Nidderdale & Washburn Walks
Date: 1st July 2012
Distance: 4.8 miles
Ascent: 451 feet
Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE196619
Lovely riverbank and woodland rambling on a route linking the villages of Dacre Bank, Summerbridge and Low Laithe in Nidderdale.
Route Summary: Dacre Banks - Lead Wath Wood - Harewell Hall - Low Laithe - Braisty Woods - Old Spring Wood - Summerbridge - Dacre Banks
1. Dacre Banks
2. The Nidd Valley Sawmill at Summerbridge
3. The River Nidd
4. The railway embankment from the former Harrogate - Pateley Bridge line
5. Looking across the valley to the small village of Wilsill
6. Looking towards Brimham Rocks
7. I very bravely walked past this cow to the gate beyond
8. The River Nidd below Low Laithe
9. Guise Cliff
10. Holly in Old Spring Wood
Walk Detail: For a number of reasons, not the least the awful weather we've had this summer, it has been a while since I've been able to get out for a proper hill walk. I've compensated for this by going out for a number of short walks close to home as and when the weather, and other circumstances, have allowed.
On this occasion I judged that I had just enough time to go out for a couple of hours and enjoy some rare sunshine before returning home to watch the Euro 2012 final. Beginning from Dacre Banks, just across the river from Summerbridge, this was a delightful walk that linked the villages of Dacre Banks, Low Laithe, Summerbridge and the tiny hamlet of Braisty Woods via some superb riverside and woodland walking.
The particular highlights of the walk were the stretches of riverside walking just north of the Nidd Valley Sawmill and then later heading south toward Low Laithe from the bridge below Harewell Hall. Another highlight was the holly rich woodland of Old Spring Wood which, despite its name, surely deserves a visit in the autumn. Also of interest was the embankment leading past Lead Wath Wood which once carried the Harrogate to Pateley Bridge railway line.
I should also mention the cows just below Harewell Hall. I've made no secret of the fact that I have a fear of cows and on one occasion recently even cut a walk short as I could see no way past them. This time though I was very brave and, having politely asked the cow (standing barely two feet on the other side of the gate I had to go through) not to trample me, I walked past it and the dozen or so other cows that were sat close by.
All in all this was a super little walk and one which is perfect for an evening stroll or for a short walk with the family.