Deer Hill Circular, Marsden – 6.5km

High above Marsden lies Shooters Nab, possibly the greenest crag around this bit of West Yorkshire due to its northerly aspect. Near it is Deer Hill Reservoir, the high point of this walk.

The walk starts in Marsden village centre. A full route description is available on the Marsden Walkers are Welcome website where you can also find the leaflet and a gpx file to download.

The route is also well sign posted, with these way markers so look out for them as you walk.

The route heads up past Crow Hill house, built in 1801 and now a large wedding venue. As it continues up the hillside it heads through a field gate and follows a muddy path between fields towards Scout Farm.

Here you pass through the National Trust signed gate and head onto the moors, following the broad track which turns right and heads uphill in the direction of Shooters Nab crag. As you head uphill you cross a stone bridge over the water conduit for the reservoirs.

Turn around and admire the view across the valley!

As the track starts to flatten out it reaches crossroads near another stone bridge. Turn left here and head along this track towards the building in the distance. This is the shooting lodge. As you pass the building the track becomes tarmac as it circles the reservoir.

Along the reservoir are steps, follow these down and past a wire fence where just behind there is a series of steps to cross the wall. Turn left here and follow the wall, heading straight down past a house and continue to meet the road junction.

Cross the road and take the first left up the bridleway towards Delves Cottages turn right onto Delves Gate road. As this descends turn left up a path and then first right to follow a series of paths which bring you out on another road. Head downhill to find the first path which leads downhill on your left.

From here you arrive on the Colne Valley Circular route. Turn right here and as you come to the second set of houses there is a path that leads downhill on your left. Follow this through the fields to the A62. Cross the road and head straight on following the footpath over the river and onto the Huddersfield Canal.

Turn left and follow it all the way back to Marsden!

Weekends in Oxford

Oxford is a lovely city which I definitely recommend for a weekend break and whilst here a few times over the summer I’ve stayed in some of the neighbourhoods surrounding, which are worth a visit too. Cowley is a young and vibrant neighbourhood with lots of bars and restaurants and Iffley is a quiet relaxed place just next to Cowley and yet so different in feel.

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I also had a trip out to the Vale of the White Horse, a lovely spot for a walk. From the summit you can see forever and the landscape is vastly different from my home in the Pennines with its wild moors; here it is neatly managed farmland and collections of little villages.

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The Ridgeway and Avebury Stone Circles

Making the most of the gorgeous sunshine on Saturday we headed off to Barbury Castle for a circular walk along the Ridgeway National Trail.

I’ll have to admit that, as a northern lass who lives within spitting distance of the Peak District and the Pennine Way, the Ridgeway wasn’t exactly awe inspiring. But, having woken that morning in the busy and built up Reading, it was certainly lovely to escape to the countryside. Even if you could see Swindon and the M4 from the top of the hill. (And yes, I concede it was a hill, even by northern standards I was going to let Barbury Castle be on a hill).

We had a quick potter around the castle, which is really an Iron Age hillfort, before heading off eastwards along the Ridgeway.

For those of you like me, who know nothing of the Ridgeway and its importance – it is recognised as Britain’s oldest road following a route used since prehistoric times. Established as a National Trail in 1972 the route extends from Avebury in Wiltshire to finish 87 miles later at Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire.

So to make the most of the route we took in the section from Barbury Castle to Ogbourne St George, before turning south off the Ridgeway and heading to Ogbourne St Andrew and then heading back north to our start – the entire circle being about 7 miles long. So a nice couple of hours in the sunshine.

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Afterwards we headed to Avebury to see one of the largest prehistoric stone circles in Europe and certainly the largest in the UK. The site is impressive with a large outer stone circle and two inner stone circles. Unfortunately many of the original stone have been replaced by concrete pillars indicating their location.

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