Upper Nidderdale

Wednesday 9 July 2014. On a beautiful summer’s day, I decided to revisit an area that I last walk about 20 years ago, shortly after I began hill walking. This took me through Pateley Bridge and the small villages of Ramsgill and Lofthouse to the car park area at Scar House Reservoir. The roads up here were narrow and twisting with the last 3 miles of the drive being on a single track water authority road.

The selected walk was taken from the AA’s website which suggested that it was 8.2 miles. In reality, it turned out to be 9.7 miles with over 1,500ft of ascent. It started with a steep 400ft climb up a rocky boat (byway open to all traffic) to the top of In Moor. It was here that I left the track to make my way across pathless open moorland. It wasn’t too difficult given the perfect weather conditions but not something that I would want to try in mist or fog. A long gradual descent brought me to How Stean Gorge where I stopped for lunch. At this point, I had walked 4 miles and thought that I was roughly half way round. This proved to be incorrect with another 6 miles still to go.

At the village of Lofthouse, I picked up the Nidderdale Way which took me upstream towards my starting point at Scar House Reservoir. It was a gentle climb for most of the way with one short sharp pull towards the end.

I’d walked in the area a couple of times before and always thought that Upper Nidderdale was a little boring. This walk took me on a lower level and more interesting paths and has changed my mind about this area. I only saw 2 other walkers all day.


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