Nidderdale & Washburn Walks
Date: 9th January 2007
Distance: 5.9 miles
Ascent: 1026 feet
Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE158656
A pleasant walk from Pateley Bridge up to the trig point on High Bishopside before descending towards Gouthwaite Reservoir and returning via the River Nidd.
Route Summary: Pateley Bridge - Scot Gate - High Bishopside - Wath Lane - Wath - Spring Wood Top - Gouthwaite Reservoir - Wath Bridge - River Nidd - Pateley Bridge
1. Looking down the old tramway to Pateley Bridge
2. The old tramway
3. Scot Gate Quarry
4. The trig point on High Bishopside
5. Gouthwaite Reservoir from Wath Lane
6. Looking back at High Bishopside from Spring Wood Top
7. Gouthwaite Reservoir
8. Gouthwaite Dam
9. The River Nidd from Wath Bridge
10. The Nidd in flood
Walk Detail: The forecast was for the rain to stop about midday so in order to sandwich a walk in between then and my dentist appointment that evening I decided on this little foray into Nidderdale ostensibly to bag another trig point.
The rain did indeed stop about midday and there was even some blue sky about but unfortunately the promise of some sunshine was never fulfilled. The old tram way was steep and in places muddy but this was offset by some decent views looking back to Pateley Bridge. However at some point along there I seem to have lost my Nidderdale walking book.
The Scot Gate quarries were reasonably interesting but as I was not too sure how much access was allowed I stuck to the path rather than exploring in any great detail. I was pleased to see there was a handy gate in the wall from Wath Lane and even an easy to follow track that led me up to the trig point on High Bishopside.
The views weren't spectacular as there was no real depth to them and little could be seen of the valley. However most of the heights of Nidderdale could be seen all the way up to the Whernsides at the head of the valley. The most notable thing about the trig point was that the immediate vicinity was one big rabbit warren. I attempted to eat some sandwiches but my toothache (hence my trip to the dentist that day) was too severe to manage more than a bite.
The walk down to Wath along the road was pleasant with good views of Gouthwaite reservoir and on a nicer day there would be the potential for some good photos. From Wath I decided on a second detour, this time taking me in a loop to Gouthwaite Dam via Spring Wood Top. The scene at the dam was very impressive as the sheer volume of water coming out created quite a lot of noise and spray.
The river itself was well risen and many of the neighbouring fields had flooded. For the most part I followed the old train line back to Pateley but in places the river was almost flowing at equal height. While it was an impressive sight I was more than a bit apprehensive of the swollen river.
After a brief but fruitless return to the old tramway to see if I could find my lost book I returned to the car pleased with the walk despite being rather wet and muddy.