A motorway junction might not appear a logical place to begin a walk; however, this week’s eight-mile route, thanks to Kirklees Countryside Volunteers who regularly lead walks and conservation projects across the area, is a dip into the district of Kirklees, into perhaps a less-obvious area keen walkers would flock to. Nevertheless, it rewards the walker with woodlands, moorlands and far-reaching views.
We started the route by the White Swan pub in Outlane, HD3 3YQ [GR SE 089 180] – close to junction 23 of the M62. We began by walking the A640 back to the motorway roundabout, crossing the west-bound slip road before turning right along the row of houses nestled there.
The track [the Kirklees Way] becomes muddy as it turns left, then continues its descent, turning right to enter woodland. Bear right, following Longwood Brook bubbling beneath. You cross the water and climb a stone track which becomes Shaw Lane, passing through the golf course.
The track curves left, then right, climbing gently. There is a way-marked path on the left, just beyond a house – climb the steps, turn left at the next junction, passing another house and some garages, continuing across a field alongside a fence.
At the woodland boundary, pass between the wall into the trees [Pighill Woods]. The path curves around the hillside; after a relatively open patch of trees, turn right through the wall [leaving the obvious track straight ahead].
Ascend the bank, turning right after passing between another wall; a view over and beyond the Colne Valley opens up to your left. Shortly afterwards, turn right to climb up to a small cluster of homes – each enjoying an impressive vista. This is Nettleton Hill.
Follow the lane upwards, which becomes Green Lane Terrace giving way to a wider road [Nettleton Hill Road]. Peel off left on approach to the hotel, taking the right-hand path when it splits.
Turn left on meeting the road, then take the track beside the property adjoining the transmission mast. It’s a long, straight track, curving right next to the fenced-off masts.
The clear path slants across the field, turning left to follow the wall. At the metal gate, climb the stile and continue left – this is White Rose Plantation.
High above the motorway, you have clear views into Calderdale. Pass the Millennium Stone, meander down to the lane via a gate and ladder stile. Continue to the second ladder stile, turn left, reaching a wall and stile, left again to climb back up alongside the quarry, opposite the Millennium Stone.
The obvious path returns to the enclosed masts; from here retrace your steps to Nettleton Hill.
The road splits [Green Lane Terrace bears left] – take the right-hand road then turn left at the sign reading “leading to numbers 1 & 5 Moleshead only.” This steep and slippery lane twists down to the named properties, walk to the end of the driveway beyond both homes, turning right to cross open fields. The path crosses a stream then follows a stream that dives into a deep dell. Continue over a stile to meet a second stile onto a lane.
Descend left then follow the way-marked bridleway. This emerges onto Hollin Hall Lane – here you are on the periphery of the area called Golcar.
Take a path on the left – a track between houses turns into a narrow passageway, passing newly built homes into a ginnel which arrives close to the Walkers Arms pub.
Turn left along the road for a while. It begins a curve to the right, shortly afterwards turn left to leave the road, crossing a mini-ford, then pass to the right of the property to meet another road. Turn left, then pass through a gate on the right-hand side.
The path crosses fields between the two reservoirs. Pass between the farm houses then bear right behind them to walk towards the water. You cross the reservoir and climb up to a quiet road above.
Turn left to walk along this road until eventually reaching a road junction.
Turn left, road giving way to track, passing a few houses and garages - soon enough you should recognise your whereabouts, re-joining the Kirklees Way to retrace your steps back to the start.