Pateley Bridge & Guise Cliff

Thursday 17 July 2014. I’ve been ill with flu-like symptoms and it has taken me a couple of days to get around to posting this blog on the last walk of my Nidderdale holiday. I felt so unwell that I returned home 3 days early and cancelled my planned trip to Hebden Bridge. I’m pleased to say that I’m feeling a little better but the continuing heat & humidity isn’t helping.

Karen and I were unsure which walk to do today. We had a choice between an 8.5 mile walk to Simon’s Seat which would involve 1,600ft of ascent and a slightly easier 6 mile walk from Pateley Bridge with just 1,260ft of ascent. As it was another stupidly hot day, we opted for what we thought would be the easier walk. Having now done it, I can safely say that it was one of the hardest 6 mile walks that I’ve ever done but this was due, in part, to my health issues. Karen couldn’t fall back on this excuse but she still found the uphill difficult.

Setting out from Pateley Bridge we made our way through open farmland where the gradients weren’t too bad. Soon after we started to climb steeply through Strikes Wood to Ravens Nest. If this wasn’t bad enough, at this point the path disappeared into chest-high bracken as we made our way down a steep sided valley to a footbridge in the bottom and then up the other side to Nought Moor. Here again, the path was no where to be seen. Karen followed a wall side across boggy ground to pick up the Nidderdale Way whilst I climbed a little higher to try to find the path marked on the map and avoid the worst of the bogs. We met up on Nought Bank Road just below Yorke’s Folly for a delayed coffee stop. From here the going became easier as we walked a mile or so alongside the wall at the top of Guise Cliff. The descent through Guisecliff Wood was easy to follow to the tarn where we stopped for lunch. This brought back memories for me as this was the area that I used to go camping with the Boy Scouts.

The path out of the wood wasn’t quite as shown on the map but we were soon in Glasshouses from where it was an easy walk back to the car. Both of us were exhausted by the climbing and the heat. I was so knackered that I didn’t have the energy to go for a cup of tea.


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