Nidderdale & Washburn Walks
Date: 1st April 2006
Distance: 9.6 miles
Ascent: 1920 feet
Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Start Grid Ref: SE092743
A windy walk in upper Nidderdale with superb valley views and some dramatic riverside scenery on the return.
Route Summary: Middlesmoor - Nidderdale Way - Scar House Reservoir - Woo Gill - Dale Edge - Bracken Ridge - River Nidd - Nidderdale Way - Middlesmoor
1. Meugher from the Nidderdale Way
2. Scar House Reservoir from Scar House Pasture
3. Scar House Reservoir and Dead Man's Hill
4. Woodale Scar
5. Scar House Reservoir Dam and Dead Man's Hill
6. On the dam
7. Woo Gill
8. Upper Nidderdale from Dale Edge
9. The River Nidd in spate
10. The Nidd flowing into Goyden Pot
11. Gouthwaite Reservoir from Middlesmoor
Walk Detail: It was with a sore head from the previous night and in quite windy conditions that we began climbing up the Nidderdale Way over Rain Stang. I'd really wanted to visit the trig point on Rain Stang but there was no gate over the wall at the nearest point to the path and as we could see a heavy shower on its way we headed further along the path where we took shelter behind a wall while there was a torrential downpour.
The view from the top of Scar House Pasture down to the reservoir backed by Little Whernside and Dead Man's Hill was as good as I remembered it when me and Matt had passed by in his landrover over two years before. After crossing the dam and marvelling at the sheer volume of water escaping we took shelter in a hut and had the rest of our lunch amidst another rain shower.
The initial walk along Dale Edge was without incident apart from a wrong turn I briefly made up Woo Gill thanks to a faulty bridleway sign. However by the time we were beginning to approach Lofthouse Moor the wind had picked up to such an extent that it was almost as bad as any I've experienced walking and it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep one's footing on the rutted path.
Instead of continuing to Thrope Edge as planned we descended to Bracken Ridge with the aim of crossing the Nidd and going on to investigate Manchester Hole and Goyden Pot. Before we could cross the Nidd we had to first ford a side stream which was in spate. As there was no way of using the rocks we ended up taking our boots off and wading across which despite my initial worries proved to be quite easy and in fact it was Lisa who was most up for it.
The Nidd was so full that Manchester Hole was not to be seen and neither did it seem to have much effect on the fast flowing river. It was all the more amazing then to see the Nidd practically disappear at Goyden Pot though there was not sight of the pot hole at all. We will have to go back and see what this area looks like in 'normal' conditions.
The rest of the walk was fairly uneventful apart from the group of dogs chained up in the farmyard at Limley Farm which certainly gave an atmosphere of not being welcome. Overall an enjoyable walk though I will have to return to both Goyden Pot as well as the trig point on Rain Stang.