Nidderdale Way: Anyone done it?

17 messages
07/03/2012 at 19:44

Has anyone done the Nidderdale Way?

We're looking at it for three days over the Easter weekend.  In particular are there sensible discrete camping spots?

We were thinking about doing it in three days starting from Hampsthwaite going in a cloackwise direction but any suggestions of how to break it up into three days are welcome.


07/03/2012 at 20:03
Heck of a long time ago... but I walked it. The route is like a stretched figure-of-eight, with Pateley Bridge in the middle. That said, if you were really tough you could walk it in two days from Pateley Bridge... but the daily distances would be around 29 and 24 miles. If you're going to start from Hampsthwaite, then a three-day route might look more like... Hampsthwaite to Pateley Bridge at 17 miles... a circuit from Pateley Bridge to Middlesmoor and back in 24 miles... and back to Hampsthwaite in 12 miles. Of course, this all revolves around Pateley Bridge, where you wouldn't find the ideal wild camp.
07/03/2012 at 22:36

Thanks Paddy.  It seems that the most recent book is Paul Hannon's (1998) , which is a whopping £3.97 from Amazon.

For those who are wondering what it is:

"Nidderdale Way

Devised in the early 1980s, the Nidderdale Way is a 53-mile waymarked route in North Yorkshire. The Way encircles the valley of the River Nidd by means of a wide and varied range of footpaths, bridleways and country roads, taking a course up one side of the valley and returning down the other. As such, the outward and return legs are never far apart, making it very accessible to the day walker: the finest means of tackling it, however, is as a four-day walk.

Nidderdale is the easternmost and probably least known major valley of the Yorkshire Dales, and it concedes nothing to its National Park neighbours. Indeed, the vast majority of the Nidderdale Way is within the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a belated recognition of the exceptional scenic qualities of this landscape. The Way enjoys a delightful route that takes in the vast majority of the dale's attractions, including the natural features of Brimham Rocks and How Stean Gorge, the holes of Goyden Pot and Manchester Hole, the reservoirs of Scar House and Gouthwaite, the landmarks of Yorke's Folly and Guise Cliff and the sleepy villages of Ramsgill and Wath."

The Nidderdale Way

Having now plotted the route in Viewranger it seems that the whole thing is well furnished with campsites at sensible points and so though the preference would be for discrete wild spots, we will have plenty of options.

Edited: 07/03/2012 at 22:44
07/03/2012 at 23:10

Paddy you omit to say what a nice walk it is.

DD try ,  he has some notes on his trip.

I would look at the map at 18 and 36 miles and see if there are opportunities within a half a mile even off the trail to wild camp. Not so easy for more than one and you do say we.

It helps to think about eating arrangements. If I can I have teatime meal and walk on to secluded spot, then you don't have stoves and noise where you sleep; similar in the morning break camp quickly and breakfast after an hours walking at a nice spot, which is likely to be better than where you where hidden away.

Alternatively pack everything away and then make a brew. Then if asked you can say you just stopped to make a drink.

07/03/2012 at 23:18
SD wrote (see)
Paddy you omit to say what a nice walk it is.

The guy's already going to do it, so doesn't need any encouragement from me. I was just supplying a few facts and figures.

07/03/2012 at 23:31

I'm not sure it's going to have quite the 'rugged terrain' of the GR20, eh Paddy?!  Writing that trip report I posted the other week has brought back loads of great memories.

But my wife's coming on this walk and we needed something a bit off the peg, doable in three days and close to home.

From the Hillisde Publications website:

 "...the vast majority of the Nidderdale Way is within the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a belated recognition of the exceptional scenic qualities of this landscape."

Doesn't look too shabby at all.

08/03/2012 at 09:23
Sorry Paddy regarding my uneeded comment, up to me to say it is a good walk.
08/03/2012 at 09:26

Quite bizarre that Nidderdale never got to be part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park... although it is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I wrote a feature about the Nidderdale Way a long time ago and the editor gave it the title... 'The Dale That Got Away'.

09/04/2012 at 22:46
Duncan, did you go and how was the camping? I am thinking of trying this for my first attempt to take my terrier camping. I don't really mind if its wild camping or site except that being lambing/still little lamb season I'm assuming it'll be hard to find a sheep free wild camp where I could sleep with the terrier so I will be better off in sites. I'd be interested to hear where you slept.

11/04/2012 at 18:49

There are an awful lot of lambs about on the route!

Because others came, we stayed on sites with a route of:

1. Dacre Banks to Ripley (leaving the car in the public car park next to the pub in Dacre Banks).  Campsite = Ripley Caravan Park.  They take campers but were a bit sniffy.

 2. Ripley to Pateley Bridge. Campsite = Riverside Caravan Park.  They were incredibly friendly and welcoming of hikers.

3. PB to just beyond Middlesmoor.  Campsite = Studfold Farm.

4. Studfold Farm to Dacre Banks.

11/04/2012 at 19:00

I should have said that the above route makes it a 3.5 day walk.  We wanted a decent Good Friday breakfast and then to set off after lunch on day one, hence the half day.  For anyone remotely fit 3.5 days will be very comfortable.

11/04/2012 at 21:43
Thanks Duncan that's a great help. I don't feel remotely fit, so 3.5 days will be lovely.

Little lambs.. well the dog is a Westie and since I've had him he doesn't seem to get overly excited at sheep. Obviously will keep him on a non flex lead. There also seem to be areas of access land on the route where I can't take him at all, even on a lead.
31/12/2012 at 10:09
31/12/2012 at 20:23

Paddy,Iv'e always understood the Uredale Way to be the" one that got away".I did this many years ago following the River Ure obviously ,from the east coast to the west side of the Pennines  past Kirkby Stephen. Reputedly the only river with it's source on the west side flowing into the sea on the east coast. Cheers.

31/12/2012 at 21:10

Pathwise maybe but Wensleydale is certainly in the Yorkshire dales

I've done large parts along the Ure too, although only from Kirkby Stephen to just outside York. Probably the wrong way round as there's so much to see in terms of waterfalls in upper Wensleydale but further down is rather less interesting. Not terrible but too much farland/overgrown paths/cows.

Maybe better if I'd managed to fit a diversion to fountains/Studley royal in. Or timed it so that Beninbrough was open!

The source of the Swale is very nearly as far West as the Ure. Which actually suggests a rather logical walk - loop from KS to the confluence of the Ure/Swale along one dale and then back again along the other.

21/04/2013 at 20:39

I live in Nidderdale.  I am SO lucky to have this on my doorstep.  Happy to advise anyone about camping, eateries and good beer!


14/10/2015 at 00:21


I did in pretty much did it one blast - but splitting the walk into two sections which you could do in two separate days if you wanted.

You can read all about it here:

Hope you enjoy reading about the walk.


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