Date: 18 Jun 2002
Start / Finish: Hampsthwaite. Easy roadside parking.
Maps: Explorer 298 Nidderdale.
|Day 1||The Lower Nidd & High Crag||17 miles (27.4km)|
|Day 2||Scar House Reservoir & Nidderdale||22 miles (35.4km)|
|Day 3||Fell Beck Wood, Brimham Moor & Ripley||18 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.
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.
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.
There are good public toilets at the busy Ripley tourist car park.