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The weir at Scotton Mill on the river Nidd
The weir at Scotton Mill on the river Nidd

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Saturday 3 February 2007
Nidd Gorge circuit - 11km
Knaresborough

Map: OS Explorer 297 Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley at 1:25000
Route Map on 'Landranger' base from OS Open Space service
Open this route in Google Earth


Woodland Trust car park at Nidd Gorge
Woodland Trust car park at Nidd Gorge

We set off at 10.45 to walk about 200m along the main road from the car park. There is a footpath beside the road and you can walk a few metres inside the wood to put a few trees between you and the traffic, which is quite intrusive.

This morning I met a group of friends at the Woodland Trust car park at Nidd Gorge Woods about 2km from the centre of Knaresborough on the B6165 at map ref. SE 330584. It was a lovely bright crisp winter's morning.

Track across the fields at the start of our walk
Track across the fields at the start of our walk

Track across the fields at the start of our walk
Track across the fields at the start of our walk

Here the public footpath uses a gravel path across the front garden of the large house at the end of the cul-de-sac. There was a red field gate facing us across the garden and as we reached this gate we turned right to go through a red pedestrian gate that led us across the top of the back garden of the house to a stile into the woods at the other side of the garden. Over the stile we headed down the steep slope along side the garden fence.

At map ref. SE 332584 we turned left off the main road onto a green track between the fields. After 350m we reached a 'T'-junction with another track where we turned right to follow this track for 300m to it's end. Here we turned right again onto another track for about 500m back to the main road. We crossed the road and walked through the housing estate opposite to the end of a cul-de-sac at map ref. SE 336579.

Path down the hillside to the River Nidd
Path down the hillside to the River Nidd

Heading upstream beside the River Nidd
Heading upstream beside the River Nidd

Snowdrops on the river bank
Snowdrops on the river ban

About half way to the footbridge the path has to leave the river bank to climb up around a rocky outcrop that drops sheer to the river. We stopped for a drink just after this this climb where the path had returned to the river bank in a very pleasant sunny spot with a seat.

We kept going straight down the hill to the bank of the River Nidd at the bottom at map ref. SE 335577. At the river bank we turned right to follow the river bank path upstream for 1.5km to a footbridge over the Nidd.

Heading upstream beside the River Nidd
Heading upstream beside the River Nidd

The River Nidd
The River Nidd
Two parallel trunks that have somehow grown into each other
Two parallel tree trunks that have somehow grown into each other
Trees reflected in the river Nidd
Trees reflected in the river

Climbing away from the river around a rocky outcrop
Climbing away from the river around a rocky outcrop

At the footbridge we crossed the river and continued upstream on the opposite bank for 2.4km to map ref. SE 311584 where there is a wooden footbridge over a stream just before the stream joined the River Nidd. Once over the footbridge we took a permissive path up the hill to the disused railway bed at the end of the viaduct over the river at map ref. SE 307582.

A pair of great spotted woodpeckers came chasing each other through the trees as we sat there. They were much too interested in each other to take any notice of us as the bright sunlight showed us flashes of red white and black in their plumage. Then they had disappeared amongst the trees as suddenly as they had come.

The River Nidd
The River Nidd

Trees reflected in the river Nidd
Trees reflected in the river Nidd

Disused railway viaduct over the river Nidd
Disused railway viaduct over the river Nidd

At the road we turned left to follow the road, which gradually deteriorates into a farm track, for 1.7km to map ref. SE 328573.

We turned left onto the old railway bed to follow the ash path for almost 1km to a minor road at map ref. SE 313576.

Heading back to the Nidd gorge woods
Heading back to the Nidd gorge woods

Heading back through the woods to Nidd gorge
Heading back through the woods to Nidd gorge

We crossed the river and once over the bridge we turned left to follow a wide stony track up the hill round a sharp right hand bend and back to the car park at the top of the hill. The whole route had been about 11km and had taken us three and a half hours to walk including a couple of refreshment stops.

Here we turned left onto a track back to the edge of the woods back into the Nidd Gorge. We followed the path down through the woods back to the River Nidd and then followed the path along the river bank back to the footbridge over the river at map ref, SE 328582.

Heading back through the woods to Nidd gorge
Heading back through the woods to Nidd gorge

Heading back through the woods to Nidd gorge
Heading back through the woods to Nidd gorge
Footbridge over the river Nidd near the end of our walk
Footbridge over the river Nidd near the end of our walk