Bridge over the River Nidd in Pateley Bridge
Bridge over the river Nidd in Pateley Bridge

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Route No. 274 - Tuesday 18 November 2008
Pateley Bridge, Wath, Ashfold Side Beck,
Nidderdale Way circuit - 12 km
Nidderdale AONB
North Yorkshire . . .

Ordnance Survey route map on the Landranger series map base.
View the route in Google Earth

Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer 298 Nidderdale


On the Nidderdale Way heading up-river from Pateley Bridge
On the Nidderdale Way heading upriver from Pateley Bridge

I drove to Patley Bridge in Nidderdale. Nidderdale is not in the Yorkshire Dales National Park for some inexplicable reason, but it is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which adjoins the National Park.

This morning the weather was perfect for a walk, bright sunshine, clear blue sky, a lovely crisp cool autumn day. My friend, Jim, is away on holiday in Cyprus so he has missed this opportunity for a great walk in the Yorkshire Dales.

On the Nidderdale Way heading up-river from Pateley Bridge
On the Nidderdale Way heading upriver from Pateley Bridge

On the Nidderdale Way heading up-river from Pateley Bridge
On the Nidderdale Way heading upriver from Pateley Bridge

I set off across the main road to follow the Nidderdale Way (it's marked on the Landranger maps as a red dotted line with red diamonds at about 1cm intervals on the map and it's marked on the Explorer maps as a green dotted line with green diamonds at about 1cm intervals on the map).

In Pateley Bridge I parked in the town centre next to the river Nidd, at map ref. SE157655. It costs a very reasonable £1.30 to park all day - you only get an hour for that in York. One of the great pleasures of walking from Pateley Bridge is that I can get a couple of those gorgeous pork pies from Kendal's butchers in the main street, for my lunch.

On the Nidderdale Way heading up-river from Pateley Bridge
On the Nidderdale Way heading upriver from Pateley Bridge

On the Nidderdale Way heading up-river from Pateley Bridge
On the Nidderdale Way heading upriver from Pateley Bridge

On the Nidderdale Way heading up-river from Pateley Bridge
On the Nidderdale Way heading upriver from Pateley Bridge

Here I left the Nidderdale Way and crossed the river on the road bridge to sit in the bus shelter at map ref. SE144677.

I walked up stream (north) along the bank of the River Nidd for about 2.5 km to Wath.

On the Nidderdale Way heading up-river from Pateley Bridge
On the Nidderdale Way heading upriver from Pateley Bridge

Bridge over the River Nidd at Wath
Bridge over the River Nidd at Wath

After my break I crossed the road and began the climb up the valley side to a road at Spring Hill, map ref. SE139672. Here I turned right to walk along the road for about 250m where I turned left to Heathfield and rejoined the Nidderdale Way.

There were two reasons for this. Firstly it's nostalgia for a very pleasant lunch stop there with two friends when we sheltered from torrential rain on a walk about 10 years ago and secondly I couldn't resist one of my Kendal's pork pies

A flock of sheep panicked and fled as I climbed up to Spring Hill
A flock of sheep panicked and fled as I climbed up to Spring Hill

Looking across Nidderdale from the path up to Spring Hill
Looking across Nidderdale from the path up to Spring Hill
Cock making a hasty retreat through the fence
Cock making a hasty retreat through the fence
A heavy crop of bright holly berries
A heavy crop of bright holly berries

Part of the caravan site at Ashfold Side
Part of the caravan site at Ashfold Side

I walked along the narrow tarmac access road up the valley through a huge caravan site scattered amongst the trees by the beck for about a kilometer.

I followed the Nidderdale Way to a farm called Spring House on the map, into the valley of Ashfold Side Beck.

Part of the caravan site at Ashfold Side
Part of the caravan site at Ashfold Side

Silver Birch by the track above Ashfold Side Beck
Silver Birch by the track above Ashfold Side Beck

The road became a stony track which I followed upstream (west) to map ref. SE118661.

Dry stone walls & stone barns are a feature of this valley
Dry stone walls & stone barns are a feature of this valley

Looking back down Ashfold Side towards Nidderdale
Looking back down Ashfold Side towards Nidderdale

The track following Ashfold Side Beck upstream
The track following Ashfold Side Beck upstream
Remnants of the old mine workings by Ashfold Side Beck
Remnants of the old mine workings by Ashfold Side Beck

Footbridge over Ashfold Side Beck
Footbridge over Ashfold Side Beck

On the other side of the beck is an eerie landscape of spoil heaps left from mining operations in the past.

Here the Nidderdale Way leaves the track and drops down to the beck to cross it on a very substantial footbridge.

Remnants of the old mine workings
Remnants of the old mine workings

Remnants of the old mine workings by Ashfold Side Beck
Remnants of the old mine workings by Ashfold Side Beck
OS bench mark carved into a rock by the track
OS bench mark carved into a rock by the track
The Nidderdale Way heading back towards Pateley Bridge
The Nidderdale Way heading back towards Pateley Bridge

The Nidderdale Way heading back towards Pateley Bridge
The Nidderdale Way heading back towards Pateley Bridge

Still on the Nidderdale Way I walked along the access road for almost 3km to map ref. SE146654.

I climbed up the hillside through the old mine workings to join a farm access road at map ref. SE120657.

View across Nidderdale from the Nidderdale Way
View across Nidderdale from the Nidderdale Way

View across Nidderdale from the Nidderdale Way
View across Nidderdale from the Nidderdale Way

Christmas is coming . . . . . .
Christmas is coming . . . . . .

After a lingering look at this lovely place I followed the path down across the fields back into Pateley Bridge. The whole route had been about 12 km and it had taken me just over four hours to walk including my stops.

Here I left the Nidderdale Way to turn left off the road onto a footpath across the fields. Just off the road there is a stone stile with a nice flat top where I sat with a wonderful view up Nidderdale to eat my last pork pie.

Beef cattle on the rough pasture above Nidderdale
Beef cattle on the rough pasture above Nidderdale

Looking down onto Pateley Bridge
Looking down onto Pateley Bridge