This walk has a gentle climb to the village of Wilshaw returning via the golf course and the pleasure grounds.
Distance - 3 ½ miles
Time – 1 ½ hours
Route Type –Moderate
From the free car park at the rear of the Carlile Institute, walk forward onto Huddersfield Road and turn left towards the centre of Meltham. Turn left at the crossroads to walk on Holmfirth Road (past the fire station). Continue for about 500 yards to the lowest point of a pronounced dip in the road. Turn left into the Pleasure Grounds footpath just before the bus shelter.
The Pleasure Grounds were created for the people of Meltham about 1850 by Charles Brook.
Walk through the Pleasure Grounds to the play area, then up the ramp to the road. Cross the road, turn left and follow the road round to the right up a steep hill (Knowl Lane) past the industrial estate. Turn right onto a track just before a row of houses into Windy Bank Wood. Go through the wall stile to the right of the gate. Follow the track through the wood for about ½ mile where the cinder track finishes at Meltham Mills reservoir. Bear left, and walk parallel to the bank for about 100 yards then climb diagonally up sloping Slate Pits Wood. This path can be wet, muddy and slippery.
The reservoir was built in 1805 to provide water power to Meltham Mills. The original 9 hole Meltham Golf Course is on the other side of the reservoir. It was later expanded to 18 holes. The wood is well known locally for bluebells and squirrels. The reservoir is stocked with trout for private fishing.
Cross a stile and after crossing a narrow field go through an opening in the wall onto a track.
There are views towards Wilshaw from here and of the track up which you are going to walk.
Bear right downhill and follow this old track, down into a dip (often muddy) and up the other side passing a cross path and joining a concrete track.On your left here is a high ridge known as Swinny Knoll. During the 19th c it was the custom for Wilshaw children to hold their sports day here each Whit Monday. Ahead is the Bell House Residential Home. At the next gate, a metal one, turn right and walk straight across the field to a wooden stile over a stone wall. This leads into a path behind St Mary’s Court and eventually reaches a road. Cross over onto the pavement and walk right round to the gate and railings of Wilshaw Church. The dip in the road was originally a quarry. On this site Joseph Hirst built his first home which later became the vicarage. The Church of St Mary the Virgin was built in 1863 by Joseph Hirst, virtually the founder of modern Wilshaw in memory of his only daughter Mary who died in childbirth in 1859. Cross over directly opposite the church to pass between two square stone gateposts then walk down the tarmac track. Just before Gill Birks, turn left (as signed) over a wooden stile onto the footpath leading to a wooden stile into a field. Turn right and walk along the rear of the property. At the end of the property where the boundary turns right, turn left and walk straight across the field to a wooden stile over a stone wall into Meltham golf course. NOTE: if there are tall crops and no visible path across, you could carry on round the boundary to reach this stile. This section of the golf course was the later extension from 9 to 18 holes. The view here is of West Nab dominating the NW with Deer Hill, Cop Hill and the flat line of Blackmoorfoot reservoir as you move round to the north. Please follow the next instructions carefully. Pass No 7 tee on your left and walk along an avenue of trees. Carry on along a line of trees and through a further avenue of trees also parallel to Netherthong road, passing No 8 tee on your right. Leave the trees to pass clockwise round No 3 tee and follow a downhill path, with trees on your right to the golf club car park. Turn left along the road out of the golf club and at the road junction ahead take the second road on the right, Acre Lane (sign-posted to Meltham Mills). Walk down Acre Lane and at the bottom turn left on the road crossing your outward route. Turn left again into Millbank Road, just before the shop. The shop is on the site of the first Co-Op, after it moved here from opposite about 1829, being rebuilt in 1862. After 200 yards, bear right (signed) up into a tarmac walled footpath. Continue along this, crossing an estate road, till you meet the main Huddersfield Road. Turn left and follow this road back to the centre of Meltham