Seeing all the Nidderdale Way has to offer

Birstwith Packhorse Bridge on stage three. Picture by Iain Mann
Birstwith Packhorse Bridge on stage three. Picture by Iain Mann

Here is part two of the Nidderdale Way walk guide in partnership with the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership.

Bewerley to Ripley

Brimham Rocks - Janina Holubecki

Brimham Rocks - Janina Holubecki

1. Go along the village street past the green. Cross Peat Lane and follow the road as it bends to the right.

2. After Skrikes Farm, take the Nidderdale Way up the hillside and through a wood. Skirt left round an old quarry and through a gate onto Nought Moor. A path through the heather meets the road on a bend.

3. Go straight over and head for Guisecliff. After Yorke’s Folly look for a gateway in the wall. Carry on past stacks of gritstone boulders.

4. The path wanders through birches along the clifftop. As you near the telecoms mast it leaves the trees. Take care as you pass through an area of deep crevasses.

5. Keep right of a drystone wall and follow the mast’s perimeter fence round to the right. Pick up a metalled track and go past old quarry workings. At Hilltop House, go through a gate and stay on the same track to reach Heyshaw.

6. Go left past a farmyard. A Nidderdale Way signpost points the way over a stile and down the field to the righthand of two gates.

7. Follow a line of hollies and make for the corner of the plantation. At Lane Foot, pass between the houses and take a gravel driveway uphill. Meet a lane at a crossroads and go left.

8. At a bend in the track, cross a stile and pick out a path through the rushes. Head for the metal footgate at the bottom corner of the pasture.

9. Follow the next field’s top edge to the right, then the left. Keep to the wallside in the next field. After another gate, bear right downhill towards a farm. Go through the farmyard at the right hand side of the barns.

10. Go down a grassy slope and turn right on the track at the bottom. Take a footpath on your left. After a couple more fields look for a gate into a concrete yard. Press on between the farm buildings to meet a lane end.

11. On a corner, take the narrow alleyway in front of you and continue along a residential street to meet the main road in Dacre Banks. Turn left and walk for a further 300 metres down to the bridge over the Nidd.

12. A gap in the wall gives onto a path leading downstream. Soon you’ll pass across the foot of riverside gardens on the edge of Darley. Keep going until you reach an arched bridge over the Nidd. Take a track on the right going up the bank to a gate and stile.

13. Follow the fieldside to a wooden gate and walk along the brow of the bank to a wide grassy field. The path slants uphill to the road. Go left and past the roadside houses at The Holme. Immediately after the last house take a footpath diagonally across the fields to a footgate in a stone wall. Enter the corner of the wood and meet a flagstone trod heading directly uphill.

14. Leave the trees near Reynard Crag Park. Follow the lane, then go left opposite a farmhouse. At the gateway to Bell House, go round to the right and down the edge of the trees to meet the road.

15. Turn right and take the next left at Stansfield Cottage. At the bottom of the lane, near an old packhorse bridge, follow the river downstream to Birstwith.

16. Emerge on the village street in front of a large modern factory. Just inside the entrance, take a metal footbridge over the old millrace and go left along the perimeter fence. Swing right along the riverbank, then right again in line with the factory’s back fence to meet the millrace again. Keep going round to the right until you get to a gate and a Nidderdale Way signpost. Now go left.

17. At a metal footgate the path branches right over to a barn and joins the road at the far righthand corner. Walk down the road into Hampsthwaite.

18. At the village street turn left to the bridge. As the road bends right at the railway embankment, take the footpath up the field in front of you. At the top emerge on the road in Clint. Go right and then almost immediately left. At the bottom of the road a bridleway continues into the woods. This old thoroughfare will take you all the way into Ripley.

Ripley to Pateley Bridge

1. Set off from the market cross past the Boar’s Head. Before the A61–B6165 roundabout, branch left on a gated road. Go across the B6165 and up Birthwaite Lane.

2. On a bend turn right onto a bridleway. Keep left at a fork. Bear right through trees down into Cayton Gill.

3. Follow the edge of the wood. Turn sharp right over a beck and uphill through an oak plantation. Follow the fence to a gate. Go down through trees to a gap in a wall.

4. Carry on along the marshy fringe of the gill. At the trees, a left turn on a bridleway brings you to a cobbled ford. Go uphill on a gamekeeper’s track to emerge on the Ripley–Sawley road.

5. Turn left down Scarah Bank. A farm drive on your right leads to Kettlespring. Go through the farmyard and into the trees.

6. At High Kettlespring, take the green lane along the brow of the bank, then downhill into fields. Follow a wall uphill towards the lefthand gate.

7. Keep with the fieldside to another gate. Halfway along the top of the next field, strike left downhill. Go right at the bottom along the field edge and follow it to a stile which leads you into Shaw Mills.

8. Follow the road downhill to the bridge. On the other side take a bridleway signposted to Brimham Rocks.

9. Follow the path around to the right of Cowgate Manor Farm. Continue through two fields. In the corner of the next, drop diagonally downhill to the bottom righthand corner. Follow the beck to a footbridge.

10. Strike leftwards up the field edge. Pass Beck House and exit onto a tarmac drive. At the t-junction go left to Woodfield Mill. Carry on past Woodfield House Farm. After a cattle grid, leave the track and follow a grassy path towards the trees.

11. Carry on down to a stone footbridge and follow the wallside in the field beyond to meet the drive to Park House. Bear left into the woods and up between farm buildings to Brimham Lodge.

12. Following the driveway to emerge on a bend in a road, turn sharp right on the bridleway to Riva Hill.

13. By the entrance to Riva Hill Farm go through a footgate. Follow a straight path through the heather, ending at a minor road. Turn left.

14. After about 50 metres take a bridleway on the right. The path winds downhill and at length meets a gateway to Low Wood House. Follow the concrete drive to reach the road and turn right towards Smelthouses.

15. Cross the bridge and take a footpath on your right beneath an enormous retaining wall. Head up through the woods past old mill ponds.

16. Cross a footbridge and zigzag up the bank, first right, then left. The path doubles back by an old redbrick building in line with the fence. When it forks near a tumbled wall, take the right branch. At a clearing, carry on between fences and back into the trees.

17. The path meanders through the woods. Drop down to a footbridge and head right. At a further junction take the middle track. Cross a cattle grid and leave the track on a path uphill. Rise to a footgate in a corner.

18. Go straight up the next field, bearing leftwards. Pass through a gate, then to the side of the houses along a walled path. Turn left.

19. At the junction in Whitehouses, go straight on through the righthand gate. Follow the path along the wallside. Join a driveway and keep going until you reach the road.

20. Turn right up a hairpin bend and take the next path on your left. At another backroad go downhill, looking for a bridleway on the right. Pass the houses of Blazefield to arrive at the main road.

21. Walk down the road a stretch, then take a bridleway on your right. At a fork, go left. After Knott Farm go straight on to a junction and then right. At a further junction, follow the Nidderdale Way down the left fork.

22. This tarmac path is the Panorama Walk and it leads all the way to Pateley Bridge. When you reach the road, turn right and head into town, your final destination on the Nidderdale Way