Broad Lane Farm is perfectly located to explore the beautiful Holme valley and its surrounding countryside. With Easter approaching, we thought we’d share this lovely Upperthong walking route with you to enjoy over the long bank holiday weekend. Happy walking everyone!
Upperthong Village Hall on Wickens Lane, is the starting point of this easy circular, taking in magnificent views of the Holme Valley. There is an added option to drop down into Holmfirth for a coffee stop, though this does increase the distance and more significantly, the gradient!
Time: 2 hours (more if you drop into Holmfirth for a coffee stop)
Distance: approx. 3 miles (or 4 miles if you add in Holmfirth centre)
Starting point: Upperthong Village Hall
Back Lane is a wide, walled track that runs down the side of Upperthong Village Hall. On a clear day the views are impressive across to Farnley Woods, Emley and Thurstonland, while Upperthong stands to the right.
Continue along Back Lane for a short distance, turning left at the first footpath signs you see. Follow this path as it drops steeply down and crosses Wickens Dike over a small stone bridge. The well signposted path, through a series of gates, climbs steeply up towards Carr Farm and on to the driveway. Follow the driveway to the right of the house and you will arrive on Wolfstones Road.
The walk now turns right on Wolfstones Road. The extensive views out to your right as you continue up the road are of Holme Moss, Cartworth Moor and Longley. At the crest of the hill, as the road begins to swing slightly down to the left, there is a footpath that leads down the driveway between the buildings of Wolfstones Heights Farm. As you gently descend through this complex of houses the views open up in front of you, revealing Castle Hill, Huddersfield and Emley Moor. Continue along this well trodden path, passing a duck pond on your left and a horse paddock on your right.
With Wolfstones Heights Farm behind you, take the stone stile which drops you into a field on your left. The path continues along the wall side in this field, emerging at the corner of the field, by a telegraph pole, on a track that leads to Brownhill Farm, a short distance to the right. From here you cross immediately over the track, climbing another stile and emerge in a large field. There is normally a clearly defined path to follow in this field, dropping down diagonally right immediately after the stile and continuing until it reaches the bottom of the field from where it tracks the wall and fencing at the lower part of the field. This field and path continue all the way into Netherthong, passing through a stone gateway and running between two fenced in paddocks before emerging between houses and down a set of stone steps on to Moor Lane.
Moor Lane is narrow, so it is best to cross immediately over onto the pavement, turning right and continuing a very short distance until you see the footpath sign on Broomy Lea Lane on the opposite side of the road. Cross over and take this lane between houses and along the back on the Netherfield Estate of houses. As Broomy Lea Lane begins to bend to the left at the end of the estate, take the stone stile immediately ahead. The path is fenced in, running between fields normally inhabited by sheep with a second stone stile to cross at the furthest end.
Once again you are on a walled track. Turn right and follow the track as it gently winds its way down, the surface a little wet and stony in places, to Wickens Dike, which is the same stream crossed at the beginning of the walk.
There are a various large rocks in the Dike that can be used as stepping stones but take care not to fall in when you cross! This area is known as Dead Man’s Hole and is a fantastic, shady paddling spot for children and dogs on hot summer days.
Once on the far side of the Dike you are on an extension part of Back Lane (where the walk began) called Mark Bottoms Lane. Turn left and follow this well used path as it undulates, curving around a hillside until it comes off the rough surface and on to tarmac – Holt Lane. There are interesting views here of the main Holme Valley, from Wooldale to the centre of Holmfirth, with sandstone exposures at the upper limits of Cliff down to the valley floor and Holmfirth Cricket Club. Shortly after the tarmac begins on Holt Lane you can take the first footpath on the left which leads steeply downhill towards Holmfirth or, alternatively, follow Holt Lane and continue upwards as it becomes Hill Lane if you do not wish to make a coffee stop in Holmfirth. If you are bypassing Holmfirth, look for the next paragraph in bold font below to continue the walk instructions.
The footpath from Holt Lane is steep and can be a little muddy, passing through a wooden swing gate and emerging down a driveway then onto Wood Lane. From here you can decide to continue immediately downhill to meet Huddersfield Road, or walk alongside the quieter, residential street of Hightown Lane until it bends down to meet Huddersfield Road opposite Medicare Chemist. Coffee stop choices are plenty in Holmfirth. Some of our favourites include On Route, Bloc and Ribbles.
Once you have quenched your thirst in Holmfirth and are ready to make the short, but steep climb back towards Upperthong, head for Victoria Park behind the library and follow the path to the top right corner of the park. Victoria Park has commanding, close up views over Holmfirth, over to Cliff and up Dunford Road.
At the top right corner of the park, the walk continues along a narrow path for a few metres, arriving on Cooper Lane. Continue up Cooper Lane, bearing right at the top onto Holt Lane.
Once on Holt Lane there is immediately a footpath on the left that climbs steeply up between cottages and their gardens. A series of steep stone steps winds up through dense trees and bushes and onto a short gravel driveway that emerges on Hill Lane, where you will turn left. Although it is a steep climb it is thankfully over quickly!
The hamlets of Holt and Hill are extremely close to the centre of Holmfirth yet due to their lofty height feel somewhat isolated. Continue on Hill Lane as in climbs through the hamlet and the tarmac gives way to a rough, walled track.
This track continues all the way back into Upperthong, passing Melbourne Cottage just before the track again becomes tarmac and delivers you at the bottom of Towngate. Make sure you stop and turn around to admire the spectacular views across the valley as you climb into Upperthong on this track.
Quaint Towngate, once the main high street in Upperthong, is a gorgeous finish to the walk transporting you back to another era. After passing the local watering hole Royal Oak, Towngate bends gently to the right, becoming Wickens Lane and it is a short walk along here, with Upperthong Cricket Club to your left, back to the beginning of the walk at the Village Hall.