Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Nidderdale Way : 53 miles

Hello there !

This is my log of my all-in-one walk of the wonderful Nidderdale Way - that is walking through the night - well quite a bit of the night - as you will see. 

Details include GPS/GPX route maps, descriptions and many super photos.

Nidderdale Way Route - 53 miles

Here is my two part route of the Nidderdale Way -


You can download a GPX file for your smart phone or GPS device from this link:

Thursday 24th September 2015

I like adventure and a challenge, so I attempted to walk the entire Nidderdale Way all in one go - with just a couple of hours sleep.  

A Figure of Eight 

The Nidderdale Way is a handy figure of eight shape, so, if you leave your transport in the middle of the eight at Patley Bridge or Bewerley you have a home made pit stop, close to half way around the entire route with 26 miles in the southern section and 27 miles in the northern section.

You could use the route described here and split the route into an easier two day walk, staying over at one of the many nice B&B's in Pateley Bridge.

So off we go !

2:00 PM
I left a stack of provisions and a sleeping bag in my car at Pateley Bridge and set out onto the southern Part 1 route at 2:00PM, aiming to be back at the car around 1:00AM for a good food break and mini snooze.  Intending to then set off from the car again super early for Part 2 around 4:00AM.

Thats me at Pateley Bridge :)

Whilst in Pately Bridge and if you like Pork Pies - take a moment to step into Kendall's Butchers and stock up for your pack lunch - or in my case my evening meal.   You might also like to visit the Oldest Sweet Shop in England.

A fairly rapid ascent up the "Panorama Walk" takes me the "The Rock" - a Victorian viewing platform, looking back down into Pateley Bridge and down the valley and a glimpse of the walk beyond.

If you are super duper hungry you can eat one of these - 

2:25 PM
My first waypoint Blazefield

2:40 PM
My walks always seem to encounter dangerous animals - like cows, bulls and even ostrich.

Today I add another rare beast to the danger list - LLAMA!

It turns out you can do parts of the Nidderdale Way riding on a Llama - or perhaps they just carry your bags I am not sure,   Even so is all quite a-llama-ing.

It's all very pretty along this route - I am heading towards Brimham Rocks - but so sign posts just yet.

Aha - some mini rocks

3:12 PM
And finally a signpost confirming Brimham Rocks is out now and coming your way soon.

First though we need to negotiate through some extensive woods, following the stream that is Righouse Gill.

4:27 PM
Officially the Nidderdale Way only takes you to the doorstep of Brimham Rocks - but for me this is an ideal spot to spend a bit of time having a rest and really enjoying a good cup of tea at the Brimham Rocks cafe.

There's always a great brew at the end of the rainbow!  Perhaps we are talking Yorkshire Gold tea and Gold Blend coffee :)

One hot tea tip - the tea bar is outside - but I discovered you are allowed to take your tea up the visitor centre - as I did - to sit down out of the cool air and have a look at the information boards.  The view from the visitor centre is pretty awesome.

5:23 PM
Time is ticking on - so I better get going.  Bye bye Brimham Rocks, you are a great playground to explore.

Off we go onto Brimham Moor.

5:42 PM
Negotiating a few farms - and an advert for an event I fancy next year.

5:50 PM
A discovery! a barn find ! A rare old Datsun rotting away amongst the farm's scrap machinery.   

Next civilisation way point - Shaw Mills

If you name a road correctly you are guaranteed good weather.

7:40 PM
And onward to South Stanley

There are lots of bird foul on this walk - they keep making me jump as the fly out of the grass or hedgerow just a few feet away from me.  I think they are Pheasants mainly - that seems to be the money maker around here.

7:50 PM
Well there is the moon - soon it will be night walk time.

8:15 PM 
I reach the southern end of the Nidderdale Way and the the medieval town of Ripley.  Here we see Ripley Cross and Stocks.   There is no one tied up there tonight, I better get going before they spot me as an ideal candidate!

8:30 PM 
Ripley Castle - looks like it is on fire!

Now we are into the super spooky nightzone - what kind of animals are these?

Everything takes on a new eerie look in the my torch light.

In case you are wondering I use a GPS buddy beacon and a friend tracks my progress.  Even so you need to be extra vigilant when solo walking in the dark. For me that is all part of the challenge and adventure.

9:30 PM
Fortunately I find find a map at the village of Hampsthwaite ;)

12:00 PM
Zooming ahead a bit - as not so many pics to be had in the dark.  
I planned the walk to coincide with a nearly full moon and a forecast of a clear night.  Here high up on Heyshaw Moor the moon and stars rule OK.  

02:00 AM
Back at the car at Pateley Bridge now - hurray -  time to tuck into flasks of hot tea and coffee, chicken drumsticks and all sorts of chocky treats I left waiting for my hungry self .

And time now for a couple of hours in the sleeping bag zzzzz  :)

04:20 AM
Wakey Wakey Richard!!!!
It's time to get going again, so I begrudgingly leave the lovely warm car and get my aching legs going again!

06:00 AM
And now you see why I do these night walks - just check out these early morning scenes - a few stars saying good bye to me as the sun comes along once again.

I am not the only one awake -   "You must be barrrrrmy to up this early"

08:20 AM
Gouthwaite Reservoir comes into view.

I went a bit photo crazy at this point, sorry!

There is allot of bird life along the reservoir.

Ramsgill : Church 

Ramsgill  : The hotel is actually an old Hunting Lodge

Onward toward How Stean Gorge

09:40 AM
I spent 30 minutes skirting around these beasts in neighboring fields.  I wish farmers wouldn't put dangerous livestock where there is a well used public footpath.

Feeling nervous after that experience I take a load more pictures..

I'm sorry but it's all so beautiful in the morning sunlight.

I love the sun awning these folk have made on their house

A sign post for How Stean - oh how I pray the cafe is open at How Stean!

I just follow the instructions!

10:47 AM
How Stean Gorge cafe - It's open, yipeeee !!!!

10:47 AM They were not making hot food till 11 AM - but I begged them to make me a bacon sandwich - Thank You How Stean Gorge Team :)

If you ever visit be sure to take a tour at How Stean Gorge (caves).
They do all sorts of exciting activities for kids and adults alike.

11:20 AM
On we go on up Moor Lane - a very long and fairly straight track - it goes on for miles and miles high up onto North Noor and on towards Scar House reservoir.

The traffic up here is ridiculous, it's barrrrmy.

Miles and miles of bleak moorland.

11:50 AM
Eventually I reach Scar House reservoir - thank goodness, that was hard work getting up here!

12:50 PM
Well I have been walking some 23 hours near enough - I am knackered in truth, but still I don't care really I just feel lucky to see so much good stuff in one day.

It's a gentle walk now, back down the opposite side of the valley, from whence I came.

Some signs of autumn are afoot ..

Dry stream beds feature here, their water long since found alternative routes underground.   This area is full of cave systems.

Pheasants - they are everywhere!

3:10 PM
This looks promising!

4:00 PM
And finally - the end of the Nidderdale Way back in Pateley Bridge.

Was that an adventure?

Was that a rocking walk?

You Bet!!!

Thank you for reading,  please leave a comment below for me, I would love to hear them and reply to any questions.

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