Marsden has been perceived through Romantic eyes as a place of wild beauty since at least the beginning of the 19th century. Nearer the end of the century, improved transport links, together with increased prosperity and leisure, made Marsden a popular venue for day-trips from both Yorkshire and Lancashire towns.
Lovely scenery refreshed the souls of those coming from cramped, polluted mills and streets, but bodily refreshment was also sought, in the form of meat teas or a glass of beer; Marsden inn-keepers and land-owners, some of whom were also farmers, made the most of this commercial opportunity.
One popular walk from the village centre was along Tunnel End reservoir to Eastergate and Blake Lee Guest-House near Hay Green; a more testing walk was up Pule Hill to The Moorcock or The Great Western; while the most strenuous route led up the Wessenden Valley, where refreshment could be found at Wessenden Lodge and the Isle of Skye Inn.
In the twentieth century motoring excursions, cycling and hostelling became popular, and Marsden adapted to these new forms of leisure.