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Harrogate & District Walks

Scotton Banks

Date: 24th May 2015
Distance: 2.8 miles
Ascent: 272ft
Time: 1 hour 30 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE330584

Walk Summary:
A short, wild flower filled, stroll in the riverside woods of Scotton Banks near Knaresborough.

Route Summary: Ripley Road - Scotton Banks - Lands Lane - Netheredge Drive - Preston Bottoms Lane - High Moor Lane - Red Hill Lane - Ripley Road

Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.

Nidd Gorge Woods sign at the bottom of the car park at the start of the main path
The wide path winding down to the riverbank
Just some of the many forget-me-nots that I saw on the walk
A footbridge across the River Nidd
Greater stichwort
Insects dancing above the River Nidd
The lovely path through the woods of Scotton Banks
The River Nidd
Wild garlic
An exposed outcrop of magnesian limestone
Evening sunshine on the leaves
Yellow archangel
A rhododendron
The edge of the woods above Appleby Carr
A lapwing seen from Preston Bottoms Lane
A field of rapeseed at the end of Preston Bottoms Lane
The grassy bridleway called Red Hill Lane that led me back to Ripley Road
The Knaresborough sign near the car park

Walk Detail: Long before hill walking became a passion a favourite walk of mine was the Nidd Gorge between Bilton and Knaresborough. Invariably I would walk along the south bank of the river so this short walk was a long overdue opportunity to explore a section of the north bank in the area called Scotton Banks.

Starting from the handily placed Woodland Trust car park on Ripley Road between Scotton and Knaresborough I began by taking the wide track that curves down to the river. At the wooden footbridge that crosses the Nidd I left the track to follow instead a thinner path that sticks closer to the riverbank.

I was hoping that there still some bluebells in the woods and I wasn't disappointed. Indeed it was something of a wild flower walk. As well as bluebells I also saw greater stichwort, bugle, yellow archangel, wild garlic, rhododendrons and lots of forget-me-nots. In addition to the numerous flowers the early evening sun shining through the trees created some quite lovely colours.

After leaving the area owned by the Woodland Trust I carried on an enclosed path alongside private woodland to eventually leave the riverside by a long narrow snicket leading on to Lands Lane in Gates Hill. After marvelling at the impressive houses on Lands Lane and Netheredge Drive I crossed over Ripley Road to take a bridleway called Preston Bottoms Lane. I'd hoped to catch a glimpse of the small lake in Appleby Carr but the woods surrounding it were too thick and a barbed wire fence deterred me from taking a closer look.

At the top of Preston Bottoms Lane I stopped for a while to watch the swifts catching insects above a field of rapeseed. Try as I might they were simply too quick to catch on camera. The walk finished with a stroll down High Moor Lane and the short grassy bridleway called Red Hill Lane. Although less than three miles this was a lovely little walk, perfect for a nice sunny evening.

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