Time : 1.5 hours hours
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.
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.
The Full Directions - Piper Holes
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.
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
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
Cross the field to a group of buildings at Orchard Hey. Continue through an old metal field gate and into the yard between the houses and turn right immediately past the small house on your right and through a small metal gate.
The route ahead leads you past some of the oldest houses in Marsden. Habitation here dates back to the 15th Century.
3Walk up to the T-junction
4Turn right across a small stream
Here turn right across a small stream, then continue past Troves Farm on your right and up to a house on your left.
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
6Climbing a little
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.
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.
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.
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.
10Returning to the Standedge visitors centre