Nidderdale & Washburn Walks
Date: 17th July 2013
Distance: 6.0 miles
Ascent: 702 feet
Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE168553
An evening walk initially alongside the River Washburn before heading up on to Hall Moor to explore Brandrith Crags.
Route Summary: Hopper Lane - River Washburn - Nethernooks Bridge - Hall Moor - North Moor Road - Kex Gill Road - Raven's Peak - Kex Gill Road - Hall Lane - Hopper Lane
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: One evening a few weeks earlier I'd been descending Rocking Moor when I looked south towards neighbouring Hall Moor and saw some impressive gritstone outcrops standing prominently on the moor. I made a mental note that I should go and take a closer look and so it was that I concocted this route which enabled me to visit these rocks as well as revisit both the lovely riverside path north of Fewston Reservoir and Raven's Peak, an outcrop familiar to anyone who regularly drives along the A59 as it crosses Blubberhouses Moor.
Once again I took advantage of the long summer days to do this walk after work. Parking at the Hopper Lane car park at Fewston Reservoir I crossed the A59 and for the next couple of miles I enjoyed an idyllic ramble upstream with the River Washburn on my left. Without walking as far as the impressive Thruscross Dam I crossed a footbridge and double backed along a track leading to Nethernooks Bridge over Redshaw Gill Beck. Over the bridge I climbed a faint path through the trees and bracken to eventually emerge into a field from where I crossed into the open access land of Hall Moor.
Apart from a few faint trods the following exploration of Hall Moor was largely pathless but it was worth a bit of heather bashing to 'discover' the fine set of outcrops which have the collective name of Brandrith Crags. There are three main outcrops with the two outer ones being the most impressive and which offer great opportunities for a bit of casual scrambling. Whilst the OS map records a 'Rocking Stone' none of the rocks I saw seemed to obviously fit the description so I was unable to identify which one it was.
After spending sometime bimbling about I crossed the moor to reach North Moor Road which I followed south a short way before climbing up to walk along the embankment of some small reservoirs at Blubberhouses Quarry both of which were teeming with bird life. Reaching Kex Gill Road I headed west on a loop that enabled me to visit Raven's Peak, a large gritstone buttress overlooking the A59 as it snakes its way up and over Blubberhouses Moor. The thin path from the road was, in places, almost entirely covered in head high bracken which took a bit of effort to push through in places.
I'd hoped to arrive at Raven's Peak just as the sun was setting behind me but unfortunately I'd miscalculated by about 15 minutes. All was not lost though and as I descended Kew Gill Road, now just a bridleway, I was able to enjoy some final views of the sun going down. A lovely end to what had been a thoroughly enjoyable evening expedition and I'd definitely like to visit Brandrith Crags again one day.