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Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms

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Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms
Author: Penistone Line, Published: 22 Sep 2017 Walk Rating:star0 Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms Walking Guide star0 Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms Walking Guide star0 Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms Walking Guide star0 Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms Walking Guide star0 Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms Walking Guide
West Yorkshire, Huddersfield
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms Walking Guide boot Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms Walking Guide boot Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms Walking Guide
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0002_sunny_intervals Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms Walking Guide Today's weather
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A 3.5 mile linear walk from Berry Brow rail station to Honley rail station in West Yorkshire, climbing high into the stunning local countryside along the way. The walk leaves Berry Brow village, leading you steeply up into the beautiful hillsides to reach the prominent landmark and scheduled monument of Castle Hill, an Iron Age hillfort that is home to a beautiful Victorian tower and gives amazing panoramic views. For the descent, the walk takes you through more rolling countryside with outstanding views, visiting Stirley Community Farm and Upper Park Wood local nature reserve along the way. The return leg can be completed via a simple 3 minute train journey.

The walk comprises a long climb for the first half and the equivalent descent for the second half, with some stretches being quite steep. Some of the surfaces can be muddy (and slippery) after periods of rain and in winter. There is one 250 metre stretch along a lane without pavements that needs care. You will need to negotiate several flights of steps, gates, kissing gates and narrow stone squeeze gaps plus 11 fence stiles and 2 stone stiles. The stiles vary in design but all should be suitable for most dogs to pass over or alongside (our standard poodle found suitable gaps for all of them). There is no livestock on the climb, but for the descent you will pass through a series of five pastures that are roamed freely by cattle (this can be avoided via a stretch of roadside pavement instead if you prefer), you will cross one horse paddock and then cross just the corners of two more pastures that sometimes hold cattle (in each case you will only take about 10 paces within the pastures, so the chances of encountering the cattle is very slim). Allow 2 hours.

This walk is one of the Penistone Line Collection, published through a collaboration between The Penistone Line Partnership and iFootpath to help visitors discover the beautiful countryside and attractions accessible by train between Huddersfield and Sheffield.

The walk starts at Berry Brow rail station making it ideal for arriving by public transport. If you are coming by car, there is roadside parking available along Birch Road, near the school and Methodist church. Approximate post code HD4 7LP. The return leg is via train, with normal service being hourly Mon-Sat and every two hours on Sundays, but please check before you travel.

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Walk Sections

Start to Cold Hill
Start to Cold Hill

Start point: 53.6213 lat, -1.7939 long
End point: 53.6222 lat, -1.7845 long

Leave the rail platform up the tarmac slope to Birch Road and turn right along the pavement, heading gently downhill. At about 11 o’clock high in the distance, you will be able to see the tower on Castle Hill that we will be visiting on our walking route today. Pass the Methodist Church and school on your left and swap to the left-hand pavement before you reach the T-junction. At the T-junction, use the zebra crossing to reach the far pavement, turn right along this and then turn left into the side road, Lady House Lane.

Follow the pavement leading you steadily uphill. At the top of the first steep section, ignore the footpath signed off to the right, instead continue along the lane (taking care of traffic as the pavement has now ended). Pass the entrance for Castle Views on your right, ignore the footpaths both left and right and continue for just a few metres further to reach a tarmac access track on your right, Cold Hill.

Cold Hill to Hall Bower Lane
Cold Hill to Hall Bower Lane

Start point: 53.6222 lat, -1.7845 long
End point: 53.6219 lat, -1.7802 long

Turn right to join Cold Hill and follow the track between stone walls and hedgerows. As you continue to climb, beautiful views begin to open up on your right. Continue between a handful of stone properties. Immediately after the last cottage on your right, look for a squeeze gap at the end of the stone wall on your left (this is just after a wooden telegraph pole).

Turn left through this squeeze gap and keep directly ahead along a disused grass field, keeping the stone wall on your right (with great views up to the Castle Hill tower beyond). At the far end, walk ahead through the wide wall gap and dog-leg (right then left) to continue along a section of stone access track. You will emerge to a junction with the road, Hall Bower Lane.

Hall Bower Lane to Castle Hill
Hall Bower Lane to Castle Hill

Start point: 53.6219 lat, -1.7802 long
End point: 53.6224 lat, -1.7721 long

Cross over to the far pavement and turn right along this, heading steadily uphill. Immediately before you reach the houses, turn right to join a tarmac track signed as a public footpath. Pass the back garden of a house on your left and then you will see a waymarker post on your left. Fork left here (about 11 o’clock) through the wide hedgerow gap, to join the grass path leading you directly up towards the tower.

Pass through a tree belt and pass through an old fence gap (through or alongside an old stone squeeze gap) to enter another disused pasture. Walk straight ahead, climbing steeply along the left-hand boundary. As the path begins to level off, take a moment to catch your breath and enjoy the views that have opened up behind you. At the top of the field, pass through the narrow wall squeeze gap to reach a junction with the road.

Cross over the main road and walk directly ahead along the side road, with the stone wall for the hillfort site on your left. As you reach the brow of the rise, turn left to take the signed public footpath which leads you up a long flight of steps. The steps lead you directly up to the tower on Castle Hill.

Castle Hill to Lumb Lane
Castle Hill to Lumb Lane

Start point: 53.6224 lat, -1.7721 long
End point: 53.6215 lat, -1.7717 long

Pass to the left of the tower to reach the front entrance. You can visit the tower and climb to the viewing platform should you wish (fees apply and opening times are usually limited to the summer holidays and weekends over other holidays – check the Kirklees Council website for details). Even when the tower is closed, this makes an ideal spot to pause, enjoy the panoramic views and understand your surroundings…

The history of human activity on Castle Hill goes back over 4000 years. The site was developed as an Iron Age hillfort, surrounded by defensive ditches and ramparts. In the Middle Ages, there was a castle on the hill, of which only the well remains. It became a hunting lodge before falling into ruin around 1320. The present tower was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The tower is 32 metres high, the top sits at 350 metres above sea level and there are 165 steps up to the viewing platform. The walls of the tower are four feet thick at the bottom, tapering to two feet at the top. The views from this point are fabulous. You will be able to see Huddersfield across to your left and the prominent Emley Moor Tower (a transmitting station that stands 330 metres high) across to your right. Whilst today we visit to appreciate the views, it only takes a little imagination to understand what an excellent defensive position this would provide if you were worried about attack from your enemies. It also creates a great communications position and you will notice the fire beacon. A beacon here was used to warn about the Spanish Armada in 1588.

When you are ready to continue, walk down the steps towards the car parks but, before you reach these, turn left onto a side path which leads you past the fire beacon. Follow this upper rampart stone path, passing the car park on your right and then following some steps down and up to continue on the upper ramparts. At the far end of the hill, descend some more steps but do NOT continue on the upper rampart path. Instead, turn sharp left down the tarmac slope to reach a junction of paths. Take the path at about 1 o’clock (marked with a hare symbol), which swings right and follows the lower ramparts. You will emerge to the car park access lane, leave the ramparts path here and bear left to follow the access lane (taking care of traffic) down to a junction with Lumb Lane.

Lumb Lane to Stirley Community Farm
Lumb Lane to Stirley Community Farm

Start point: 53.6215 lat, -1.7717 long
End point: 53.6182 lat, -1.7805 long

At this point you have two choices. The next stretch of our walk crosses a series of pastures which are well-walked, but hold cattle and can be very churned or muddy at times. If you would prefer to avoid this part, turn right back to the main road junction then turn left along the pavement. Continue until you pass a couple of properties on your right (the latter is called Holly House), then turn immediately right onto the tarmac access slope and skip to the last paragraph in this section.

For the main route, turn left along Lumb Lane and follow this as it bears right heading downhill. Immediately before the long white house on your right, look for a stile on your right. NOTE: You may come across cattle in any of the following pastures. Cross the stile into the first pasture and walk straight ahead, staying close to the low stone wall on your left. Cross the next stile (or fence gap) ahead and follow the left-hand edge of this second pasture. Take the wall squeeze gap into a third pasture and cross this at about 1 o’clock to exit via a stile (or adjacent gateway) into a fourth pasture.

Walk straight ahead across this field, soon following the line of a wall on your left once again. Take the stile ahead into a fifth pasture and keep ahead along the left-hand boundary until you reach a stile on your left. Cross this to reach the corner of an enclosed grass track and turn right along the track. Cross the small step stile alongside the gate ahead, to enter the complex of farm buildings at Castle Houses. Bear right to follow the farm’s access drive out to a junction with the road. Turn right along the pavement for about 40 paces and then cross over to turn left into the tarmac access slope.

Follow the tarmac access track downhill. This is the opposite end of Cold Hill Lane that we followed near the start of the walk. Just a short way along you will reach a fork. Take the left-hand branch, passing alongside a wide gate and continuing on a grass and tarmac track between hedgerows. The track leads you directly into the complex of farm buildings of Stirley Community Farm. This farm had become derelict after it failed as a dairy farm, but today is in the hands of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust with the aim of demonstrating that farming and wildlife can exist hand-in-hand. The farm grows fruit and veg, and raises a herd of beef shorthorn cattle. The farm hosts lots of community events throughout the year.

Stirley Community Farm to Upper Park Path
Stirley Community Farm to Upper Park Path

Start point: 53.6182 lat, -1.7805 long
End point: 53.6155 lat, -1.783 long

Bear left to cross the concrete area between the farm buildings, pass the end of the converted stone building on your left and keep ahead to cross the rough grass area (past a fire pit) to reach a wide metal gate and stile. Cross the stile to enter the cattle pasture, walk ahead for just a few paces and then turn sharp left over a stone stile with wooden gate to enter a hillside horse paddock. Turn immediately right to follow the right-hand boundary of the paddock, climbing steadily towards a stone property.

At the corner, pass through the gate ahead and follow the narrow path between scrub. You will emerge out to the stone property. Pass to the right of this to reach the road via the property gates (or the stone stile alongside). Cross over the road and take the tarmac access drive directly ahead, signed as a public footpath. Just before you reach the houses ahead (part of Upper Park), turn right to join an enclosed grass path.

Upper Park Path to End
Upper Park Path to End

Start point: 53.6155 lat, -1.783 long
End point: 53.6081 lat, -1.781 long

Take the staggered barrier and stile ahead to enter the top of a large steep pasture (which sometimes holds cattle). Turn immediately left along the top boundary for just a few metres and exit via the stile ahead. Follow the narrow path through an area of scrub, cross an old stone wall and a few paces later you will come to a fork with a waymarker post. Take the left-hand path which continues through the area of scrub and heads into woodland.

A stone squeeze gap ahead leads you into the main area of woodland, part of Upper Park Wood local nature reserve. The wood lies in the ancient manor of Almondbury. It is thought that the Norman castle on Castle Hill was used as a hunting lodge and that this woodland was its game park, used for hunting deer and wild boar. Follow the path ahead, with a stone wall running on your right, to reach another fork. Take the right-hand branch down some steps through the wall and follow the woodland path through the dip and cross a stile into the open meadow. Here you will find an information board about the nature reserve, as well as more beautiful views.

Keep ahead to reach a bench and bear right to stay along the top boundary of the large meadow. At the small fork, ignore the left-hand path which climbs to a kissing gate, instead take the right-hand branch, a wide grass path which leads you down to a wide metal gate. Cross the stile alongside this and continue on the enclosed path with a stone wall on your right.

You will emerge out to a junction with the road. Turn right along the pavement and, just before the road bends left, cross over to turn left through the stone staggered barrier to join the signed public footpath between fences. This enclosed path emerges into the parking area for Honley rail station. Bear right through the parking area to reach the station building on your left. From this station, you can catch a Penistone Line train back to Berry Brow where the walk began.

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network Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by the author Penistone and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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4 gallery images for "Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms"

9063_0Penistone1506093683 Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms Walking Guide Image by: Penistone Line
Uploaded: 22 Sep 2017
The tower was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
9063_1Penistone1506093684 Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms Walking Guide Image by: Penistone Line
Uploaded: 22 Sep 2017
The complex of farm buildings of Stirley Community Farm.
9063_2Penistone1506093684 Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms Walking Guide Image by: Penistone Line
Uploaded: 22 Sep 2017
Upper Park Wood local nature reserve.
9063_3Penistone1506093684 Penistone Line: Berry Brow Fort and Farms Walking Guide Image by: Penistone Line
Uploaded: 22 Sep 2017
Honley rail station.

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