Combs Hill Lane, edged by a boundary wall that sports elegant capping stones – a sign of wealth in times past
THE path runs along the edge of a hill with a bird’s eye view of Batley and Dewsbury.
Here, high in the sky among the birds, there is a Public Arts Waymarker. Cast in iron, it depicts birds in flight. The path eventually drops down the side of the hill and enters Caulms Wood through another Public Arts gateway designed by David Mayne.
Follow the main path through the wood to the Festival Area, bear left into Caulms Wood Road and cross Leeds Road next to The Crown public house, into Sugar Lane. Turn right along a track. This is Hollinroyd Road. Turn right down Old Bank Road to Wakefield Road.
Cross the busy main road (A638) and turn left into Ridings Road, towards an industrial estate. Where the track forks, bear right along the dismantled railway line towards the old railway tunnel.
Turn right along Preston Street and, at the fork, head right past the cottage. Immediately beyond the house, as the road starts to dip down, take the wooden steps on the left up into the wood.
The path winds its way up through this mixed coniferous and deciduous woodland to Long Lane. Turn right and take the public footpath across the road on the left, just before Woodbine Terrace, which leads down towards a wood.
Climb over a stile and cross a field. Climb another stile, cross a footbridge over a stream and turn left. Walk around the perimeter of the wood, and up the slope to join the dismantled railway, on the right.
After a short distance turn right into an arable field. This point is nearly opposite the third track on the left. On entering the field turn right and then left and follow the edge of the field due south.
The path joins a track, at which point keep straight ahead using Emley Moor Mast as a waymark.
At a T-junction turn left. Cross Pildacre Mill Beck and continue straight ahead, ignoring the track on the left hand side. At a dry stone wall, turn right down the side of the field, keeping the wall to the left.
Cross the wall and turn right, keeping the wall to the right. The path enters an uncultivated stretch of land. The official footpath has become somewhat overgrown as it follows the side of the wall down to the edge of the sewage works.
Squeeze through the gap at the edge of the high fence and turn left.The path follows the side of a field to Healey Old Mills.
Care must be taken where the path cuts through the mill complex as the route is shared with HGV traffic. Leaving the entrance gates to the mill, turn right across an iron footbridge over the River Calder.
After crossing the River Calder turn left and pass under three railway lines. At the lock keeper’s cottage, turn right along the towpath of the Calder and Hebble Navigation.
Turn left over the canal and follow the track straight ahead, crossing a bridge over a dismantled railway line.
Here there are good views across to Ossett.
Where the track forks, turn left and then turn right at Thornhill Hall Stables. Go up Combs Hill Lane, edged by a boundary wall that sports elegant capping stones – a sign of wealth in times past.
At a point where the height of the wall is significantly reduced, a gap has been made providing an entrance to this, now public, park, through which the Kirklees Way also passes.
Go ahead and then bear right – the way is well marked – climbing the slope and leaving the park next to the toilet block on Church Lane.
Turn left on Church Lane and then right up Valley Road. The road becomes a track and then a path. Where the path forks, bear right and keep to he high path. This is Thornhill Edge.
The walk along Thornhill Edge is in two halves, separated by Albion Road. A flight of steps leads to Albion Road and the Flatt Top public house.