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The Nidderdale Way / 3 days / 57 miles (92km)

Date: 18 Jun 2002
Start / Finish: Hampsthwaite. Easy roadside parking.
Maps: Explorer 298 Nidderdale.

Day 1The Lower Nidd & High Crag17 miles (27.4km)
Day 2Scar House Reservoir & Nidderdale22 miles (35.4km)
Day 3Fell Beck Wood, Brimham Moor & Ripley18 miles (29.0km)

We needed a very easy off-the-peg backpack at the time and the Nidderdale Way (NDW) fitted the bill. It is mapped on Explorer 298 and is a pleasant enough walk for the most part. Here are just a few collected notes about the way we tackled it.

Day 1 - The Lower Nidd & High Crag

Approaching Guise Cliffs we took a detour W to High Crag - we never could resist a trig point. At 156640 the NDW sign points N along the footpath but the map indicates a westward loop through Skrikes Wood - we took the map route, which was the right choice as this is an attractive deciduous woodland. At 134665 the NDW sign again deviates from the map, pointing E along the tarmac access track rather than the NE footpath towards Heathfield - we took the map route with no problems. At 136675 we took the track W to open pasture.

New Bridge
New Bridge (18 Jun 2002__09:58:16)
Gouthwaite Reservoir from the East
Gouthwaite Reservoir from the East (18 Jun 2002__15:00:21)

Day 2 - Scar House Reservoir & Nidderdale

The route follows the winding lane along Gouthwaite reservoir, where there is no verge, and signs over the wall announce that there is no access on that side. Well it's high time there was then, it may be a nature reserve but all that is needed is the ability to walk inside the wall. Just out of Ramsgill at 117712 there is a good spring. If you are looking forward to How Stean Gorge, the owners charge £2.50 to use the path through the gorge, otherwise you have to be content with the public footbridge further up the road where little can be seen (we wonder how people can still get away with this). At Middlesmoor there are 24-hour basic public toilets. Just after crossing Twizling Gill at 080778, the map route drops down S off the track but there is no way through - just continue on the track which turns R through a gate to rejoin the map route. There is a good spring to the L of the track close to Thrope Farm 102752 but we can't remember the exact spot (probably a little S of the farm). At Pateley Bridge we climbed out L to the old grassed-over quarries.

Scar House Reservoir & Great Whernside
Scar House Reservoir & Great Whernside (19 Jun 2002__11:40:53)
Upper Nidderdale & Little Whernside
Upper Nidderdale & Little Whernside (19 Jun 2002__14:09:59)
Dry Wath resurgence North of Lofthouse
Dry Wath resurgence North of Lofthouse (19 Jun 2002__14:49:59)
Gouthwaite Reservoir from the West
Gouthwaite Reservoir from the West (19 Jun 2002__16:15:51)

Day 3 - Fell Beck Wood, Brimham Moor & Ripley

There are good public toilets at the busy Ripley tourist car park.