Heading north from Birkham wood across the fields back towards the River
Heading north from Birkham wood across the fields back towards the River Nidd

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Route No. 310- Saturday 5 September 2009
Knaresborough, Follifoot,
Plumpton Hall, River Nidd circuit - 14km
Knaresborough, Nidderdale . . .

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

Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer 289 Leeds at 1:25000


Mother Shipton's Cave publicity bus
Mother Shipton's Cave publicity bus in Conyngham Hall car park

Setting out following the R.Nidd through Knaresborough
Setting out following the R.Nidd through Knaresborough

His barbecues are legendary and we hoped the gloomy weather would brighten up a bit for it. The car park is beside the River Nidd and we started walking at about 10.30am following the road downstream, along the riverside.

We drove to the Conyngham Hall car park in Knaresborough at map ref. SE344572, this morning to meet a group of friends for our regular monthly walk. This time the walk was led by Geoff and we were all invited back to his home in Wetherby for a barbecue afterwards.

River Nidd by Conyngham Hall car park
River Nidd by Conyngham Hall car park

R.Nidd below the castle in Knaresborough
R.Nidd below the castle in Knaresborough

Railway viaduct across the R.Nidd in Knaresborough
Railway viaduct across the R.Nidd in Knaresborough

R.Nidd from the B6163 road bridge
R.Nidd from the B6163 road bridge

We turned right to walk along the main road across the river and up the hill for about 250m. Here, at map ref. SE349563, we crossed the road to take a public footpath through some woodland and out across the fields.

We walked under the railway viaduct that crosses the river near the castle and continued until we came to the B6163 at map ref. SE350565.

Riverside road through Knaresborough
Riverside road through Knaresborough

Woodland path leaving the B6163 behind
Woodland path leaving the B6163 behind

Path across the fields to Calcutt
Path across the fields to Calcutt

Blackberries in the hedgerow
Blackberries in the hedgerow

At the road we turned right and walked along the road through Calcutt for about 800m to map ref. SE340556 where we turned left off the road onto a footpath across the fields.

After almost a kilometer at map ref. SE342561, we turned left around the corner of a large field and followed the path out to a track to a road at map ref. SE347559.

Path across the fields to Calcutt
Path across the fields to Calcutt

Walking along the road through Calcutt
Walking along the road through Calcutt

Path across the fields from Calcutt
Path across the fields from Calcutt

Approaching Rudfarlington Farm near the A661
Approaching Rudfarlington Farm near the A661

After about 400m we needed to cross the road to join a footpath opposite, but we had to wait until the driver of a car, slowing down as another queue built up, was good enough to stop and let us cross.

We followed the path across the fields for about 1.7km to the A661 at map ref. SE342540. We turned right to walk along the wide grass verge at the side of the road. The traffic was very heavy and long queues of cars and lorries kept building up and then moving on again.

Path between the fields from Calcutt
Path between the fields from Calcutt

Walking along the A661
Walking along the A661

Looking across to the A661 from the track above Rudfarlington Farm
Looking across to the traffic on the A661 from the track above Rudfarlington Farm
Fording Crimple Beck
Fording Crimple Beck

Path around the boundary of Rudding park
Path around the boundary of Rudding Park

Once across the beck (which incidentally gave its name to "Crimplene", the man-made fibre, which was developed at the old ICI research centre just a little way upstream) we followed the path to the corner of Rudding Park at map ref. SE335537. Here we turned left to follow a path around the stone wall boundary of Rudding Park. A fairly heavy shower was starting but we were very well sheltered by the high wall and the overhanging trees so we decided to stop for our lunch break with the wall for a comfortable backrest.

We headed south from the road along a path to Crimple Beck. There is a ford across the beck but the water was higher than normal after the recent rain. We paddled across a shallow rocky part of the beck and only one person slipped and sat in the water. It was my wife, but fortunately my pork pie for lunch that she was carrying in a small rucksack did not get wet or crushed so everything was fine.

Lunch break next to Rudding Park
Lunch break next to Rudding Park

Cattle at the start of the path around Rudding Park
Cattle at the start of our path around Rudding Park

Crossing the A658, Harrogate by-pass to Follifoot
Crossing the A658, Harrogate by-pass to Follifoot

Another busy road with very fast traffic and we had to pick a gap and run for it to get across. Once over the road we crossed the fields to Follifoot at map ref. SE343526.

By the time we had finished our lunch the rain had stopped and despite the overcast threatening sky we had no more rain today (it was even fine for our barbecue later). We continued around the boundary of Rudding Park until we reached the A658 (Harrogate By-pass).

The church in Follifoot
The church in Follifoot

Path across the fields from the Harrogate by-pass to Follifoot
Path across the fields from the Harrogate by-pass to Follifoot

Climbing a stile at Brown Hill Wood
Climbing a stile at Brown Hill Wood

Fancy breeds of hens by the drive to Plumpton Hall
Fancy breeds of hens by the drive to Plumpton Hall

We turned right to follow the main road (again quite busy) for about 200m. Then we turned left off the road to walk up the drive towards Plumpton Hall.

At the road in Follifoot we turned left to follow the road out of the village to a bend in the road at Brown Hill wood. Here we took a footpath along the side of the wood for about 350m to the A661 at map ref. SE352534.

The long stalks on the acorns indentify thia as a pedunculate oak
The long stalks on the acorns identify pedunculate oak

Pony by the drive to Plumpton Hall
Pony by the drive to Plumpton Hall

Plumpton Hall
Plumpton Hall
Saddleback pigs at Plumpton Hall
Saddleback pigs at Plumpton Hall
Gloucester Old Spot boar coming to see us
Gloucester Old Spot boar coming to see us
Heading for Birkham Wood from Plumpton Hall
Heading for Birkham Wood from Plumpton Hall

Path along the side of Birkham Wood
Path along the side of Birkham Wood

Path along the side of Birkham Wood
Path along the side of Birkham Wood

Berries of the Cuckoo Pint
Berries of the Cuckoo Pint surrounded by dogs mercury

About 10 years ago we had helped to lay the hedge at the side of the path working as volunteers with the BTCV and was good to see how well the hedge had grown. At the by-pass we had another hair raising road crossing and my friends commented on my unaccustomed agility as I scuttled across with my dodgy knees.

Just before the hall the path took us across a field and along the bottom of a wood to map ref. SE354543. Here we turned right up the side of the wood to join a field track coming from Plumpton Hall. We followed this track out to Birkham Wood. At the corner of the wood (map ref. SE358547) we continued along the path in the edge of the wood to the A658, Harrogate By-pass.

Waiting for a chance to cross the A658
Waiting for a chance to cross the A658

Crossing the fields towards the R.Nidd
Crossing the fields towards the R.Nidd

A bumper crop of crab apples in the hedgerow
A bumper crop of crab apples in the hedgerow

Crossing the fields towards the R.Nidd
Crossing the fields towards the R.Nidd
Tangled patch of woodland near the R.Nidd
Tangled patch of woodland near the R.Nidd
Tangled patch of woodland near the R.Nidd
Tangled patch of woodland near the R.Nidd
Crossing the fields towards the R.Nidd
Crossing the fields towards the R.Nidd

R.Nidd through the trees
R.Nidd through the trees

Geoff had taken the route from a book called "Further Walks Around Harrogate" published by the local branch of the Ramblers in 1984. It is route no. 39 Knaresborough & Follifoot which is a little shorter than our walk today at 11km because it starts from the bus station in Knaresborough. After our walk we drove back to Geoff's house and had a very pleasant evening and delicious barbecue

We continued along the path across the fields to the River Nidd, and followed the riverside path back to the B6163 road bridge over the River Nidd at map ref. SE350564. From there we retraced our steps along the riverside back to the car park at Conyngham Hall. The whole route had been 14km and it had taken us four and a half hours to walk including our lunch stop and the various scary road crossings.

Woodland path by the R.Nidd
Woodland path by the R.Nidd

Local cricket match in progress as we approached the B6163 in Knaresborough
Local cricket match in progress as we approached the B6163 in Knaresborough