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Path by the River Skell in Hell Wath Nature Reserve
Path by the River Skell in Hell Wath Nature Reserve

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Route No. 705 - Thursday 1 February 2018
Quarry Moor Nat Res, Whitcliffe Wood Nat Res,
Studley Road, River Skell, Hell Wath Nat Res,
8km circuit - Ripon . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 299 Ripon & Boroughbridge


The start of our walk at the car park at Quarry Moor Nature Reserve on the edge of Ripon
The start of our walk at the car park at Quarry Moor Nature Reserve on the edge of Ripon

Setting off from the Quarry Moor car park
Setting off from the Quarry Moor car park

Path through Quarry Moor Nature Reserve
Path through Quarry Moor Nature Reserve

From the car park we followed the public footpath heading generally westwards through the nature reserve. We followed this path for about 500m the edge of a large housing estate. The path joined a road, called West Lane, running between the edge of the housing estate and the open countryside.

This morning my friend, Jim, and I drove to Ripon and parked at the Quarry Moor Nature Reserve car park off the large roundabout on the A61 at the southern end of the Ripon by-pass (map ref. SE 310 694).

Path through Quarry Moor Nature Reserve
Path through Quarry Moor Nature Reserve

Path leaving the Quarry Moor Nature Reserve
Path leaving the Quarry Moor Nature Reserve

Walking along West Lane with the housing estate on the right and open countryside over the hedge on the left
Walking along West Lane with the housing estate on the right and open countryside over the hedge on the left

Turning left to walk along Whitcliffe Lane
Turning left to walk along Whitcliffe Lane

Looking back to Ripon Cathedral from Whitcliffe Lane
Looking back to Ripon Cathedral from Whitcliffe Lane

Broad path through Whitcliffe Wood Nature Reserve
Broad path through Whitcliffe Wood Nature Reserve

We followed the broad track along the western edge of the wood for about 500m past the old quarry face to a stile from the wood into a small field.

We walked along this road for about 500m to the junction with Whitcliffe Lane. We turned left here and walked along Whitcliffe Lane for about 600m and turned right off the road into Whitcliffe Wood Nature Reserve.

Walking along Whitcliffe Lane
Walking along Whitcliffe Lane

The entrance to Whitcliffe Wood Nature Reserve
The entrance to Whitcliffe Wood Nature Reserve

The quarry face in Whitcliffe Wood Nature Reserve
The quarry face in Whitcliffe Wood Nature Reserve

Gate from Whitcliffe Wood Nature Reserve into a small field above Hell Wath Lane
Gate from Whitcliffe Wood Nature Reserve into a small field above Hell Wath Lane

Path down to Hell Wath Lane
Path down to Hell Wath Lane

Joining the bridleway at the end of Hell Wath Lane
Joining the bridleway at the end of Hell Wath Lane

Following the bridleway towards Duck House
Following the bridleway towards Duck House

We passed through the bridleway gate and continued along the bridleway across a bridge over the River Skell. We followed the bridleway between hedges for about 500m from the bridge over the River Skell to an ornamental footbridge over a small stream as it leaves the garden at Duck House (map ref. SE 296 703).

We continued around the edge of the field to Hell Wath Cottage on Hell Wath Lane (map ref. SE 299 698). At the lane we turned left and walked a few metres along the lane to a gate at the end of the lane.

Joining Hell Wath Lane at Hell Wath Cottage
Joining Hell Wath Lane at Hell Wath Cottage

Bridge over the River Skell
Bridge over the River Skell

Following the bridleway towards Duck House
Following the bridleway towards Duck House

Footbridge over a small stream as it leaves the garden at Duck House
Footbridge over a small stream as it leaves the garden at Duck House

About to turn right off the bridleway onto a footpath
About to turn right off the bridleway onto a footpath

Kissing gate from the footpath onto the B6265
Kissing gate from the footpath onto the B6265

Walking along Mallorie Park Drive
Walking along Mallorie Park Drive

We crossed the road bridge and just before the mini-roundabout ahead we crossed the road and turned right at the mini-roundabout to continue along the B6265, now called Mallorie Park Drive. About 150m along Mallorie Park Drive we turned right off the road and walked down some steps to a weir and flow measuring station on the River Laver.

From this little footbridge we continued along the bridleway for another 200m to a footpath crossing the bridleway. Here we turned right off the bridleway to follow the footpath still between hedges heading north east. We followed this path for about 400m to a kissing gate leading on to the B6265. At the road we turned right and walked along the footway on the left hand side of the road to the road bridge over the River Laver.

Footpath heading north east to the B6265
Footpath heading north east to the B6265

Following the B6265 towards Ripon
Following the B6265 towards Ripon

Steps from Mallorie Park Drive down to the River Laver
Steps from Mallorie Park Drive down to the River Laver

Weir and flow gauging station on the River Laver
Weir and flow gauging station on the River Laver

Path by the River Laver from the weir
Path by the River Laver from the weir


Like many others before we stepped over the low rail

We followed this path for another 250m to a footbridge over the river just downstream of the confluence of the River Laver and the River Skell. We crossed the footbridge and turned left to follow the path downstream along the river bank.

From the weir we followed a pleasant path next to the River Laver for about 200m. Here we joined a tarmac path through some parkland next to the River Laver.

Path by the River Laver from the weir
Path by the River Laver from the weir

Parkland path next to the River Laver
Parkland path next to the River Laver

Footbridge over the river downstream of the confluence of the River Laver and the River Skell
Footbridge over the river downstream of the confluence of the River Laver and the River Skell

Following the riverside path from the footbridge
Following the riverside path from the footbridge

Following a lane from the end of the riverside path
Following a lane from the end of the riverside path

Path leading to Hell Wath Nature Reserve
Path leading to Hell Wath Nature Reserve

We turned right here off the road and followed the public footpath up a gentle slope between the fields where there were a few ponies grazing. Behind us there was a fine view of Ripon Cathedral.

After about 300m the path came out onto a minor road and few metres ahead there was a public footpath off the road to the right. (map ref. SE 308 708).

A dipper perching on a rock in the fastest part of the river
A dipper perching on a rock in the fastest part of the river

Turning right off the lane onto a public footpath
Turning right off the lane onto a public footpath

Tiny ponies by the path
Tiny ponies by the path

Looking back to Ripon Cathedral
Looking back to Ripon Cathedral

Path leading into Hell Wath Nature Reserve
Path leading into Hell Wath Nature Reserve

Path by the River Skell through Hell wath Nature Reserve
Path by the River Skell through Hell Wath Nature Reserve

Path across Hell Wath Nature Reserve
Path across Hell Wath Nature Reserve

At the bottom of the steps we turned left and walked along the path beside the river. We continued along the path with the River Skell on our right for a few hundred metres and then veered to our left across the nature reserve.

We followed the path to the top of a flight of steps on our right (map ref. SE 304 706). The path had taken us into the Hell Wath Nature Reserve. We turned right here to descend the steps to the River Skell at the bottom.

Steps down to the River Skell at Hell Wath Nature Reserve
Steps down to the River Skell at Hell Wath Nature Reserve

Path by the River Skell through Hell wath Nature Reserve
Path by the River Skell through Hell Wath Nature Reserve

Path across Hell Wath Nature Reserve
Path across Hell Wath Nature Reserve

Path heading south across Hell Wath Nature Reserve
Path heading south across Hell Wath Nature Reserve

Steps from the nature reserve to the playing fields next to it
Steps from the nature reserve to the playing fields next to it

Heading for Hell Wath Lane from the playing fields
Heading for Hell Wath Lane from the playing fields

Parking area alongside Hell Wath Lane
Parking area alongside Hell Wath Lane

At the southern end of the playing fields there is a brick built club house at the side of Hell Wath Lane. At Hell Wath Lane we turned left and walked along the lane for about 150m to join our outward route at West Lane.

The whole place is crossed by many informal paths and we made our way southwards to the edge of the nature reserve. Here the paths lead into a sports field area.

Crossing the playing fields to Hell Wath Lane
Crossing the playing fields to Hell Wath Lane

Looking back to the brick club house by Hell Wath Lane
Looking back to the brick club house by Hell Wath Lane

Following Hell Wath Lane towards the West Lane junction
Following Hell Wath Lane towards the West Lane junction

Rejoining West Lane as we headed back to Quarry Moor Nature Reserve
Rejoining West Lane as we headed back to Quarry Moor Nature Reserve

Heading back along West Lane
Heading back along West Lane

Re-entering Quarry Moor Nature Reserve
Re-entering Quarry Moor Nature Reserve

Then we followed the paths back to the car park and the end of our walk. The whole route had been 8km and it had taken us almost 3 hours to walk.

From here we retraced out outward route along West Lane to the path back into Quarry Moor Nature Reserve.

Rejoining the path from West Lane to Quarry Moor Nat. Res.
Rejoining the path from West Lane to Quarry Moor Nat. Res.

Path across the nature reserve back to the car park
Path across the nature reserve back to the car park

Back at the Quarry Moor Nature Reserve car park at the end of our walk
Back at the Quarry Moor Nature Reserve car park at the end of our walk

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