is not always a distinct pathway.
The land flattens and Castle Hill becomes visible once again, allowing for easy navigation along the field edge towards a gate leading onto the road turning left to pass the cemetery; whilst the map offers many a pathway that could be pursued back to the start; we simply followed the road; spurred on by the fact we were soaked and chilled to the bone and it was certainly time for a warming brew.