Wessenden Loop

One of my favourite routes, a 10 mile trail loop starting and ending in the village of Melthan just outside Huddersfield.

If you're travelling to the area to do the run, I'd recommend you plan a weekday or Saturday because it finishes a lovely local cafe so you can treat yourself to a well earned coffee and bit of flapjack afterwards. It's not open on Sunday's though. 

The run itself has a pretty brutal initial profile, climbing nearly 1,000 feet in about 2 miles, the good news though is that's climbing up the stunning Royd Edge - a valley which in the summer is full of amazing colour and plants and a hell of a view and in the winter, challenging weather almost guaranteed! Take it easy climbing up this but you can at least be happy knowing the bulk of your work is done early while your legs are fresh. 

2014-08-31 08.37.40

Royd Edge climb

You only need follow the path up Royd Edge and then you'll reach a footpath through a field which again you continue running up until you join Wessenden Head Road. Once you reach the road, turn left and keep climbing, you're only about half a mile from Wessenden Trail at this point. Take care on the road, it's not especially busy but cars do travel fast up and down it. 

After about 2.75 miles, you'll see a turn off the road to your right where you join the Wessenden Trail part of the Pennine Way running down towards the reservoirs you'll have seen from the road. On a good day, the view is stunning! 

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Onto the trails!

Once you're on the Pennine Way, it's a good stretch of downhill for a mile or so before you reach a small dip where there's a few basic wooden planks across a mini stream and you need to pay attention here as you come off the main trail and fork right up a small singletrack 

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When you reach this, climb up the other side on the trail and fork off right to the narrow track about 10 meters up the hill.

Once you're on the top trail, you'll have a stunning view of Butterley Reservoir and the valley as you work your way around to Deerhill Reservoir but pay attention to your footing as there is some tricky singletrack, thick ferns and obscured rocks ready to trip you up or twist an unsuspecting ankle!

Much of the remainder of the route now is pretty flat as you run around the side of West Nab and as you come off the Marsden Moor towards Deer Hill Reservoir you can push on from this point as it's flat to downhill all the way into Meltham and back to a well earned coffee at Cafe 33 or if you're here on a Sunday you might have make do with a Mars Bar from the Coop over the road. Either way, you've just done a scenic 10 miles with about 1,300ft of climbing.

For those travelling to the area, the 324 bus from the bus station in the center of Huddersfield will bring you straight to Meltham and you can get off outside the Coop/Cafe33 or if you're driving, there's a free public car park behind the Coop over the road.

Happy trails!  

Posted in Trail Running Routes, asked by James Young, 4 years ago. 4225 hits.

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Min Elevation 185.7 m
Max Elevation 461.6 m
Total Elevation Gain 469.8 m
Total Elevation Loss 469.6 m
Way Points 0
Track Points 1415
Max Speed 5.9 m/s
Average Speed 2.78 m/s
Total Distance 16260 m
Total Time 1h 37m 33s
Route Points 0
Values not available in the file may shown as 0.
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