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Littleborough to Todmorden is a 15.1 kilometer point-to-point trail located near Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, England that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking.

15.1 km
489 m
Point to Point




partially paved


historic site

This is a linear walk from Littleborough to Todmorden over the moors via Clay Pots Hill and Gorpley Reservoir. The return can be made by either bus or train. The start was by the Rochdale Canal adjacent to the station. The Rochdale Canal was the first canal to cross the Pennines and was completed in 1804 connecting the Castlefield Basin in Manchester to Sowerby Bridge a distance of 32 miles. The last loaded barge to travel the whole length was in 1937. Leaving Littleborough the route was via Stubley Hall, the King William lV at Shore and Shore Hall a 17th c. yeoman's house before hitting the open access areas on the borders between Lancashire and Yorkshire. On the pennine moors it is impossible to escape the effects of waterlogged peat and today was no exception, so there were some areas of squelchy ground. It was not of any consequence, having come across much worse on the Kinder Plateau and on my own local Bowland Forest fells where the peat hags can literally swallow you up. Before the days of the construction of the turnpike roads along the valleys in the 18th c. the only safe routes were the packhorse trails over the moors marked by standing stones called 'stoops'. The descent was made via Gorpley Reservoir built in 1900 when Todmorden Corporation purchased the land for £5,900. Gorpley Clough is classed an 'Ancient Woodland' , which applies to a site that has been continuously wooded from before 1600. These ancient woods have over 1000's of years developed a diverse ecosystem. It is also of geological significance as the various layers of bedrock have been exposed. After crossing Bury road the route was via Dobroy Castle which was built as an extravagant mansion house by local mill owner John Fielden. The story goes is that he fell in love with local girl Ruth Stansfield who said that she would only marry him if he built her a castle. The couple married in 1857 and in due course the castle was built. Dobroy Castle has subsequently been used as a school, a Buddhist retreat and is currently an activity centre for primary school groups. It has 66 rooms. The descent to Todmorden in the late afternoon sun was a fitting finale to the days walk from Lancashire into Yorkshire, or according to taste since 1974, from the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale to the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale.

11 days ago

This was my first hike really. I loved it. Can’t quite seem to use this app properly yet but using the map online was fabulous while out there. Thought the map was spot on. Love how it shows all other roads too. Can’t wait to plan my next one

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