Walks: New route in beauty of Nidderdale

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A brand new walk promoting the beauty and heritage of Nidderdale is being launched with the aim of giving visitors the chance to experience the landscape as never before.

The ‘Nidderdale High Way’ is said to be a moorland epic which begins at Brimham Rocks and leads to Scar House Reservoir in the far reaches of the Upper Dale.

At 18 miles long (29km) and with 2,060ft (630m) of ascent and 1,850 ft (560m) of descent, the route is estimated to take around nine hours to walk and includes long sections of open moorland with thick heather and exposure to the elements.

It has been devised by Ange Harker, 31, an experienced walking leader who was born and bred in Nidderdale. Ange launched her guided walking business Feet in the Clouds this year and the Nidderdale High Way is the latest addition to the walks on offer through the company.

“As a local lass, the Upper Nidderdale moors are very special to me, and I’ve wanted to link the whole length in one walk for some time,” says Ange.

“The popularity of walking holidays is rapidly increasing – a whopping 80 per cent of visitors to the Yorkshire Dales and Nidderdale AONB go for a walk during their stay – and being able to introduce new angles on these amazing landscapes to visitors and residents alike is a real privilege.”

The walk, which launches on August 2, follows the summits and edges of the heather moorland, and explores Nidderdale’s natural and industrial heritage, from Brimham’s rock formations to the Victorian coal mines of the Upper Dale, culminating at Scar House Dam.

Scar House Reservoir and its sister Angram were formed between the late 19th and early 20th centuries when thousands of workers built the two architecturally impressive dams, providing water for the city of Bradford. A small but very modern town was built and subsequently removed from this now remote and beautiful site.

Upper Nidderdale was mined for coal at a similar time to fuel lead mines in the dale. The main seam runs through the hills between Upper Nidderdale and neighbouring Colsterdale.

Booking is essential for the Nidderdale High Way, which costs £25 (£20 for under 16s) including transport. For more information, visit www.feetintheclouds.co.uk or call Ange on 07598 504045.