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Holme Moss towards Holme Moss transmitting station
|Elevation||524 m (1,719 ft)|
Holme Moss (1,719 feet/524 m a.s.l.) is a moor in the South Pennines of England, on the border between the High Peak district of Derbyshire and the Kirklees district of West Yorkshire. It is just inside the boundary of the Peak District National Park. The moor is crossed by the A6024 road between Longdendale and Holmfirth, whose highest point is near the prominent mast of Holme Moss transmitting station.
The water seeping from the surrounding moorland Rake Dike is the source of the River Holme. Rake Dike rising from Kay Edge on the moor flows through the village of Holme and into Brownhill Reservoir, about a mile below the moor, and passes down through the Holme Valley to Huddersfield, where it flows into the River Colne. The upper part of the moor continues into Black Hill which is crossed by the Pennine Way north–south footpath.
The Holme Moss transmitting station is the highest in England and provides VHF coverage of both FM and DAB to a wide area around the transmitter including Derbyshire, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire. When originally erected it also transmitted television signals, which travelled much further than their intended service area. They were received on the Isle of Man and in parts of the Irish Republic, mainly Dublin and Wicklow. Emley Moor (55.44°, 15.53 km) and Moorside Edge (348.22°, 11.56 km) transmitters can be seen from the location.
The Holmfirth Harriers Athletics Club organise an annual "Holme Moss Fell Race" on and around Holme Moss in the summer. The race starts at Cartworth Moor cricket ground, crosses Ramsden Clough to Holme Moss, crosses and descends to Crowden before returning via Bareholme Moss, Laddow Rocks and Black Hill. It is a classic local race. In the winter Holme Moss frequently gets a covering of snow, while the surrounding valleys do not. The top car park is a popular spot for bringing children to do sledging, or even more serious snowsports. With heavier snowfall, the road is always the first in the area to be blocked. This is not helped by two local councils needing to cooperate to keep the road clear of snow, and sometimes one will clear its side of the hill, but the snowploughs turn around at the top, leaving the other side blocked.
To British cycling enthusiasts, Holme Moss has become synonymous with the A6024 (Woodhead Road) which crosses the moor, between the village of Holmbridge to the north and the Woodhead Reservoir to the south. The northern side in particular is one of England's best known bicycle ascents, and has acquired a reputation as among the country's more difficult climbs. It has often been used for domestic competition in British road racing and mountain biking.
"Le Col de Moss" bicycle race
Although not comparable in distance to the famous cols of European bicycle racing, the length and difficulty of Holme Moss relative to other British climbs has made it a frequent and popular inclusion in British races, including the Tour of Britain. For many years the (now defunct) Leeds Classic race saw internationally renowned riders (many of them, such as Bjarne Riis, veterans of the Tour de France, hence the moniker Le Col de Moss) tackling the climb. The second stage of the 2014 Tour de France will follow the route across the Pennines to Derbyshire.
- Ordnance Survey. OL1 Dark Peak Area (Map). 1:25000. Explorer. http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=409627&Y=403680&A=Y&Z=115. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- Fortheringham, William (17 January 2013). "Tour de France 2014: Leeds chosen for start as English route is unveiled". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 January 2013.