Distance 2.5 miles | Time 2 hours
A walk through fields, woodland, and alongside some of the River Holme’s tributaries. There are a number of stiles to negotiate and parts of the route can be muddy at times.
This walk is courtesy of F.C. Green.
JACKSON BRIDGE- HEPWORTH- OX LEE- BARNSIDE- HEPWORTH- JACKSON BRIDGE
This walk is located in the Hepworth district – away from the reservoirs and forestry plantations. In spite of being closer to ‘civilisation’ the paths used in parts of this route are indeterminate enough to suggest that they are not walked very frequently – this is a great pity since the route lacks none of the various scenery and distant views which together attract the leisurely walker to some of the better-known parts of our district.
By car the starting point for the walk is approached along the main Sheffield Road from New Mill (A616), turning right for Jackson Bridge and proceeding beyond the small crossroads in the direction of Hepworth. Soon after the crossroads find somewhere safe to park. This location is within a few yards of a bus stop and those using public transport should take a Hepworth bus to this point.
The walk begins by taking the signed footpath which leaves the road from the right as you travel a short distance from Jackson Bridge to Hepworth…. best to park after you see it. This path goes up a hill towards Hepworth village, (you will see Rakes Dike on your left as you start along the footpath), and after crossing the concrete yard – becomes a track straight ahead. Keep straight when track bends to the right.
This route provides interesting views of the small but fine church at Hepworth. Bending left the track comes out onto the road by the memorial gate of the churchyard, bend to the right to join the road. Turning left the route continues straight along Town Gate, Hepworth (keep right at the fork), with some well – preserved examples of old cottages, the unusual building of the Church School and the pleasantly situated ‘Butchers Arms’ – well known throughout this district.
About 20 yards from the pub just after ‘The Gables’ house on right, take the path up a narrow entrance up the side of a modern house (not sign posted). Go over a stile and follow the path. The route continues into a field ahead by means of another stile. Turn left immediately after going over this stile and soon after go over another stile that brings you onto a track known as Mugup Lane.
Magup Lane leads away from Hepworth to a road and pleasantly situated seat. At this point, as in the whole of the walk so far, the best views lie to the left towards the fine scarp which starts at Victoria and runs along the western side of the valley – here dominated by the impressive slopes of Cheese Gate Nab.
The way continues straight across the road on a marked footpath into Far Field Lane. At this point Hepworth is left behind and the route enters a new section completely contrasted with what has gone before: woods and open field replace the buildings which up to now have always been nearby. The track proceeds along a level course around the contours of the hill and opens up views in which Cheese Gate Nab continues to be prominent, but which include, at one point, a panorama down the valley along the scarp face to Newsome and Castle Hill (if the weather is fine). At the end of the lane a stile leads over into the field and the path slants right-handed across to the fence bordering the wooded valley of Hey Clough.
Like so many of the local valleys this one impresses by the depth to which the small stream has incised itself; and the consequent steepness of the slopes, prohibiting any form of cultivation has resulted in a fine cover of mature woodland. Beech and sycamore dominate and there is an interesting contrast between the bare earth underneath the beeches on the far side of the Clough and the grassy slopes and mixed woodland on the near side.
A stile leads into the wood and the path falls gently down the slope to a picturesque stone bridge over Pickles Clough. There are many places along this short stretch which could not be bettered as sites for a picnic. Cross over the bridge and subsequent stile, and take the path right, following the river.
Using a wooden stile over a wire fence, the route goes straight ahead along a small tributary valley. Keep left when path forks and go gradually uphill until you are overlooking a small stream and past an unusual hollow oak tree which amazingly manages to support a few live branches. Here, for the first time, can be seen on your right the once deserted settlement at Ox Lee. This is the highest point on the route at 950 feet, and the upper part of the ever-present Holme Moss mast is visible to the right. Head towards the wooden electricity posts then left over the field to a stone post. Ahead is a shallow valley, the route continues along the side of this valley down the slope until the hamlet of Barnside appears ahead. This stretch also provides a brief view to the left down the valley and, in the right conditions, as far as Huddersfield and the Infirmary at Lindley.
A stile of mammoth proportions crosses a high wall and immediately a turn to the right takes the path along the wall for a few yards. Here a small stream known as Wicking Clough is crossed by means of stones and wooden bridge…can be muddy round here. Head towards the wall and bear left. From here it is only a short distance to the road at Barnside.
It is possible at this juncture to turn left down the road towards Hepworth, but a small detour not only keeps road walking to a minimum, but also provides a more comprehensive view of Barnside itself. A right turn takes our route along the road through Barnside before taking the track which goes left immediately after the last building in the hamlet. This is Snug lane – leading eventually to Snug House after passing Upper Barnside Farm on your left. Go through the gate ahead after Barnside Farm and then at Snug House go through the gate on the left after the first stable block……two horses roam freely in this area so make sure you shut the gate properly. The path soon enters wooded country, crossing Mole Clough and soon after going over a wooden stile next to a gate comes out on the road for Hepworth.
Continue down the road towards Hepworth, passing the bridge and pleasant grassy corner where Pickles Clough comes in from the left to join Mole Clough and form Rakes Dike as far as Hepworth School. Here a right turn over the bridge and sharp left immediately after leads into a pleasant, wooded path which follows Rakes Dike along the valley floor. The view of Hepworth is now from below. Keep left at the stone steps. The path finally emerges onto the road at Butt Lane Bridge only a few yards from where you may have left your car.
Follow this link to view the route map: