The source of the river is by way of Digley Reservoir, fed firstly by the run-off from Brownhill Reservoir, then by Dobbs Dike. Banks along the upper valley are mostly urbanised and are in the Holme Valley.
From Digley Reservoir, the river flows north-east through Holmbridge and Holmfirth. It flows northwards to Thongsbridge and Brockholes then north to reach Honley, Berry Brow and Lockwood. Thence it wends northwards and joins the Colne just south of Huddersfield town centre at Folly Hall.
The river was prone to flooding, the earliest recorded in 1738. In 1840 the dam of Bilberry Reservoir was built over a stream, but the work had not been done properly and the stream not correctly redirected. Thus in February 1852, the reservoir broke its confines and flooded the valley as far as Holmfirth. It caused 81 deaths and the destruction of many homes and businesses.
Along the course of the river
Towns and villages