This lovely 3km walk had the additional excitement of a trip on Kirklees Light Railway, just ask the guard to jump off at Skelmanthorpe before you depart at Clayton West station, and then walk to Shelley station to catch the train back.
Parking: Park at Clayton West station and catch the light railway to Skelmanthorpe. You’ll need to pay for tickets, just under £30 for a family return ticket, under twos are free.
Facilities:Toilets,cafe, picnic areas and play areas available at both Clayton West and Shelley station.
Accessibility:The route itself is not difficult and relatively flat, but stiles and rocky footpaths mean it is unsuitable for buggies or wheelchairs.
Distance: just over 3km
Route: From Skelmanthorpe station, the path mostly follows the railway with just a little navigation towards the end. Full route description to follow.
The walking route between Skelmanthorpe and Shelley station
Board the train at Clayton West, and make sure to tell the guard or driver that you want to get off, we were the only people who did, so you need to make sure that they know.
Once you’re off the platform, follow the surfaced path adjacent to the railway line until you reach a gate. The path slowly climbs, so you’ll have some lovely views of the countryside to your right. Keep following this path, crossing the track when you reach it.
When the path splits before a bridge, you have two options. In wet weather definitely go straight ahead.. and follow the path all the way to the road. For a change you could also cross the bridge over the railway line, but beware that this does have water trickling down so you may get wet feet! If you choose this path, follow the path along the top of the embankment rather than through the fields. The two options meet at a road, where the train enters Shelley Woodhouse Tunnel (the longest tunnel on any 15-inch railway in Britain). Cross the road and continue along the market footpath. At the next road, the footpath is a little to your right.
Follow this track down to Shelley, you’ll see the railway line reappear to your right. At the next road, go straight ahead towards the farmhouse, and head to the footpath to the right of the buildings. This narrow path takes you past the buildings and you’ll soon see Shelley station. Unfortunately there isn’t a way to access the station here. Instead, continue straight ahead and over a stile, following a footpath that takes you to a road.
Turn right here, under the railway track and you’ll see the drive towards Shelley station where you can head back to the start.