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The climb up to the church at Middlesmoor
The climb up to the church at Middlesmoor

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Route No 28 - 29 December 2001
Scar House Reservoir & Middlesmoor circuit - 10miles
Nidderdale (AONB) . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 298 Nidderdale at 1:25000


Looking back to Scar House reservoir
Looking back to Scar House reservoir

Icicles hanging from the bank by the track
Icicles hanging from the bank by the track

I set off across the dam and took the Nidderdale Way heading down the valley. After about a mile the track crosses a steep little gulley where another walker with a husky passed me with a cheerful greeting as I was grovelling around on the ground trying to get a good photo of some icicles hanging from the bank.

After a lazy start, I arrived at the Yorkshire Water public car park at Scar House Reservoir at the head of Nidderdale just before eleven. It was a bright winter's morning and very cold with icy patches on the roads. Everywhere was still covered in thick white frost that gleamed in the winter sunshine. It was a glorious day for a walk.

The route follows this ridge around to the road
The route follows this ridge around to the road

Looking back up Nidderdale
Looking back up Nidderdale

Looking ahead to the route to the Lofthouse road
Looking ahead to the route to the Lofthouse road

Moorland track heding for a shooting hut
Moorland track heding for a shooting hut

Apparently she is an Alaskan Malamute husky, a heavily built dog used as pack animals - he has a couple of panniers that the dog carries when he and his wife go walking together so that his wife doesn't have to carry a rucsack. He told me that it is the faster Siberian husky that is used to haul a sled.

After another half a mile I came to the shooting hut which was unlocked and I went in for some lunch out of the cold wind. The walker with the husky was already there. The husky is a bitch - I never thought to ask her name (I'm not really a doggy person) and she was very friendly.

Alaskan Malamute Husky
Alaskan Malamute Husky outside the shooting hut

Looking back over Scar Hous reservoir to Great Whernside
Looking back over Scar Hous reservoir to Great Whernside

I followed the road down into Lofthouse and from there took the path across the fields up to Middlesmoor church.

After lunch I continued on the bridleway around the moor top, past another more elaborate shooting hut, to the road at the top of Trapping Hill above Lofthouse on the road to Coverdale.

Following the track to the road at the top of Trapping Hill
Following the track to the road at the top of Trapping Hill

Elaborate shooting hut next to the track
Elaborate shooting hut next to the track

Path across the fields from Lofthouse
Path across the fields from Lofthouse

About half a mile from the end of the walk, there was the chance of a photo of the sun setting behind the clouds over to my left and as I turned for the descent to Scar House there was the full moon just rising over the other side of the valley. By the time I arrived home at around 5.00pm it was quite dark. The whole route was around 10 miles and took me just under 5 hours including my lunch

From Middlesmoor Church there is a wonderful view down Nidderdale over Gouthwaite reservoir. In Middlesmoor I rejoined the Nidderdale Way to follow it for the last three miles along a stoney walled track over the hill top and back to the car park at Scar House reservoir. As I climbed the lane from Middlesmoor the sun was getting low in the sky by the time I reached the edge of the moor.

The climb up to Middlesmoor Church from Lofthouse
The climb up to Middlesmoor Church from Lofthouse

The view down Nidderdale from Middlesmoor churchyard
The view down Nidderdale from Middlesmoor churchyard

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