Harrogate & District Walks
Hampsthwaite & Birstwith
Date: 19th June 2012
Distance: 5.2 miles
Ascent: 433 feet
Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE259587
A pleasant walk alongside the Nidd from Hampsthwaite to Birstwith and on to New Bridge before returning via Clint Bank.
Route Summary: Hampsthwaite - Nidderdale Way - Birstwith - New Bridge - Nidd House Farm - Nidd Lane - Clint Bank - Hampsthwaite Bridge - Hampsthwaite
1. The flagged path behind St Thomas a'Becket Church
2. Sheep grazing on the banks of the Nidd
4. New Bridge
5. Clint Hall Farm
6. Birstwith and lower Nidderdale
7. The meagre remains of Clint Hall
9. Hampsthwaite Bridge
10. Hampsthwaite War Memorial
Walk Detail: When I bought my first pair of walking boots over 8 years ago I did a few short rambles in the local area to walk them in. This route was a slightly extended version of one of those walks that also gave me the opportunity to revist Hampsthwaite, a village with which my family has strong connections.
Starting off from the village green I walked down Church Lane to the fine St Thomas a'Becket Church. Making my way through the churchyard I then took a pleasant, partly flagged, path bordered with trees and spring flowers. After a short section of road walking I then followed the Nidderdale Way to Birstwith and on to New Bridge, a fine example of an old packhorse bridge.
Crossing the river at New Bridge I followed an old track and then a bridleway to Nidd House Farm at the end of Nidd Lane which I then followed past the northern outskirts of Birstwith. Instead of this section of road walking and the subsequent walk along Clint Bank I could have taken a series of field paths from West House Farm. However, early on in the walk, I'd noticed looking up from the riverside path that there were cows in those fields so decided the road would be a better option.
Passing Clint Hall Farm I made a brief diversion on a path opposite the road junction to visit the meagre remains of the medieval manor house of Clint Hall. The ruins are today situated in a field of barley and command an excellent view up the valley to Birstwith and beyond. It was a really nice spot and I spent sometime taking photos especially as the light conditions were changing constantly thanks to some fast moving clouds.
Finally I left the barley field and took the path next to Wilk's Wood that crosses over the dismantled Harrogate - Pateley Bridge railway line. I was already halfway across this large pasture when I noticed it contained some cows but they were so far away I managed to get across without getting too nervous.
Another barley field brought me on to the road just short of Hampsthwaite Bridge. All that was left was for me to make a stop at the war memorial just outside the church. It always amazes me how many names are featured on some of these village memorials. This particular one is of importance to me as it contains the names of two of my great-grandmother's brothers who were killed in the First World War.