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Greenhow and Nidderdale Way

There are currently 1 comments and 3 photos online for this walk.

Greenhow and Nidderdale Way
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 22 Jun 2015 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
North Yorkshire, Nidderdale
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Greenhow and Nidderdale Way
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 6.5 mile circular walk from the village of Greenhow in North Yorkshire, within the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The route follows paths and stone tracks across the areas of high pasture and moorland, passing through the remains of several old lead mines. The strenuous route rewards you with marvellous views across the bleak moorland which is dissected by several streams and the remote area is also home to plenty of birds including curlews, lapwings and snipes.

These high moorlands are very exposed so ensure you are properly prepared with clothing, water, food, a map, a compass and other essentials. The walk has many long climbs and descents throughout. The paths are a mixture of stone tracks, quiet lanes and moorland paths, the latter of which can get very slippery and muddy in wet weather and winter. You will need to negotiate several gates, a shallow ford crossing, some steps plus a couple of squeeze stiles and one stone wall stile (which you cross twice). The stiles should be easy for most dogs to negotiate. About 90 percent of the route crosses moorland that is grazed by sheep so please be sure to close all gates and remember that dogs will need to stay on a short lead throughout. A couple of the pastures may also be holding cattle, so take care with dogs in these sections. There are no toilets or refreshments on route. Approximate time 3.5 hours.

Greenhow village is located on the B6265 between Pateley Bridge and Hebden in North Yorkshire. The walk starts and finishes from the Toft Gate Lime Kiln free car park which is about a mile east of the village and is marked with a brown tourism sign for The Coldstones Cut. Approximate post code for village HG3 5JQ.

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Walk Sections

Start to Thorsarch
Start to Thorsarch

Start point: 54.0753 lat, -1.8044 long
End point: 54.0788 lat, -1.8082 long

Before you begin the walk, you may wish to explore the site of Toft Gate Lime Kiln which is just behind the car park. There is an information board here which explains the history of this site. The site was built in the 1860s to produce quick lime for use in mortar and as fertiliser.

To begin the main walk, leave the car park via the vehicle entrance and just to your left on the opposite side of the road you will see two wide metal gates. Take the (subtle!) stone stile which is between these two gates and leads you into the left-hand of the two fields. NOTE: From this point onwards you will be sharing the majority of paths with sheep so please keep dogs on a short lead.

Follow the grass path running downhill with the stone wall on your right. At the bottom of the first field, pass through the wide gate and walk through the next pasture at about 10 o’clock, passing to the left of the old stone barn. Continue to the far bottom field corner where you will find a gated squeeze stile. Pass through this and keep ahead across the third pasture, heading for the white gate visible ahead. Leave the field via a small gate to reach a tarmac lane with the white entrance gate for the property, Thorsarch, directly opposite.

Thorsarch to Greenhow Cemetery
Thorsarch to Greenhow Cemetery

Start point: 54.0788 lat, -1.8082 long
End point: 54.0736 lat, -1.82 long

Turn left and follow the tarmac lane steadily uphill. The lane soon becomes a stone track and leads you all the way up and through a gate to reach a T-junction with another lane. Turn left, continuing uphill and you will emerge to a T-junction with the B6265. Turn right along the road edge, taking care of any traffic.

The road leads you past the quarry entrance on the left and on into Greenhow village. On the right you will come to the village cemetery. Take a moment to inspect the lych gate here, which was carved by the woodcarver Robert Thompson, also known as the Mouse Man. Robert adorned all his work with a trademark carved mouse, and you can see a (weathered) example of this high on the lych gate beams.

Greenhow Cemetery to Brandstone Ford
Greenhow Cemetery to Brandstone Ford

Start point: 54.0736 lat, -1.82 long
End point: 54.0804 lat, -1.8239 long

Continue along the roadside verge and then the pavement, heading for the centre of the village. Lying between 400m and 420m above sea level, Greenhow is one of the highest villages in Yorkshire. Joseph Kipling, the grandfather of Rudyard Kipling, was the minister of the local Methodist Chapel and Rudyard wrote a short story which included reference to the village, On Greenhow Hill. The extract below demonstrates that Kipling himself realised just how exposed the area is:

“I reckon you’ve never heeard tell o’ Green-how Hill, but yon bit o’ bare stuff if there was nobbut a white road windin’ is like ut; strangely like. Moors an’ moors an’ moors, wi’ never a tree for shelter, an’ gray houses wi’ flagstone rooves, and pewits cryin’, an’ a windhover goin’ to and fro just like these kites. And cold! A wind that cuts you like a knife. You could tell Green-how Hill folk by the red-apple colour o’ their cheeks an’ nose tips, and their blue eyes, driven into pin-points by the wind.”

Follow the road through the dip and beginning to climb again (ignoring the first footpath through a green gate on the right). The pavement leads you past Kipling Cottage on the right and then, a little further along, past a converted chapel also on the right. Immediately after the chapel (and before you reach the junction with a side road to the left), turn right onto a stone track signed as a public footpath to Stripe Lane.

The track leads you past the old vicarage on the left and on between dry stone walls. At the junction, with the entrance for Low Far Side ahead, turn left and continue along the stone track. As you reach the cattle grid entrance for Far Side ahead, turn left through a gate into the sheep pasture and turn immediately right to follow the line of the tall wire fence on the right. Stay with the wire fence as it swings right behind the farmhouse and, where it ends, keep straight ahead on the obvious grass track which leads you steadily down to a wide gate.

Go through this and the next gate soon afterwards, passing to the right of Low Far Side. Use the pair of gates ahead to pass alongside the cattle grid and keep straight on along the grass track with a fence running to the left. At about 10 o’clock you will be able to see a stone tower set within the moorland, a sighting tower built by the Victorians to lay the line of a water supply for the local mining industry.

Pass through the next gate and continue steadily down the valley. Towards the bottom, follow the (now stone) track as it swings hard left and then back hard right into an old area of mining (more about the local mines later). The track then widens and swings right to cross a small stream. Keep ahead, passing to the right of the small stone building and then, at the fork, bear left on a track which leads you down to a ford within Brandstone Beck.

Brandstone Ford to Nidderdale Way
Brandstone Ford to Nidderdale Way

Start point: 54.0804 lat, -1.8239 long
End point: 54.0874 lat, -1.8168 long

Cross the ford with care and continue on the stone track which leads you uphill passing the remains of an old stone arch on the left, another remnant of the lead mines. Lead mining in this area is thought to date back to Roman times. Ingots of lead, known as pigs, dating from the 1st century have been found nearby. In the Middle Ages, lead from Yorkshire became important for roofing castles and cathedrals. It is said that lead from Yorkshire mines was used in Windsor Castle, St Peter's in Rome and even on church roofs in Jerusalem.

At the top of the hill, pass through the wide wooden gate ahead (or use the ladder stile alongside) and just 90 paces later, turn right through the next gateway. Follow the track downhill and, before you reach the house ahead, turn left to join another stone track running between stone walls.

Take time as you descend to look out for birds in the adjacent moorland and circling overhead. During early spring the area becomes home to a range of ground-nesting wading birds (including lapwings, curlews and snipes) which come here to breed and raise their young.

Follow the track for some distance, first steadily and then more steeply downhill, passing through another gate to reach a T-junction with another track, part of the Nidderdale Way.

Nidderdale Way to Ashfold Bridge
Nidderdale Way to Ashfold Bridge

Start point: 54.0874 lat, -1.8168 long
End point: 54.0909 lat, -1.8196 long

Turn left along this track and follow it through an open gateway within a stone wall. On the wall post you will notice a waymarker symbol, the blue arrow denoting the bridleway status of the path and the image of the curlew in flight denoting the Nidderdale Way. This long-distance circular footpath is 53 miles long and takes in the best rural paths and landmarks within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The obvious stone track descends steadily with a bank of open moorland sloping up to the right. Continue just until the point that the track swings right, with a large spoil heap ahead. Turn left here onto the footpath downhill between the spoil heaps. (NOTE: this path can be a little intermittent, but the landowner had kindly marked it with small orange arrows stapled to various objects when we walked). Continue down on the rough path to reach the corner of a stone wall and turn right to follow the path with the wall running on the left.

As you reach the fenced mine shaft ahead, follow the path veering right (away from the wall) and pause for a moment to take in the view to your right. In the foreground you will see the spoil heaps and mining remains and in the background you will see the rolling green hills of Nidderdale. This mine is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and represents a comprehensive late 18th and 19th century lead mine and processing complex. The earliest lease of the mine dates from 1781 and the mine was abandoned in 1889.

Follow the path continuing its descent, taking particular care where it becomes slippery on the gravel spoil heaps. At the very bottom, cross the large footbridge over Ashfold Side Beck.

Ashfold Bridge to Low Wood Bridge
Ashfold Bridge to Low Wood Bridge

Start point: 54.0909 lat, -1.8196 long
End point: 54.0927 lat, -1.7894 long

At the far side of the bridge, pass through the gate and turn right to follow the stone path which hugs the side of the hill. This leads you up to a junction with a wide stone track. Turn right along this track and follow it down through a gate and on winding through the valley bottom to pass through a second gate.

Now follow the stone track meandering ahead for some distance, with the pretty Ashfold Side Beck visible down to the right. Eventually you will cross an old cattle grid and then the track becomes a tarmac lane leading you past caravan sites on the left. At the bottom of the slope you will have the beck running immediately to your right, passing through more caravans. Where the lane forks, continue on the left-hand branch over the cattle grid (or using the gate alongside). A few paces later keep left again, staying on the main tarmac lane.

Pass alongside the next cattle grid and continue around the right-hand bend. On the left you will see a fingerpost marking where the Nidderdale Way heads up to your left. Do NOT take this, instead stay ahead on the main lane for a further 90 paces and then turn right through a metal gate into Low Wood Caravan Site (passing its toilet block on your right). Keep ahead to cross the bridge over the beck.

Low Wood Bridge to Tarmac Lane
Low Wood Bridge to Tarmac Lane

Start point: 54.0927 lat, -1.7894 long
End point: 54.0848 lat, -1.7957 long

At the far side of the bridge, pass through the gate and bear right on the stone track leading you uphill. At the junction at the top of the slope, bear left to join a grass track between stone walls. As you approach a house ahead, the track swings right then turn left over a narrow footbridge.

Beyond the bridge, bear right through a kissing gate and follow the grass path climbing steadily with a wall running on the left. As you climb, take time to enjoy the views to the right and behind. At the top of the first long pasture, pass through the gate ahead and stay ahead, passing through another gateway soon afterwards to reach a T-junction with a stone track.

Turn left (heading uphill) for just a few paces and then, where the track swings left, fork right to join a subtle grass path across the centre of the pasture. The path leads you over the brow of the hill and on to reach a kissing gate. Pass through this and you will emerge to a T-junction with a single track tarmac lane.

Tarmac Lane to End
Tarmac Lane to End

Start point: 54.0848 lat, -1.7957 long
End point: 54.0755 lat, -1.8043 long

Turn right along the lane and cross the cattle grid (or use the gate alongside). Further along the lane leads you past Low Waite Farm on the right and then, just beyond the brow of the hill, fork left onto the stone entrance drive for Ivinwaite Farm (signed as a public bridleway to Toft Gate).

Follow this access track, climbing for some distance. Just before a cattle grid, fork right to join a grass track between sections of old stone wall. Pass through the gate ahead and follow the grass path which climbs and leads you to the right of Coldstonesfold Farm. At this point the path becomes a tarmac lane, simply follow this ahead still climbing up the valley side. Eventually the lane leads you to a left-hand bend where you will see the entrance gate for Thorsarch that you also saw on the outward leg. From this point you will be retracing your steps back up the hill to the car park.

To do this, turn left through the wooden gate and cross this first pasture at about 11 o’clock to reach the gated squeeze stile. Pass through this and cross the second pasture at about 1 o’clock, passing to the right of the stone barn to reach the wide gate within the top stone wall. Go through the gate into the third and final pasture. Follow the path to the left which swings steadily right with a stone wall running on the left. At the top, cross the stone stile, cross the road with care and you will come to the car park where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 responses to "Greenhow and Nidderdale Way"

Lovely walk that is quite challenging. Some areas are quite remote and navigation is quite difficult as not all the paths are clearly signed as footpaths. (I would suggest using the app so that you can check the live map and make sure you are still on the right track.)

By Richard on 2015-06-26 19:50:38

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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3 images to "Greenhow and Nidderdale Way"

4627_0Richard1434987148 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Perhaps this is where Rudyard Kipling looked out and wrote his poem - On Greenhow Hill.
4627_1Richard1434987148 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
The victorian sighting tower.
4627_2Richard1434987148 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Some of the mine workings that you see just after the ford.

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