Nidderdale & Washburn Walks
Date: 14th May 2005
Distance: 6.9 miles
Ascent: 1309 feet
Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE158656
An enjoyable and varied walk from Pateley Bridge including a visit to Guise Cliff above Glasshouses and a nice return alongside the River Nidd.
Route Summary: Pateley Bridge - Fishpond Wood - Middle Tongue - Raven's Gill - Nought Moor - Yorke's Folly - Guise Cliff - High Crag Ridge - Guise Cliff Wood - Glasshouses - River Nidd - Pateley Bridge
1. Looking back to Pateley Bridge
2. Bluebells in Fishpond Wood
3. Raven's Gill
4. Yorke's Folly
5. Nidderdale from Guise Cliff
6. Looking along Guise Cliff
7. The trig point on High Crag Ridge
8. Guisecliff Wood
9. Guisecliff Tarn
Walk Detail: An early highlight of this was was Fishpond Wood which was chock full of beautiful bluebells - easily my favourite springtime flower. The wood also lived up to its name with an attractive large pond.
Further along the contrast in scenery between the bluebell woods and wild open moor was quite impressive. Another nice spot was the small waterfall in Raven’s Gill.
The walk up to Yorke’s Folly from Raven's was through some quite thick heather and the path often disappeared on me. Yorke’s Folly commands and excellent viewpoint of upper Nidderdale and, with the exception of a couple of sheep, I was lucky enough to have the spot to myself.
From Yorke’s Folly I then traversed the ridge path of Guise Cliff. It was a windy day and this discouraged me from getting too close to the edge but the views were everything I had hoped them to be.
Upon reaching the relay station I headed back onto the moor on a clear track that took me up to the trig point on High Crag Ridge. I was pleasantly surprised by what a good vantage point this relatively modest top actually was. To the north I could make out the Great Whernside ridge and to the south I could make out individual buildings in Harrogate. To the west I could also make out the top of Simon’s Seat.
I returned via Guisecliff Wood which was beautiful and when I reached Guisecliff Tarn I had to linger for a while to enjoy the atmosphere of leafy tranquillity. Eventually I made my way out of the woods via a maze of paths to reach Glasshouses bridge and from there I followed the River Nidd all the way back to Pateley Bridge.
This was a great walk, full of contrasts and fine views.