Marsden is a large but compact village very close to Uppermill over in West Yorkshire – God’s Own Country. It’s the next stop on the Greenfield to Huddersfield railway line and about 15-minutes away by car. You can even walk there over the Pennines in a couple of hours, it’s a splendid hike.
Marsden has a similar history to Uppermill in that it grew in size and prospered in the 19th Century through the production of woollen cloth and was home to a sizeable Woollen mill. Like Uppermill, Marsden is located on a waterway, and the River Colne which runs through the centre of the village would have powered the mills. Many of the houses in Marsden were originally built to house the workers at the mills, and they were built in the iconic Yorkshire sandstone.
The Huddersfield narrow canal was built in 1811 to transport cotton and woollen goods from the Saddleworth side of the Pennines to Yorkshire. The three-mile-long Standedge tunnel that was carved through the hills is the longest canal tunnel in the UK, and it arrives in Yorkshire right next to Marsden. You can visit the Standedge Tunnel visitors centre to learn more about the industrial history of the region and the importance of the canal and tunnel. You can even take a trip down the tunnel on a canal barge.
Marsden is located in the Colne Valley at the confluence of the River Colne and the Wessenden Brook, and there are excellent walking opportunities in the area, though the ‘Dark Peak’ as this section of the Peak District is known, is more rugged and challenging than moors of Saddleworth. There are several reservoirs in the area, and they are well worth the effort to reach. There are also more gentle and relaxing walks around Marsden.
Marsden is home to many locally owned cafe’s bars, restaurants and speciality food shops selling high quality locally produced and sourced foods. The Riverhead Tap is the local brewery, their Butterley Bitter is so beautiful it’s worth a trip over the hill just for a pint. The award-winning Olive Branch restaurant is one of the best in the region, and Titanic Spa is a stunning and luxurious spa and hotel situated an old renovated woollen mill.
The Marsden Jazz festival held every year in October is one of the longest-running jazz festivals in the UK. They will be hosting their twenty-eighth festival on 11th to the 13th October 2019. It’s is a truly fabulous weekend of music and fun and is a festival that never takes itself too seriously despite having a roll call of some of the best Jazz musicians in the country.
No introduction to Marsden would be complete without mention of Simon Armitage. The award-winning local poet mainly writes gritty poems about Yorkshire life and Yorkshire people, often sad, but always with a hint of dry humour. He has written numerous books, and if you’ve not read his poetry, you should definitely try it out. His autobiographical book ‘All points North’ tells the story of his growing up in Marsden and is a fascinating read. He was recently made Poet Laureate, which isn’t bad for an ex-probation officer and poet from Yorkshire.
More information about Marsden and the surrounding area can be found at the tourist information site.
Pots & Pans Cottage is a charming L shaped 18th-century weavers cottage located in a small hamlet 10 minutes walk from the centre of Uppermill in Saddleworth, about 15-minutes drive from Marsden.
Pots & Pans Cottage in Uppermill is still available to book for the Marsden Jazz festival weekend of 11th – 13th October, and there are several other accommodation options in the Saddleworth and Marsden area listed on Airbnb and Trip Advisor as well. If you have nothing planned for this weekend in October it is well worth planning a weekend away to enjoy something special. If you are interested in staying at Pots & Pans Cottage, then click on our booking page to view the prices and availability and make a booking.