Sat 20th Oct, 2018
Jo Stratford / Andy Stratford
Marsden to Mossley via Black Hill and Laddow
A sociable Saturday walk, ending with tea and cake at the Stratford house in Mossley. Please get in touch by Wednesday 17th to let us know if you are coming so we can ensure there is sufficient cake for all.
This is a linear walk relying on public transport. It is a reasonable length, without steep gradients, and mostly straightforward route finding. The first part to Laddow (late lunch stop at the cave) is mostly on good tracks and Pennine way flags although the top of Black Hill is often a little soggy. The second part crosses some fairly boggy moorland and gaiters are advisable. In order to arrive back in good time, and to burn the required number of calories for the inevitable consumption of several rounds of cake this will be a reasonably ‘well paced’ walk.
Anyone wishing to do a shorter walk and have a more relaxed pace may wish to consider parking at Crowden and meeting us at Laddow cave for lunch – this will qualify you for cake!
If you are driving to Mossley then meet at Mossley station (free parking, always plenty of space on a Saturday) at 09.10 to catch the 09.19 train BACK to Stalybridge arr 09.23. Change here for the 09.29 to Leeds arriving in Marsden at 09.44. Alternately, park at Stalybridge and catch the 09.29 direct.
From Manchester centre catch the 09.17 from Piccadilly to Leeds. This calls at Stalybridge at 09.29 and is the same train we are catching above.
If you drive directly to Marsden and need to return to collect your car, it is easy to catch a Mossley train to Staly then pick up the Marsden train – there is one good connection every hour.
From Marsden station we walk through the village following signs for Butterley reservoirs, then take the easy path up to the Wessenden head road crossing by the remains of the old Isle of Skye pub. We’ll join the Pennine way flags to Black Hill then descend to Laddow for lunch at the Cave (ETA 1.30 pm). After lunch, there is a little further descent on the Pennine way eventually turning to cross the moor following the watercourse to the top Chew reservoir. From there are two choices - the last bit of moorland can be omitted by heading down back to Mossley via the Chew Valley Road and Oldham Way otherwise we continue over Wimberry and Alphin and beside the large area damaged by the summer fires.
Total distance just a fraction over 15 miles without too much ascent or descent. ETA back at ours about 5 pm depending on weather, size of group and length of lunch stop!!
Return trains from Mossley to Piccadilly take 20 minutes (all trains call at Stalybridge). 17.19, 18.19 and 19.19.
Andy and Jo Stratford