Marsden Moor Circular Walk
This Marsden Moor walk explores the beautiful waterfalls in Wessenden Valley before heading up onto the Marsden Moors via Swellands and Black Moss Reservoir, and then over to Standedge, Broadstone Edge and then back down into Marsden via the iconic Eastergate Bridge.
If you are looking for a nice, peaceful walk on the Marsden Moors, with amazing views, this is the walk for you! This 11.3 mile walk is a route inspired by @mellywellywoo. I’ve been doing more trail running over the last few months, and this is a great route to run but it also makes a lovely walk. I should call it something like the 5 Reservoirs Walk (a baby brother to the 10 Reservoirs Walk!) but I’ll stick with Marsden Moor walk for now!
I parked on Binn Lane in Marsden, near the entrance to Butterley Reservoir, where there is a small layby. I then ran along the track (Wessenden Lane) next to Butterley Reservoir and Blakely Reservoir before reaching the deer farm. Across from the deer farm is one of the amazing waterfalls in the Wessenden Valley. You can climb carefully down to Wessenden Brook in the valley bottom and if the water’s not too high, there are some stepping stones to get you across to the actual waterfall. I’d picked a very wet day and the brook was too high for me to cross safely (or without getting soaked).
I then climbed back up the banking and carried on over the dam wall for Wessenden Reservoir, the next one in the chain of 4 reservoirs in this valley. Turning right after the dam wall, the path winds around the hillside until you come to yet another amazing waterfall. This is Blake Clough and it tumbles over into some manmade structure – presumably a weir or something – I’m not up on my reservoir engineering jargon unfortunately! Again, there are stepping stones to get across and if the water is high you’ll get wet feet as there’s no other way to cross unfortunately. I got wet trainers but had waterproof socks on. They also stock waterproof socks in Peak Footwear in Holmfirth if you prefer to shop local.
The path continues round the hillside and crosses Blakely Clough, then heads up some steps onto a paved section of the Pennine Way. The route continues out onto the moors, running alongside Blakely Clough, until it reached Black Moss Reservoir. I ran along the edge of the reservoir and had to detour from the path a little as there were some engineering works going on, but then turned left to head along the top edge of the reservoir.
The path turns left and heads over the moors, where you have amazing views over to Pule Hill and Redbrook Reservoir. There’s a fork in the path and I ran along the gamekeepers/reservoir engineers track to Manchester Road.
After crossing the busy road, I then headed off along the Pennine Way again along Broadstone Edge to the trig point. On a clear day there are great views from here!
The route then continues along the former packhorse route down into Marsden, passing the P H Road markers on the way to the iconic Eastergate Bridge. This bridge is actually known as Close Gate Bridge, but is thought to have been named as Eastergate because of a lady named Esther who lived in an inn nearby.
From Eastergate Bridge, the route heads along the road for a short while before heading past Standedge Tunnel Visitor Centre and then along the canal, back into Marsden centre and then back to the car.
I picked a very wet and murky day for this Marsden Moor walk, so I apologise for the photos! You can see how beautiful the Wessenden Valley here: Circular Walk from Marsden to Wessenden Head and Eastergate Bridge here: Walk to Eastergate Bridge.
Parking: A layby on Binn Road, Marsden
Facilities: None (there are cafes and shops in Marsden)
Walk Time: 3-4 hours
Distance: 11.3 miles (18.2km)
Trig Points Bagged: Broadstone Hill (it’s not on the Peak District trig point list though)
Peak District Peaks Bagged: None
Peak District Ethels Bagged: None
Marsden Moor Walk Map:
You can click on the map to download the GPX file from Komoot.