Great sky over Castle Hill by Sandie Nicholson

Wessenden Valley Walk

Distance: The walk is a total of 8 miles there and back.

Difficulty Rating: Moderate

This walk between Wessenden Head and Marsden takes you along the Pennine Way through the breath-taking vast moorland landscape of Marsden Moor Estate, beside a chain of four beautiful reservoirs nestling in the Wessenden Valley.


  • Start at the parking area on Wessenden Head Road, just off the A635 trans-Pennine route.
  • You’ll see a gate and footpath with the Pennine Way clearly signposted leading down to Wessenden Head reservoir at the bottom. Why not stop and take in the view through Ashley Jackson’s ‘Framing the Landscape’ huge metal frame just after the gate? There’s always a different view to enjoy with the ever-changing weather and seasons.
  • Once down at Wessenden Head reservoir continue on the main footpath to Wessenden reservoir. As you reach the end of the reservoir, you might be lucky enough to spot a few deer at the deer farm on the corner.
Seat with a view over Holme Valley Castle Hill walk by Sandie Nicholson
  • Follow the footpath down to the left, round the deer farm perimeter fence and continue on until you reach Blakeley reservoir. There’s a seat overlooking Blakeley that is the perfect spot for a picnic with a great view!
  • Continue on and you will reach Butterley reservoir, once famed for its Victorian Spillway, which has since been modernised, but is still quite a spectacular sight leading down towards Marsden.
  • Retrace your steps to return to the start, or take a slight detour on the return journey down along the banks of Blakeley reservoir (you’ll see a gate on the right which takes you right beside Blakeley) until you come to a little wooden bridge. Another nice spot to sit and enjoy a break. Take the steep slope to the left to return to the main footpath back up the Wessenden Valley towards the deer farm again and up the Pennine Way.
  • If travelling by public transport, you could get the 937 bus from Honley to Marsden and do the walk in reverse.
  • The walk is a total of 8 miles there and back.
Fancy a different walk? Click here. How about finishing off your walk with a drink or something to eat? Click here for suggestions. Alternatively after all this exercise why not relax or pamper yourself?