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The Boars Head pub in Ripley
The Boars Head pub in Ripley

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Nidderdale Way marker - most of them are in this condition

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Route No. 227 - Wednesday 26 September 2007
Ripley via Nidderdale Way, Bedlam circuit - 10km
Lower Nidderdale
Near Harrogate

Map: OS Explorer 298 Nidderdale

Route Map on 'Landranger' base from OS Open Space service

Open this route in Google Earth


This morning my friend, Jim, and I drove to Ripley between Harrogate and Ripon and parked in the large public car park at the southern edge of the village. We started walking at about 9.30 am and followed the village street towards the northern edge of the village.

A magnificent conifer at the edge of Ripley village
A magnificent conifer at the edge of Ripley village

The stocks in Ripley village
The stocks in Ripley village

A pony at the edge of Ripley village
A pony at the edge of Ripley village

On the left at map ref. SE284606 is the old road to Pateley Bridge. We turned left to follow the Nidderdale Way along this road . Where the short length of the old road meets the current Pateley Bridge road we crossed the road and continued on the Nidderdale Way along a lane towards Slate Rigg Farm.

Old mile post at the start of the old road to Pateley Bridge from Ripley
Old mile post at the start of the old road to Pateley Bridge from Ripley

The Nidderdale Way north of Ripley
The Nidderdale Way north of Ripley

A seat at a view point on the Nidderdale Way north of Ripley
A seat at a view point on the Nidderdale Way north of Ripley

The view from the seat
The view from the seat

We continued down the hillside and out of the woods into a marshy valley which we followed for about 1 km to map ref. SE284631. Here we turned left to stay on the Nidderdale Way to the road at map ref. SE275625.

Beyond the turning to Slate Rigg Farm the road became a track across the field and then a path through the woods where there was a seat with a lovely view to the east.

Track through the woods on the Nidderdale Way
Track through the woods on the Nidderdale Way

Path along the valley below Cayton Gill farm
Path along the valley below Cayton Gill farm
Tree lined track on the Nidderdale Way
Tree lined track on the Nidderdale Way

A muddy bit on the Nidderdale Way
A muddy bit on the Nidderdale Way

There was a rather intimidating sign saying "No Visitors - Disease Precautions". There are no restrictions on the use of public footpaths in force here so we continued unhindered through the farm to the fields beyond.

We walked along the grass verge beside the rather busy road for almost 1 km and, still on the Nidderdale Way, we turned right at map ref SE277618 onto a farm track.

Approaching the point where we left the Nidderdale Way
Approaching the point where we left the Nidderdale Way

Footbridge over Thornton Beck
Footbridge over Thornton Beck, which flows into the Ripley Castle lake

There was a very pleasant view across the valley of Thornton Beck from the seat. After our lunch break we walked along the road to the hamlet of Bedlam. On the way there were some luscious sweet blackberries growing by the road side, so we just had to stop and eat some to round off our lunch.

At map ref. SE261625 we left the Nidderdale Way to cross Thornton Beck on a little foot bridge. From the bridge we climbed up the field to a minor road at map ref. SE 261623. A stone stile led us onto the road and just opposite the stile was a seat where we stopped for our lunch.

Cattle resting by the road near our lunch stop
Cattle resting by the road near our lunch stop

Looking across the valley of Thornton Beck from the seat at our lunch stop
Looking across the valley of Thornton Beck from the seat at our lunch stop

Luscious blackberries by the road side
Luscious blackberries by the road side - they're not there now!

We followed the path across the fields to meet the boundary wall of the Ripley Castle grounds at map ref. SE269609. From here we followed the boundary wall all the way round the edge of the castle grounds to the entrance to the castle on the edge of Ripley village at map ref. SE282605.

At Bedlam we crossed the road (B6165) and went through a pedestrian gate at the side of some imposing iron gates to a large house. The pedestrian gate led us onto the drive of the house and we followed the path down the side of the house and into the fields beyond.

Contractor's vehicles on Ripley Estate
Contractor's vehicles on Ripley Estate

Following the boundary wall around Ripley Castle
Following the boundary wall around Ripley Castle

Beyond the castle entrance we came into Ripley village and made our way back to the car park. The whole route had been about 10 km and had taken us over four hours to walk at my current decrepit pace.

As we walked round the edge of the castle grounds there was a good deal of building and renovation work in progress at the Lodge, and a little further on we passed the lake before climbing up a small rise to the entrance to the castle.

The lake at Ripley Castle
The lake at Ripley Castle

Ripley Castle
Ripley Castle
Outlet from the Ripley Castle lake
Outlet from the Ripley Castle lake
Following the boundary wall around Ripley Castle
Following the boundary wall around Ripley Castle
The Church at Ripley
The Church at Ripley

Entrance to Ripley Castle
Entrance to Ripley Castle

Returning to Ripley village
Returning to Ripley village

The Church at Ripley
The Church at Ripley

On the way home through Boroughbridge, Jim had to call at Morrisons supermarket and so we had our traditional coffee and a bacon roll in their cafe - plenty of bacon done slightly crispy, just right!