Harrogate & District Walks
Date: 24th May 2015
Distance: 2.8 miles
Time: 1 hour 30 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE330584
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.
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.