Nidderdale & Washburn Walks
Studley Seven Bridges
Date: 14th February 2012
Distance: 2.6 miles
Ascent: 304 feet
Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
With: Lisa and Rhiannon
Start Grid Ref: SE278691
A short scenic family walk over the seven bridges across the River Skell in Studley Royal.
Route Summary: The Lake - Seven Bridges - Mackershaw Trough - Mackershaw - The Lake
1. A jackdaw
2. Rhiannon throwing bread for the jackdaws and seagulls
3. Studley Lake
4. The weir below the first bridge
5. Me and Rhiannon on the third bridge
6. Rhiannon heading for the fifth bridge
7. Some snowdrops
8. The path up Mackershaw Trough
9. The smaller of the two ponds on Mackershaw
10. Looking back down towards the second bridge
Walk Detail: Studley Royal is a place I've visited many times both in the recent past but also when I was growing up when it was a popular destination for family walks and picnics. It is somewhere we've also taken Rhiannon on numerous occasions since she was a baby. In fact her first 'picnic' was when we did a variation of this walk when she was just a few months old and we pushed her around in her pushchair.
After parking the car by The Lake we did the obligatory feeding of the local birdlife. This used to be mainly ducks and geese but on our last couple of visits seems to be predominantly jackaws and seagulls. After exhausting our supplies of bread we followed the delightful little valley crossing and re-crossing the River Skell over the seven bridges, stopping just before the sixth for a picnic.
From the last bridge we headed up Mackershaw Trough before following the bridleway west to Mackershaw Gate and then the open fields of Mackershaw, a route I cannot remember having taken before. Along the way we passed some attractive ponds before before re-entering the woods and descending back down to the the first bridge by the weir.
It was a fun little outing as we played numerous games on the way round to keep Rhiannon entertained. It clearly worked as at the dinner table later that day she suddenly said, "what a very nice walk we've had today". I couldn't ask for more than that really.