HEBDEN BRIDGE WALKERS ACTION
901 BUS WALKS 9
Great Manshead circular
Main features of the walk
This circular walk combines some stunning views from a high moorland peak and some classic South Pennines farm lanes and tracks.
Length and time
It’s about 9km (approx 5½ miles) and should take you about 3-3½ hours (plus stops). You can shorten it by about 3km by cutting down to Ripponden.
Gradients – how strenuous?
The first part of the walk is about half an hour steady climb, after that is mainly a flat walk.
Terrain – how uneven?
On the first half, a lot of the high moorland is quite uneven and can be very wet in places. The second half of the walk is mainly on good tracks and lanes.
Obstacles – stiles, steps etc.
There are several wooden stiles on the route.
Facilities on the walk
This walk has no facilities.
What to take?
You need a good pair of walking boots as parts of the route will be muddy, especially after rain. This walk is also quite exposed so take wind proof rain gear (even if it is sunny when you start). Mare sure you take timetables for the 901 and 528 bus to Rochdale (don’t rely on phone signal).
Detailed directions for Walk 9: Great Manshead circular
- Ask the 901 bus driver to drop you opposite the roadside car park on the A58 Rochdale Road, at the Western end of Baitings Reservoir.
- Climb the ladder stile, signed Manshead Hill and Waterstalls Road following a Yorkshire Water permissive path. Cross the footbridge over Greenwood Clough, go up the bank and turn left along the fence. After ½ km you pass Manshead Farm on your right and the path drops down to the left to cross the stream over a bridge. Head uphill and turn right over a second footbridge and stile.
- After crossing this stile, the path goes diagonally uphill across rough, often wet moorland to the left of the clough. It drops down to the right across the stream up to two stiles on a double fence on to the open moor. The path clearly heads up the hill to the right to a cairn and a bench which are at the summit of Manshead End. The view is fantastic (on a clear day!), with Blackstone Edge, Stoodley Pike, Cragg Vale, Halifax and Emley Moor all visible
- From the summit cairn, follow the clear path straight ahead along Great Manshead Hill, past the Great Manshead Hill summit cairn and trig point, for 2km guided by occasional way-mark posts.
- When you meet a wall follow this for 400m, and go over two stiles, turning right immediately after the second stile along the Calderdale Way, past the brick air raid shelter on Slate Delfs Hill. The building dates from the Second World War, when handful of men lit up the hillside during German bombing raids, in the hope that the pilots would mistake the lights for nearby Halifax, and drop their bombs harmlessly on to the moor.
- 150 metres past the air raid shelter, you reach a junction with several way-mark posts. Cross the wall on your left, by the collapsed stone stile. The narrow path heads diagonally across a patch of rough moor towards the embankment of Flints Dam. Cross a stile on to the dam wall and walk to the end, where crossing another wooden stile into a lane down to Greave Road.
- Here you turn right for 50m, then left into the lane signed to Blackshaw. Drop down the lane for 30 metres and go through the ornate gate of Great Greave Farm (it is a public footpath). Follow the house round to the right and you will see a waymark directing you into a rough walled lane. Walk down to Blackshaw Clough and then follow the wall on an indistinct path up to Far Slack Farm.
- Go through the wooden gates to the left of the farm buildings, and then go straight ahead across the concrete yard, and straight ahead into the walled Lane. Follow this lane for 500m to a junction. Here, you turn right, and immediately right again up a grassy walled bridleway. In 500 metres you reach a tarmac road called Blue Ball Road, where you turn right.
- Here you have a choice- the road has very little traffic and walking along it you will get great views of Baitings dam, Rishworth Moor and initially Manshead End. It is about 3km (30 mins) back to the bus stop.
- If the timetable (and the weather) doesn’t fit, we suggest that you walk along for about 50 metres and take a left turn called Ripponden Old Lane. This will take you into Ripponden (about 2km) where you can wait for the next bus in the comfort of a café or pub.
- If you carry on the Blue Ball Road, you soon reach Baiting Hall. Eventually you come out to where you started to wait for the bus in the roadside car park.