An ensemble of loveable incorrigibles spent their declining years idling and dreaming in the villages and beautiful countryside of West Yorkshire’s Holme Valley. Compo, Clegg, Foggy and many others helped weave a legendary series that is Britain’s longest-running comedy show. Generations grew up with a strange familiarity for this corner of the South Pennines; this walk drinks deeply of this Last of the Summer Wine country.
Walk to the dam – Digley Reservoir features in many episodes. Don’t cross, but continue 150m to a left-bend. Take the gate left up steps and climb to slip between garages and houses. Enter the pasture, use a gate then head half-left to an open gateway. Keep right to use a stiled path just right of the large farmhouse to a lane. Cross into a track behind a house, presently gaining fields via a stone-step stile between gates.
A line of stiles advances over a walled track; then continue through old gateways ending up left of trees above a house. Turn right at the far side and skirt the wooded ravine to a tarred lane. Go right, then left on the path beside a garden. Enter a sloping pasture; at its foot use the right-hand gate and fall to the main road.
1. ONE AND A QUARTER MILES
Cross into the narrower lane, turning left. At the crossroads, cross diagonally and walk past a terrace into a rough car park. At the far end, cross the footbridge and go left beside the River Holme. Entering pasture, stay near its foot past a redundant stone stile, then fork right on the rising grassy path to a stile into woodland.
Climb through the woods to steps and a cross-path. Turn right, then immediately left up a steep path to the wood’s edge; here head for the stone farmhouse, walking through its gravelled yard. Climb the drive and turn left on the lane. At the junction, slip left down Goose Green, at the very bottom go left, signed to Hollowgate, to reach the bridge near Nora Batty’s.
2. TWO AND A HALF MILES
Turn right along the main A6024 (A635), pass the tourist information centre and traffic lights then turn left up steep Cooper Lane. At the brink look right for a footpath signed left off Holt Lane; this path becomes very steep and stepped before reaching a driveway, then a lane. Turn left, then continue on the walled track beyond a barn. This, Hill Lane, winds to Upperthong, which hosts the World Welly Wanging Championship each June.
Keep ahead on Town Gate; at the end fork left on Broad Lane and drop 200m to a rough lane to the right. Follow this to the main road.
3. THREE AND THREE QUARTER MILES
Join the lane opposite into and out of the steep ravine. At the T-junction go right, then left on Hogley Lane. Bend right with this and take the stile into pasture. After two further stiles, hug the field-top to reach houses. Go ahead on the road, presently keeping right on Flush House Lane. At the crossroads, turn left to return to the car park.
The walk is largely on field paths, farm tracks and byroads. The climb out of Holmfirth is ferociously steep, including some narrow, high steps. In winter and after good rain, there will be lots of muddy sections.
HOW TO GET THERE
Start at Digley Reservoir above Holmbridge, 2 miles west of Holmfirth. Turn off the A6024 on to Field End Lane opposite Holmbridge Church, drive to (but not across) the dam via Bank Top Lane and park in Digley Quarry car park, 250m above the dam. Or, from the A635 Greenfield Road, turn down Green Gate Road opposite The Ford Inn and descend to the car park.
By public transport:
First Bus services link Holmfirth to Huddersfield and many other smaller towns and villages.
call: 0113 245 7676
The Wrinkled Stocking
30 Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, HD9 2JS
call: 01484 681408
Sid’s Cafe, 4a Towngate, Holmfirth HD9 1HA
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 288.
Grid ref: SE 109 074
49-51 Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth HD9 3JP
call: 01484 222444