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Launch of South Pennine Walk and Ride Festival in Marsden - September 10

A programme for walks and rides around South Yorkshire will get off to a flying start at the official festival launch in Marsden on September 10.

Wessenden Head by Andy Leader

Wessenden Head by Andy Leader

Marsden Mechanics Hall will be the venue for the launch which is being hosted by ‘Marsden Walkers are Welcome’ and the event will run from 9am until 2pm and will feature stalls and the work of three local photographers.

There will be a photographic presentation by Tom Lonsdale at 11am with music called ‘Gigs to Gigabytes’ which will look at how the textile industry and the Luddites shaped the local countryside.

Inspired local photographer Andy Leader will also present an illustrated talk called Pennine Impressions at 12.15.
The event will feature displays from Marsden Walkers are Welcome, Marsden Local History Group, the Milestone Society, The Bridleways Group, and Pennine Prospects
The official festival launch will take place at 9.45am and will be conducted by the Deputy Mayor of Kirklees Cllr Christine Iredale.

Walkers then have a choice of a variety of events including a 1.5 mile walk for families of all ages with professional storyteller Peter Findley.

There will also be the chance to take part in a ‘hard’ 12 mile Via Romanus walk accompanied by a Roman Soldier guide to survey the section of road which once linked Chester with York including a demonstration of how a Roman signal station worked as well as other themed stops on Roman life in the Marsden area.

The National Trust will lead a nine-mile walk called ‘To the Limits’ which will follow the northern boundaries of the Marsden Moor Estate via Buckstones and Deanhead.
Finally, there will be a six-mile walk entitled ‘Views, woods and water’ which will take in recently-improved footpaths in the Colne Valley area.

Further events will be taking place on Sunday including a special guided walk, accompanied by the canal boat horse Bilbo Baggins and handler Nigel Dix, from Standedge Tunnel, Marsden, to Diggle; and a four-mile a gentle stroll into Marsden from the Olive Branch.
All these walks and events for the full festival can be found by visiting

Local host group ‘Marsden Walkers are Welcome’ are a local voluntary group set up to improve footpaths in the Marsden area with funding from the local area committee.

More events can be found at