A good trail route along the catch and passing the Travellers Rest Public House before returning via Helme.
Distance - 4 3/4 miles
Time – 2 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, cross the zebra crossing and turn right. Cross Wessenden Head Road and take the next left onto Greens End Road to pass in front of Meltham Church.
The church was built on the site of the first Meltham Church of 1651. The ‘new’ church nave was built in 1786 with further additions in 1835 and 1876. The date stone of the original church can be seen behind the South West door. The desk of the pulpit has the inscription ‘1651 Cathedra Veritas’.
Turn up Colders Lane, the second surfaced road on the left and continue along the pavement for some 300 yards. Where the pavement ends, continue straight ahead into a narrow road which in turn becomes a grass lined footpath that reaches a T-Junction with Leygards Lane. Walk left to the end and cross Wessenden Head Road onto a wide track. Opposite the farm, halfway up the track climb the stone stile on your right onto the catchwater embankment and follow this back to the road crossed earlier. Cross the road and over another stone stile to join the catchwater path and follow this meandering path to cross more stone stiles at each of the bridges which span the catchwater.
The grassland to the left after the second bridge has an irregular surface. Excavations on this site have discovered foundations of buildings and relics which suggest the site to be an Iron Age settlement.
At the end of the catchwater path, cross the unsurfaced road and follow the path back to the catchwater edge. Drop down a couple of stone steps onto an embankment and up the steel steps onto the weir. Cross the top of the watergates and turn right at the end. Walk along the now wider track along the catchwater and cross four bridges by means of stiles until you reach the main Slaithwaite to Meltham road (Slaithwaite Road). Turn right down the road, pass the Travellers Rest public house (refreshments, beer garden, toilets, dog friendly) on the right and then cross the road to turn left onto an unsurfaced road below the bus shelter on the left.
The Travellers Rest Inn was one of the twenty eight public houses in the Meltham district one hundred years ago. The residential estate on the left was developed on the site of the Moorview Convalescent Hospital. Built in 1892 as a smallpox hospital, its lodge still stands, as does the boundary wall along the lower side where the walk continues.
After crossing an estate road, continue along the track to pass in front of a white painted house and continue ahead on the tarmac path in front of a renovated farmhouse. Cross the stile near a field gate and walk along the top edge of the field before turning right down the field edge towards another white painted house. Cross the stile on your left and keeping right continue through the fields and a track to reach Helme village through a stile near the school. Turn right and walk down the road which becomes a surfaced footpath across the field in front of the church.
Pass the front of the Church and where the path forks, take the path straight ahead to pass between two houses. Go down the rough track to cross the main road (Helme Lane) at the bottom. Go straight ahead, following the footpath sign to walk down two fields passing through gate stiles. At the wooden stile, cross the track, through a stone stile and walk down a field to climb the stile and down onto Meltham Greenway.
At the Greenway turn right and follow the Greenway to the end where it meets an estate road. Keep to the left and where the road bends right, take the footpath on your left. Where the footpath forks, keep right to pass alongside the Supermarket. Walk to the end of the footpath where it meets the main Meltham to Slaithwaite road at Station Street. Turn left, passing the Victoria Park public house on your left to reach the centre of Meltham village.