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Nidderdale Walks

There is no limit to the number of different walks you can enjoy in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); with hundreds of miles of footpaths and vast swathes of Access Land you can combine those key elements of distance, solitude, beauty and altitude to make the perfect walk. 

Enjoy some Nidderdale Walks by the experts

The Nidderdale AONB office have prepared and way-marked a variety of walks that offer informative and intriguing introductions to some of the lesser well known areas of the area, with useful and interesting information on the surrounding landscape to help you get the most from your walk.

Many of our Nidderdale Walks will take in some of the top landmarks around the AONB, as well as a selection of smaller curiosities that the AONB office have detailed in their walks leaflets, be it in the dry stone walls around the village of Dacre or the trees of Blubberhouses.

See how mankind has changed Nidderdale

The Nidderdale AONB may be a stunning natural landscape but hundreds of years of human activity has left its mark across the hills and valleys. 

The Bewerley Industrial Heritage Trail climbs high out of Pateley Bridge up to Greenhow Hill, where you can explore the Coldstones Cut and look down into the last working quarry in Nidderdale, you can see the remnants of Victorian industry at the Toft Gate Lime Kiln and looks across the valley and see the scars of Victorian industry.

Many of the Reservoirs in the valley offer walks both around their shores and across the hills above them, as well as providing thriving habitats to birds and wildlife.  Their dams stand as a proud testament to the impressive engineering of the early 1900s.

Go Long…

The most popular long distance walking route is The Nidderdale way, 54 miles of climbs, desolate moorland, and idyllic riverside and rolling farm land.  Many accommodation providers will offer a shuttle service for groups walking to complete the way which can be undertaken in a relaxing 7 days, a steady 4 days, or an ambitious 2 days for those with pace and stamina.

Other long routes include the recently opening Six Dales Trail and historically rich Ripon Rowels route.

Explore Further

If you prefer to be the master of your own fate, you can find all of Nidderdale on the Ordinance Survey’s Explorer 298, which shows foot paths, bridleway and access land.

Number of items:

Number of items: 14

  1. The Nidderdale Way

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    The Nidderdale Way

    Type

    Walking Route

    Pateley Bridge

    The Nidderdale Way is a 53 mile circular walk beginning and ending in Pateley Bridge in the heart of Nidderdale.

    The walk travels the length of the valley, and then back again on the other side, at times following the River Nidd, but often detouring away to include as many points of interest...

  2. Fewston Reservoir -  Walking Routes

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    Fewston Reservoir - Walking Routes

    Type

    Walking Route

    Harrogate

    In the middle of the Washburn Valley in the south of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Fewston Reservoir offers a number of relaxing paths along the side of the water and through the woods.

    The walks vary from 1/4 mile to 6 miles in length.

    Some of the walks are shared with the...

  3. Bewerley Industrial Heritage Trail

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    Bewerley Industrial Heritage Trail

    Type

    Walking Route

    Pateley Bridge

    This route can be started from Pateley Bridge or the car park at the Coldstones Cut. Comprised of two loops forming a figure of eight the steeper longer route stretches down into the valley through the village of Bewerley, while the shorter but less well defined loop circles the village of...

  4. Six Dales Trail

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    Six Dales Trail

    Type

    Walking Route

    Pateley Bridge

    This 38 mile route takes in the entire length of the Nidderdale AONB from Otley in Wharfedale to Middleham in Wensleydale and showcases some of the remarkably beautiful dales in our area.

    The route features great contrasts of high heather moorland, stone wall enclosed pastures and parkland of...

  5. Thruscross Reservoir - Walk

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    Thruscross Reservoir - Walk

    Type

    Walking Route

    Pateley Bridge

    This walk of 4.5 miles follows the edge of Thruscross Reservoir, the top most and newest reservoir of the Washburn Valley.

    Often referred to as ‘West End’ after the village it swallowed up, Thruscross is famous for the appearance of the village when water levels hit severe lows.

    Thruscross...

  6. Crackpots Mosaic Trail

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    Crackpots Mosaic Trail

    Type

    Walking Route

    Pateley Bridge

    Crackpots Mosaic Trail is an enjoyable trail around part of Dallowgill which is marked with 22 mosaics depicting local scenes of flora and fauna which might be encountered along the route.

    Nearest village: Kirkby Malzeard.   Length: 7 miles (11km).   Time (approx): 4 hours.   Difficulty:...

  7. Scar House Walking & Cycle Routes

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    Scar House Walking & Cycle Routes

    Type

    Walking Route

    Pateley Bridge

    Scar House Walking & Cycle Routes are a permissive bridleway loop around Yorkshire Water’s Scar House Reservoir which comes to 4 miles and crosses both dams at the top of the valley.

    For walkers it can be extended with a further loop of rough yomping around Angram Reservoir to the remote top of...

  8. Blubberhouses Tree Trail

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    Blubberhouses Tree Trail

    Type

    Walking Route

    This riverside walk is full of interest with a variety of tree species, and abundance of wildlife and glimpses of an industrial heritage.

    Nearest village: Blubberhouses. 

    Length: 3 miles (5km).

    Time (approx): 1-2 hours.

    Difficulty: moderate

     

    View the Route Description & Map.

  9. Washburn Valley Birds Walk

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    Washburn Valley Birds Walk

    Type

    Walking Route

    Harrogate

    Wander through woodland, along river banks and admire views of the reservoir and the Washburn Valley. Historically this walk is very interesting with a packhorse bridge, Dob Park and a monk's trail.

    Nearest village: Timble. Length: 6.5 miles (10.5km).   Time (approx): 3 hours.   Difficulty:...

  10. Bewerley Tree Trail

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    Bewerley Tree Trail

    Type

    Walking Route

    Pateley Bridge

    This short walk takes in the delightful village of Bewerley, and through fishpond wood, along side the lake.  The route offers beautiful views throughout the seasons, from bluebells to the rich colours of autumn.

    Nearest village: Bewerley.  

    Length: 1.25 miles (2km).  

    Time (approx): 1...

  11. Victorian Gardens of Pateley Bridge

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    Victorian Gardens of Pateley Bridge

    Type

    Walking Route

    Pateley Bridge

    Take a tour around Pateley Bridge and see some of the fabulous historic houses and gardens.

    Nearest town: Pateley Bridge.  

    Length: 3.75 miles (6km) or 4.75 miles (7.5km).  

    Time (approx): 2-3 hours.  

    Difficulty: moderate

    Pateley Bridge has long been a focal point for visitors to...

  12. Sawley Circular

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    Sawley Circular

    Type

    Walking Route

    Ripon

    Discover the rolling hills and soft rural landscape of the eastern edge of Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty between the villages of Sawley and the World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal.

    Featuring a short and long option, this walk takes in farmland, wooded valleys...

  13. Swinsty Reservoir Walking Routes

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    Swinsty Reservoir Walking Routes

    Type

    Walking Route

    Harrogate

    Swinsty Reservoir, managed by Yorkshire Water sits in the Washburn Valley on the southern side of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    Sitting just below Fewston Reservoir and sharing parking and facilities Swinsty offers walking routes for able and disabled visitors to explore the...

  14. Pateley Circular via Brimham Rocks

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    Pateley Circular via Brimham Rocks

    Type

    Walking Route

    Pateley Bridge

    Take a tour of hills around Pateley Bridge, with stunning views, unique landmarks and idylic locations along the way.  The key feature of this 9 mile loop is the remarkable National Trust site of Brimham Rocks, featuring gigantic rock formations hundreds of thousands of years in the making...

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