OUT & ABOUT The Last of the

Summer (sun)Shine

With John and Audrey Wright of Dearne Valley Ramblers Photography courtesy of Tony Butterworth Photography

A moderate 8 mile circular walk passing Digley and Bilberry Reservoirs with beautiful views over Holmfirth. While it can be enjoyed all year round, the scenery is at its best in late summer.

START: Quarry Car Park (free) adjacent to Digley Reservoir (HD9 2QD)

Leave the car park and turn right with the dam to your left, following a well-made path above the northern shore of the reservoir passing a quarry on your right. Follow the path which is the remains of the old road over the moor. Careful observation will reveal an old road which disappears in to the reservoir. This would have led to the village of Digley which was flooded when the reservoir was built in 1940.

Continue along the path until you meet a descending path between the two reservoirs. Can you spot the stile which featured in a number of episodes of Last of the Summer Wine?

The reservoir on the right is Bilberry Reservoir.

DID YOU KNOW? On 5th February 1852 the original reservoir burst its banks and 86 million gallons of water poured down Holme Valley, killing 81 people and destroying 50 buildings and four mills. The dam wall had been built over a stream which weakened and collapsed following two weeks of heavy rain.

Cross the embankment and follow the path which bears left, going uphill alongside Digley Reservoir. Pass through a gate, across a small stream then follow the footpath sign off to the right. This

is part of the Kirklees Way which leads to the village of Holme. Turn left down the minor road and after a short distance you will come to the major road which goes up over Holme Moss, the A6024. At this point, should you want any refreshments or a comfort stop, turn right and you will quickly come to The Fleece pub and its deli plus the only toilets on the route. On meeting the main road, turn left and start to go downhill. Notice the bell on the roof of the Old School House on the left and an imposing building across the road.

Immediately after the entrance to a garage, take the narrow footpath alongside a wall on the low side of the garage. Now almost concealed by careful planting, you may just see a circular door in what looks like a small mound on your right and a glass dome which is the amazing grade II listed Underhill House built by architect Arthur Quarmby in the 1970s. Pass into the field beyond which gives fabulous views across the Holme Valley. Follow the path downhill and to the right as it reaches a more steeply sloping wooded glade with a stream tumbling down at the bottom. The path crosses the stream and turns uphill to the left. At the first junction, turn left downhill and cross the embankment between Brownhill and Ramsden Reservoirs, walking up to the road. For a shorter route, turn left down the road at this point and head in to Holmbridge, picking up the last part of the route from there.

Across the road is a picnic site and to the left of this is a footpath leading uphill at the left- hand edge of the wood. Take the path and after around 200 yards take the first path off to the left. This path goes on to the open moorland but runs roughly parallel to the road you have just crossed. Follow the well-defined path towards some farm buildings visible


in the distance. The path goes to the edge of the private road which leads to the farm with views of a steeply sloping valley. The path then goes downhill and crosses the stream you can see in the bottom, climbing up to meet the road. This section can be muddy and may have cattle present.

Go directly across the road and on to an unmade road with a small camp site on the right. At the first junction turn left along another unmade road, Cartworth Moor Road which becomes tarmac after about half a mile.

At the end of this road, after the Cartworth Moor cricket field - one of the highest in England - turn sharp left downhill, turning left again at the junction. There are some cottages directly ahead and a footpath immediately to the right of them. Follow the footpath downhill ignoring the path going off to the left which goes to Holmfirth Vineyard. On meeting the minor road after about 100 yards, turn left past the cottages on your left. After around 200 yards, take the path leading downhill to your right. At the end, turn left between the buildings, passing the school and turn right

towards the village of Holmbridge. Cross the river, turn left and make your way up to the main road, the A6024. Turn left along the main road, carrying on until you see the church and The Bridge pub; look for the sheep climbing the wall in the beer garden. Cross the small road on your right just after pub, walking towards another cricket field. Keeping the cricket field on the left, turn right and follow the roughly made road/track. As you walk along this track, look to the woodland near the stream to see remains of several mills which were destroyed in the Bilberry Reservoir Disaster. You are now walking towards the bottom of the Digley Reservoir embankment. When you can see the embankment clearly, look out for a path on your right which has steps going steeply up in to the wood - the only path which leads off from this track. Follow the path uphill to the road then turn left. A road comes in from the left which goes across the top of the embankment. Go straight across, following the road uphill for around 100 yards then turn left in to the car park.

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