The Pennines form a natural barrier between Northwest and Northeast England but people have always needed to cross from one side to the other – from ancient times to the present day.
This walk explores some of the routeways over and under the South Pennines in Saddleworth between Oldham and Huddersfield.
There were many engineering challenges to constructing routes across this difficult landscape of steep valleys and high moors.
Walk in the footsteps of Roman soldiers, medieval monks and loaded pack horses. Trace the development of the road network from turnpike roads to a modern motorway. Discover how transportation became quicker and more efficient through the centuries. Find out how record-breaking canal and railway tunnels were constructed through the hills. See how leisure routeways contrast to industrial routeways.
The landscape is full of evidence of routeways – fords and bridges, tunnels and cuttings, tracks and towpaths, locks and viaducts, coaching inns and toll houses.
Peel back the layers and discover two thousand years of history.
The ascent from Delph to Standedge Cutting and the descent back down to Diggle is steady but long
- Suitable for:
A fantastic walk for dogs but keep them on a lead across farmland where there are grazing sheep (especially between stops 3 and 5 and 12 to 14)
Suitable for children with some walking experience; plenty of things to interest them along the route
- King Street, Delph
- Brownhill Countryside Centre, Dobcross
- Getting there:
Easily accessible from M62 at J20 (Oldham) or J22 (Ripponden/Saddleworth); free street parking in Delph or in Millgate car park
Nearest station Greenfield (3 miles); served by local trains running between Manchester Victoria and Huddersfield (one per hour in the daytime)
Both the start and finish of the route are served by local buses from Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne, Manchester and Huddersfield
Part of the route follows the Pennine Bridleway National Trail which is suitable for mountain bikes