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Following the Nidderdale Way down to cross Cayton Gill heading back to Ripley

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Route No. 636 - Thursday 25 August 2016
Ripley, Newton Hall, Cayton Grange,
High Cayton, Nidderdale Way circuit - 8km
Nidderdale . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 298 Nidderdale


Setting off along Main Street through Ripley village
Setting off along Main Street through Ripley village

A scarecrow rather like
A scarecrow rather like "Miss Piggy"

The pub in the village is called the Boar's Head. From the car park we walked along the village street past the scarecrows on display to the old Pateley Bridge road on the left at the northern end of the village. This is a cul-de-sac now but with a pedestrian route through. We walked along this route to the B6165.

This morning my friend, Jim, and I drove to Ripley on the A61 between Ripon & Harrogate. We parked in the large free car park on the southern edge of the village. It turned out that today was the first of day of a four day scarecrow competition in the village. All of the scarecrow characters had a boar's head. The boar's head is the heraldic badge of the Ingleby family of Ripley Castle.

Another scarecrow in the village stocks
Another scarecrow in the village stocks

Tarmac footpath along the B6165 - the turning is just past the large green road sign
Tarmac footpath along the B6165 - the turning is just past the large green road sign

Turning off the B6165 through an iron gate
Turning off the B6165 through an iron gate

Beef cattle near the stile
Beef cattle near the stile

There was a group of beef cattle in the field but they were laid chewing their cud and took little notice of us except for a few that stood up and started at us as we approached. Once across the stile we continued in roughly the same direction to cross the next field diagonally to it's northerly corner. There was little sign of a worn path to follow here.

At this main road we turned right and walked along the tarmac footpath beside the busy B6165. Just beyond the large green traffic direction sign we crossed the road to go through an iron gate on the left hand side of the road into the field to a public footpath. This path just discernible but not very clear, crosses the field in a north easterly direction to a stile into the next field.

Barely discernable path across the field
Barely discernible path across the field

Beef cattle near the stile
Beef cattle near the stile

Narrow wooden footbridge across Newton Beck
Narrow wooden footbridge across Newton Beck

Following the permissive path to the corner of the wood
Following the permissive path to the corner of the wood

A rapid advance for a closer look at us
. . .then a rapid advance for a closer look at us

This is the route of the permissive path shown on my OS Explorer map. There were more beef cattle grazing in this field and they began to take an interest in our progress, peering over the edge of the hill as we climbed towards the gate. As we approached the gate their interest gathered pace and by the time we has crossed to the estate road they were all gathered round for a close look at us. I think they were just curious and seem quite friendly (with the field gate between them and us!) At the estate road we turned left to follow this road. From this elevated position there is a fine view back towards Ripley across the agricultural land.

At the field corner we came to a narrow wooden footbridge with a small gate at each end across Newton Beck. We crossed the bridge and at the beck the public footpath ends. From here there is a permissive footpath (marked by an orange dashed line on my OS Explorer map but not shown on my Landranger map). From the footbridge we headed for the corner of a small wood to our left about 100m away. We follows a narrow path in the field around the eastern edge of the wood for another 100m and then climbing up a steep bank across the field to a field gate onto an estate road at the top of the field.

Cattle watching from over the hill
Cattle watching from over the hill . . .

The permissive path follows the estate access road
The permissive path follows the estate access road

(Note: If you're not comfortable with the idea of crossing fields of beef cattle it's easy to by-pass them altogether. From Ripley walk about 400m north east along the A61. On the left hand side of this busy main road there is a wide grass verge with a narrow rather overgrown tarmac footpath along the hedge side. After about 400m turn left off the main road to follow a permissive footpath along the estate access road to join our route on the access road just to the south of Newton Hall)

From this elevated position there is a fine view back towards Ripley across the agricultural land
From this elevated position there is a fine view back towards Ripley across the agricultural land

A pemissive path not on my map joins the estate road here
A permissive path not on my map joins the estate road here

There are some waymarks for the permissive path
There are some waymarks for the permissive path

Approaching Cayton Grange along the estate road
Approaching Cayton Grange along the estate road

After about 500m we came to Cayton Grange. We followed the road through Cayton Grange and joined a public bridleway just on the north side of the Grange.

We continued to walk along the estate access road following the route of the permissive path along the pretty valley of Newton Beck.


The permissive path follows the right hand fork here

The estate road to Cayton Grange
The estate road to Cayton Grange

Passing Cayton Grange along the estate road
Passing Cayton Grange along the estate road

Leaving Cayton Grange following a public bridleway along a farm access track
Leaving Cayton Grange following a public bridleway along a farm access track

Bridleway from Cayton Grange heading northwards
Bridleway from Cayton Grange heading northwards

The long narrow oak leaves of the Turkey Oak
The long narrow oak leaves of the Turkey Oak

A fine looking horse in a field by the track
A fine looking horse in a field by the track

Here we turned left and followed the bridleway along the farm access track to High Cayton.

We followed the bridleway from Cayton Grange northwards along a farm access track for a little over 1km to a 'T'-junction in the track.

A Turkey Oak by the track
A Turkey Oak by the track

Tractor at work in a stubble field by the
Tractor at work in a stubble field by the track

The track leaving Falls Wood
The track leaving Falls Wood

Juntion in the farm access tracks where we turned left heading for High Cayton
Junction in the farm access tracks where we turned left heading for High Cayton

Approaching High Cayton along the farm access track
Approaching High Cayton along the farm access track

The access track through High Cayton
The access track through High Cayton

Gate from the field to Cayton Gill
Gate from the field to Cayton Gill

We passed through the gate and entered the rough scrubland of Cayton Gill. We followed the path for just a few metres down the bank we then turned left onto the Nidderdale Way route.

At High Cayton, from the end of the farm access road at the western end of High Cayton, we followed the bridleway between the buildings and continued heading south west across a small field to a pedestrian gate at the corner of the field.

Bridleway sign at High Cayton
Bridleway sign at High Cayton

Passing the farm buildings to the bridleway across the field
Passing the farm buildings to the bridleway across the field

Ripening blackberries
Ripening blackberries by the path

Turning left to follow the Nidderdale Way along Cayton Gill
Turning left to follow the Nidderdale Way along Cayton Gill

Following the Nidderdale Way along Cayton Gill
Following the Nidderdale Way along Cayton Gill

Path around the wood next to Cayton Gill Farm
Path around the wood next to Cayton Gill Farm

Crossing Cayton Gill
Crossing Cayton Gill

From the top of the wood the path dropped down quite steeply to cross Cayton Gill and climb up the western side of the valley through the woods along a farm access track. At the top of the climb as we neared the edge of the wood the track made a sharp turn right and on the outside of the bend there were two bench seats.

On our right the valley bottom is quite marshy and full of reeds but the valley sides are wooded and the whole place is very pretty with the added bonus of ripening blackberries beside the path. The path climbed up around a small wood to the south of Cayton Gill Farm.

Following the Nidderdale Way along Cayton Gill
Following the Nidderdale Way along Cayton Gill

Dropping down to cross Cayton Gill
Dropping down to cross Cayton Gill

The Nidderdale Way climbing up through the woods
The Nidderdale Way climbing up through the woods

Seats at the top of the climb where we stopped for a drink
Seats at the top of the climb where we stopped for a drink

Dozens of pheasants feeding on the track
Dozens of pheasants feeding on the track

Following the Nidderdale Way towards Ripley
Following the Nidderdale Way towards Ripley

Passing Birthwaite Farm
Passing Birthwaite Farm

As we turned a corner the track ahead was full of young pheasants pecking at corn put out to feed them. We continued slowly along the track and the pheasants all gradually scuttled away into the surrounding fields. As we continued the track led us to a public road called Birthwaite Lane. We passed the access road into Slate Rigg Farm and followed the lane past Birthwaite Farm down to the B6165.

Last time I was here, quite a few years ago, there was just one seat with a fine view out across the valley but now the trees have all grown too high and the view is lost in dense folliage. We stopped here for a drink before continuing to follow the Nidderdale way route along the farm access track.

Following the Nidderdale Way towards Ripley
Following the Nidderdale Way towards Ripley

Heading towards Ripley along Birthwaite Lane
Heading towards Ripley along Birthwaite Lane

Heading towards Ripley along Birthwaite Lane
Heading towards Ripley along Birthwaite Lane

Crossing the B6165 to walk back into Ripley along the old Pateley Bridge Road
Crossing the B6165 to walk back into Ripley along the old Pateley Bridge Road

Footpath to the Old Pateley Bridge Road
Footpath to the Old Pateley Bridge Road

The whole route had been about 8km and including our stop for a drink the walk had taken us about three hours. We called in the Ripley Castle cafe for a very tasty sandwich and a coffee for our lunch rounding off a very pleasant mornings walk.

We crossed this busy road back to the old Pateley Bridge road into Ripley. From there we retraced our steps back through the village to the public car park and the end of our walk.

The Old Pateley Bridge Road into Ripley
The Old Pateley Bridge Road into Ripley

Another of the scarecrows we passed in Ripley
Another of the scarecrows we passed in Ripley

Wild Boar sculpture in Ripley opposite the Boar's Head pub
Wild Boar sculpture in Ripley opposite the Boar's Head pub

Heading back to the car park along Main Street in Ripley
Heading back to the car park along Main Street in Ripley

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