Rishworth 5 Trigs Walk
You’ve heard of the Saddleworth 5 trigs route, but here’s the Rishworth 5 trigs! This 19 mile walk over the ruggedly beautiful Rishworth Moors starts from Marsden and winds its way over the moors via 5 different trig points (Cupwith Hill, Dog Hill (aka Rishworth Moor), Blackstone Edge, White Hill and Millstone Edge).
This Rishworth 5 Trigs walk takes you over the bleak moorland near Rishworth and good navigation is key. The route is exposed and the weather can change quickly, and you’re almost certainly guaranteed it’ll be windy! It’s very wet up on the moors so I’d advise waterproof boots and gaiters.
We started our walk in Marsden centre and headed over Mellor Bridge, one of two medieval packhorse bridges in Marsden. A major packhorse road ran from Clough Lea to Hey Green and Easter Gate, where there is another bridge similar to this.
Walking up Spring Head Lane to where it finishes, we then headed through the yard of the cottages picking up a steep footpath and up onto the hills.
The footpath follows the Kirklees Way over Shaw Heys until we reached the green sign at the crossroads. Here I’d advise not taking our route – we followed a path which is shown on the Ordnance Survey map but in real life, there isn’t a path and the route we took runs through a bog (which we found out to our detriment!). If you follow this walk, head to Cupwith Reservoir and pick up the more obvious path leading up to Cupwith Hill trig point (426m).
From Cupwith Hill trig we retraced our steps to pick up the path leading to New Hey Road. We walked on the road for a short distance before taking the footpath down past Watermans House (another footpath running right through someone’s driveway) and down to Deanhead Reservoir. There are fabulous views down over Scammonden Reservoir from here.
We climbed up the hillside, past an old ruin at Upper Head Gate (presumably a farm building?) and crossed Saddleworth Road, then went down the hillside past the disused Grey Stone Quarry, a former sandstone quarry. We followed the wall down the hill towards the motorway, passing through a farmyard with the friendliest ponies, sheep and lambs.
The path takes you past possibly the most famous farm in the country, Stott Hall Farm in the middle of the M62! We passed under both carriageways of the motorway then down onto a track near Booth Wood Reservoir dam embankment, which is a structure that wouldn’t look out of place in Star Wars. We took a wrong turn here – instead of taking the footpath down through the woods, we set off down the tarmac lane only to find the gate locked and we had to retrace our steps. The path actually runs through the woods opposite the footpath to the road, which leads up to the A672 and then we went along the footpath passing Rishworth Lodge, a former shooting lodge for Lord Savile.
The footpath runs up to Boan Cottage, and we headed out onto the Open Access Land to pick up Blackwood Edge Road (actually a path) which runs to Dog Hill trig point (435m). This is the highest point on Rishworth Moor and on a clear day there are great views over the moor.
The path runs past the Cat Stones along Warm Withens Hill, following the course of the drain, and turns north-east to join the Old Packhorse Road (thought to be an old Roman road) to the Aiggin Stone. This stone is a gritstone pillar which used to be significantly taller than it is now, having suffered a bit over time, and marks the junction of the Roman road connecting Manchester to York.
From the Aiggin Stone we crossed to the next trig point, Blackstone Edge (472m) then followed the Pennine Way south-east over White Isles to the M62 bridge. I wasn’t a fan of this bridge – the motorway seemed a very long way down!
After the bridge we followed the Pennine Way over Rook Stones Hill and crossed the road near the cafe in the layby. We walked along Axletree Edge, turning east to the next trig point, White Hill (466m).
The Pennine Way crosses Huddersfield Road and forks, with the left fork heading down Willykay Clough to Easter Gate Bridge (also known as Close Gate Bridge) and the right fork continues over the moors of Little Moss, Haigh Gutter Moss. This area is known as Standedge Edge, not to be confused with Stanage Edge in Derbyshire, and to confuse things further there’s the Millstone Edge trig point (448m) here too!
From Millstone Edge, we headed north-east via Thieves Clough towards Redbrook Reservoir. A footpath leads alongside the reservoir which leads out onto Mount Road, and we then picked up the Stanedge Trail path leading around the base of Pule Hill down into Marsden again, where we enjoyed a drink in the Riverhead Brewery Tap as our reward.
This is a great challenge walk, ideal for those who like spending quiet days on the moor. We barely saw anyone else during our whole walk, apart from a guy with his 4 dogs off the lead on Millstone Edge. The dogs came running up to me snarling and growling, and he was less than impressed when I reminded him they should be on leads and under control, especially during ground nesting birds season which runs from 1 March to 31 July. Idiot. Don’t be like him.
Parking: We parked outside St Bartholomew Church HD7 6DJ (What3Words: ///legs.baguette.swelling)
Facilities: There are pubs and shops in Marsden, and a cafe in a layby on A672 just after the motorway bridge crossing.
Walk Time: 7-8 hours
Trig Points Bagged: Cupwith Hill, Dog Hill, Blackstone Edge, White Hill, Millstone Edge
Rishworth 5 Trigs Walk Route Map:
Another walk nearby you might like is this Marsden Moor Circular Walk.