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Passing foxgloves & ponds on the approach to Beck Side farm at SE 229641
Passing foxgloves & ponds on the approach to Beck Side farm at SE 229641

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Route No. 475 - Tuesday 19 June 2012
Brimham Hall, Beck Side Farm, Brimham Rocks, Braisty Woods, Old Spring Wood, Highfield Farm circuit - 12km
Nidderdale . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 298 Nidderdale at 1:25000

Another fine walk by Ray Brown - Thanks Ray!


At SE 2284 6361 we turned left off the Nidderdale Way to head for Park House
At SE 2284 6361 we turned left off the Nidderdale Way to head for Park House

Approaching Beck Side farm by ponds at SE 229641
Approaching Beck Side farm by ponds at SE 229641

Horses at Beck Side Farm
Horses at Beck Side Farm

At SE 2284 6361 we left the Nidderdale Way to carry on North past Park House farm. At SE 227640 the right-of-way we were following turned right into grassland, the path soon passing by ponds on its way to some grazing horses at Beck Side farm.

From the lay-by at SE 223630 on the Smelthouses-Burnt Yates road we set off North, soon to turn right on to a farm track, part of the Nidderdale way which would lead us through Brimham Lodge farm.

Ponds at SE 229641
Ponds at SE 229641

Vehicle tracks running uphill to join the Nidderdale Way
Vehicle tracks running uphill to join the Nidderdale Way

Turning off the Riva Hill farm access track to stay on the Nidderdale Way at SE 220642
Turning off the Riva Hill farm access track to stay on the Nidderdale Way at SE 220642

When the vehicle tracks turned right towards Riva Hill House, we stayed on the Nidderdale Way, now a path, over moorland, with tormentil amongst the buttercups, eventually to cross the public road and enter the National Trust property of Brimham Rocks (SE 208644).

Beyond an ornamental waterfall in a pleasant garden we cut up left to join a metalled track which soon developed into concrete vehicle tracks running uphill for half a kilometre. Meanwhile, at a right-hand corner we were joined by the Nidderdale Way coming in from the left.

Tormentil
Tormentil

At Brimham Rocks
At Brimham Rocks
At Brimham Rocks - Dancing Bear
At Brimham Rocks - Dancing Bear

At Brimham Rocks - Baboon Rock
At Brimham Rocks - Baboon Rock

At Brimham Rocks - Druid's Writing Desk
At Brimham Rocks - Druid's Writing Desk

The picnic tables by the shop also provided a lunch venue. Large numbers of schoolchildren, bedecked with climbing helmets, were scrambling about the rocks including, I regret to say, the iconic Druid’s Writing Desk.

Before completing our 10 km walk we added a further 2 km by exploring the unique scenery afforded by these natural sculptures of Millstone Grit.

At Brimham Rocks - Idol Rock
At Brimham Rocks - Idol Rock

At Brimham Rocks - Serpent's Head
At Brimham Rocks - Serpent's Head

Geese guarding their patch
Geese guarding their patch

Leaving the Geese to reclaim their yard
Leaving the Geese to reclaim their yard

Rough path through woodland
Rough path through woodland heading down to the Nidderdale Way

With hindsight we might have preferred to stay longer with the Nidderdale Way instead of by-passing a section of it in order to minimise road-walking. At SE 2042 6427 we arrived at a tied farm gate but were able to climb over the stone wall on its right.

Returning to SE 208644, we resumed our route North-West to turn left (SE 2074 6469) in 140 metres on to a track leading down to a small farm, with a few geese, where we turned hard left and passed through two farm gates. Quite soon a rough path and mud over some 300 metres would provide the only unpleasant terrain of this entire route.

Start of muddy section down into woodland
Start of muddy section down into woodland

Unwelcoming gate at SE 204643
Unwelcoming gate at SE 204643

Rejoining the Nidderdale Way
Rejoining the Nidderdale Way

Goodbye to the Nidderdale Way
Goodbye to the Nidderdale Way

Over newly mown hay
Over newly mown hay

Entering Old Spring Wood
Entering Old Spring Wood

On the left was a millstone bearing the sign “Braisty Woods” and a signpost directing us on a footpath straight across a newly-mown hayfield to a gap in a stone wall leading to a second field and then to a track alongside a wood. After passing a house (SE 203632), the track continued to a pair of farm gates, side-by-side. Taking the left (wooden) gate we passed through Old Spring Wood to a house with a duck pond (SE 204626).

We then made over rough pasture towards a waymark and stile, ahead and slightly to the left (SE 2043 6420), where we turned right to rejoin the Nidderdale Way. After a further 330 metres at SE 2009 6424 we finally departed the Nidderdale Way to strike over pasture to a squeeze stile and from there, over newly mown hay, to a farm gate and the public road.

Squeeze stile from pasture to hayfield
Squeeze stile from pasture to hayfield

A large house at SE 203632 on the way to Old Spring Wood
A large house at SE 203632 on the way to Old Spring Wood

Duck pond at SE 204626
Duck pond at SE 204626

Crossing of tracks at SE 211624 on the way to Highfield Farm
Crossing of tracks at SE 211624 on the way to Highfield Farm

Duck pond at SE 204626
Duck pond at SE 204626

On reaching the road we turned left for 240 metres before taking a footpath on the right through stubble and then rough pasture downhill over Hartwith Moor via a user-unfriendly stone stile. A hidden bridge took us over Lurk Beck to Brimham Hall Farm and back to the car - Ray Brown
Total ascent/descent = 220 metres.

Soon the track reached Hartwith Bank above Summerbridge. Turning left up the road for a short distance we took a path on the right, running to the right of woodland. After merging with a bridleway, the track bore left (SE 208623) and continued between stone walls to a crossing of tracks (SE 211624) where we carried straight ahead on a footpath towards Highfield Farm with its Caravan Club site.

Approach to Highfield Farm
Approach to Highfield Farm

Arriving at Highfield Farm
Arriving at Highfield Farm