The Nidderdale Way is a beautiful circular walk within the Nidderdale area of outstanding natural beauty. 53 miles long, the route starts and finishes in Pateley Bridge and follows the river Nidd and leads up the valley above Scar House Reservoir before heading back down and through the village of Ripley.
Attractions along the way include the wind-weathered gritstone ‘sculptures’ of Brimham Rocks; How Stean Gorge, a spectacular limestone ravine; Yorke’s Folly, built to resemble a window arch from a ruined abbey, and Ripley Castle with its deer park and gardens laid out by Capability Brown.
The route visits several attractive villages such as Middlesmoor, clinging tenaciously to the hillside; Ramsgill, with a spacious green surrounded by stone cottages with flower-filled gardens and an imposing ivy-clad former hunting lodge; and Ripley, a beautiful 19th century estate village rebuilt to resemble a French village. It has a fine medieval market cross with stocks alongside and the churchyard contains a fascinating pre-Reformation ‘weeping cross’: sockets at the bottom cater for the knees of four ‘penitent’ souls.
Although the Nidderdale Way is a low-level route, it does climb the valley sides to follow gritstone edges and moorland fringes for rewarding views over the dale.
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