Piper Holes

Distance : 3 miles/ 4.8 km
Time : 1.5 hours hours
Piper Holes Main Image

A lovely walk along the canal and through lush farmland towards the source of the River Colne.

The route follows a section of the historic Huddersfield Narrow Canal, heading west past sites of industrial heritage, returning along the upper parts of the south-facing valley side.

Detailed History Notes

As well as the main Map Leaflet or GPX and MPA digital files (below), you can also download a fuller set of history notes for this route. These were researched and supplied by Marsden History Group for the original version of this walk, first published in 2012.

Click here to download > Piper Holes detailed history notes.

Map Data Files

How Tricky Is it? - Piper Holes

This walk is graded as Moderate

A medium length walk requiring a reasonable level of fitness, crossing hilly ground or moorland with rising and falling levels.

Paths may be rough and uneven, with some steeper slopes, or longer sections of ascent and descent.

Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing essential.

Piper Holes Precis Map

The Full Directions - Piper Holes

  • Tunnel End Bridge

    With your back to the Railway Station, turn right and walk along the canal towpath westwards towards Tunnel End. Pass under a railway bridge then, as you reach Standedge Visitor’s Centre cross a bridge over the canal.

    History Notes

    The canal reached Marsden in 1804. The Standedge Tunnel opened in 1811.

  • 1Walk up a short roadway to the what was The Tunnel End Inn

    Tunnel End Inn and Long Fall Gates

    Turn right away from the Tunnel entrance and café complex and walk up a short roadway to the what was The Tunnel End Inn, now a private house. Turn left before ‘Long Fall’ gates and behind the old pub. Bear right and follow the tarmacked path through a small wooden gate then a large wooden field gate.

  • 2Cross the field to a group of buildings at Orchard Hey

    Orchard Hey

    Follow the path through a gate in the centre of the field. After the gate turn right and climb to the field boundary, through another gate and onto the lane.

  • 3Walk up to the lane

    Turn Left on to the lane

    Turn left onto a small road. The road continues to Berry Greave Farm on your left. Don’t take the gated lane on your right but continue along the road past a bench for about 180m, to a junction.

    History Notes

    The route ahead leads you past some of the oldest houses in Marsden. Habitation here dates back to the 15th Century.

  • 4Turn right across a small stream

    Crossing the Stream

    Here turn right across a small stream, then continue past Troves Farm on your right and up to a house on your left.

    History Notes

    The settlement of Troughs (or Troves) dates from the late 17th century or before. Note the 1740 date stone

  • 5Behind the house, follow a narrow walled track

    Path Forks Right

    Behind the house a narrow walled track, often muddy, leads to open moorland. Follow a path, which occasionally forks, but keep to the upward right fork. The path passes over a short boardwalk, through a gate then on to another boardwalk.

  • 6Climbing a little

    Bench and Ruins

    Keep right, climbing a little until you can see a bench near a ruined building. This is Piper Holes which was inhabited into the twentieth century. Pass the ruin then drop down on a flagged path to the stream and up to the other side of the road.

    History Notes

    At the road, look to your right, this is Lower Green Owlers and the farms beyond it. Above is Higher Green Owlers, at one time the Dean Brewery.

  • 7

    Downhill Past Large House

    Turn left (southward) along the road passing a building on your right. At the first left bend in the road, pause to look over the wall southwards.

    History Notes

    Far below you is the old packhorse bridge at Eastergate. To the right and on higher ground is March Hill, where archaeologists have studied Mesolithic flint workings.

  • 8Look left to see Blake Lee

    Walk downhill and at the next bend in the road, look left to see Blake Lee, a settlement whose first known mention is in 1691. Continue along the road as it weaves its way down and eventually reaches the river. Do not cross the bridge – carry straight on past Hey Green House (once a hotel) keeping the river on your right.

  • 9

    Shortly after Lower Hey Green Cottages on your right, turn right through a wooden gate onto a graveled stream-side path. Follow the path to eventually arrive back at the road by what was the Tunnel End pub.

  • 10Returning to the Standedge visitors centre

    Turn right then veer left down the road, returning to the Standedge visitors centre. Then retrace your route along the canal and return to the Railway Station.