Helen and I spent the weekend at my brothers up north. We left in good time on Friday after work and had a good journey up the M1 and arrived early evening. Kev and Ron had made a chickpea curry and home made naan, which was lovely accompanied by a couple of glasses of wine.
We were up early with the kids the next day, a walk was planned on Marsden Moor. The weather outside was grey but the BBC and the Met office promised that it would brighten up later in the morning. We put together a pack lunch then headed out all in one car and parked up at the NT Visitors centre near the railway station in Marsden. After trouble finding 50p for the map vending machine we had map in hand and a planned 4 mile circular route taking in the famous moor.
According to Wikipedia :
The Marsden Moor Estate is a large expanse of moorland situated in the Pennines, between the conurbations of West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester in the north of England. It is named after the adjacent small town of Marsden, and is owned and administered by the National Trust to whom it was conveyed in 1955 by the Radcliffe family in lieu of death duties.
The estate covers some 2,429 ha (5,685 acres) of unenclosed common moorland and almost surrounds Marsden. It forms the most northerly section of the Peak District National Park. The landscape is made up of valleys, peaks and crags and has long been modified by man. The fact that Marsden forms the eastern gateway to the important Standedge crossing of the moors has resulted in the presence of transport related archaeological remains dating from pre-Roman times to the great engineering structures of the canal and railway ages. The moors have also been used as a water catchment area since the Victorian era, and several reservoirs are present, along with their associated catchwaters.
The landscape supports large numbers of moorland birds such as the Golden Plover, Red Grouse, Curlew and Twite. The estate is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, forms part of an Special Protection Area and is a candidate Special Area of Conservation.
The estate is managed from a base in the old goods yard, adjacent to Marsden railway station, and the old goods shed has been converted into a public exhibition, entitled Welcome to Marsden, which gives an overview of the estate and its history.
From the car park we headed up Marsden high street, then through a park where there was a memorial to the poet Samuel Laycock who was born and lived in Marsden. Once out of the park we headed up a steep path towards the moor. After a hard slog we were glad to be out on the moor and away from the dog poo you find on foot paths near towns. The sun was shining but there was a strong wind luckily from the south so the not unpleasant. The kids were soon whining about being hungry so we found a few rocks on which to eat our sandwiches.
Up the moor are quite a few channels which serve as water courses transferring water between the local reservoirs, we played Pooh stocks with one where a bridge went over. We soon got to the zenith of the walk and started our descent, and had great views over the valley and reservoir there in. We were soon back in the town and stopped off for supplies for pizza topping later.
We got back to the house late after noon and after a cup of tea went for a swim, where I was able to test out the new GoPro Hero2 video camera, and perform well it did.
For dinner we had home made pizza followed by an excellent sticky toffee pudding. This was followed by a Wii session and then bed.
The next day we were up early again, and headed home after a coffee and a smoothie video, which involved a carpet race round the kitchen.
Traffic on the way home was light.