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Nidderdale AONB Walk
Dacre Banks Circular

Region - Nidderdale AONB

County/Area - North Yorkshire - Nidderdale AONB

Author - Allan Friswell

Length - 6.5 miles / 10.6 km    Ascent - 750 feet / 227 metres

Time - 4 hours 0 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SE196619
Lat 54.05269 // Long -1.702112
Postcode HG3 4EL (approx. location only)
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Dacre Banks Circular Photo from the walk - Dacre Banks Circular Photo from the walk - Dacre Banks Circular Photo from the walk - Dacre Banks Circular Photo from the walk - Dacre Banks Circular Photo from the walk - Dacre Banks Circular
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A pleasant ramble through the lovely Nidderdale scenery. The route includes oak and beech woods, part of the former North Eastern Railway track bed, the meanderings of the Nidd river and a section of the Nidderdale Way.

Start close to the Royal Oak pub (grid ref. SE196619) where there is a free car park. On leaving the car park turn right and after a few yard follow the track round to the left, between the buildings, dropping down through the gate on the right almost immediately. Keep the wall on your right as you pass under power lines to the gateway. Cross the next field at 10 o/c. After the stile the path takes you along the river Nidd past the bowling green to the bridge, you climb the steps and cross the bridge. Cross the road, dropping down Riverside Lane which, as it suggests, follows the river, now on your left.

Turn left at the car park and continue along the lane. You soon arrive at the former New York flax mill buildings (now apartments and offices) in Summerbridge, where you turn right, pass the OLD fire station and meet the B6165 road. Turn left and after a few yards cross the road to take the bridle way uphill. You soon pass through Braisty Woods Farm, after which the track bends right, then sharp right passing through a gate and making for Owenwell House. The path is now a concreted affair, but eventually becomes a simple two track bridleway with Braisty Woods on the left.

Go through the gate into Woolwich Farm, passing the pond on the left. Pass through the next gate and follow what is now a more boggy path. You are soon confronted by two more gates - take the left-hand (nearest) one at SE203632, and follow the path through the young oaks of Old Spring Wood. The path is more or less perpendicular to the gate - do not veer off to the left. The wood takes its name from the medieval "sprynge" meaning a coppiced woodland, the coppice branches being used in the manufacture of charcoal. When you reach the road of Hartwith Bank cross to the path at grid ref. SE206631. Keeping close to the wall on your right follow the path past an old water "trough" (grid ref. SE208623). The views of Nidderdale on your right become increasingly panoramic.

There is no waymarking to assist you at this stage but keep moving across the fields via stiles and gates in a South-Easterly direction until you join a walled track and eventually arrives at a four-way signpost (grid ref. SE210624) where you keep straight on towards Hartwith. Pass through a farm yard and on reaching the tarmac Moor Road turn right. Where the road bends left you should go through the gate straight ahead and follow the hedge on your right. The enormous building of the Old Vicarage on your right contrasts sharply with the plainer and smaller church on your left! The hedge cuts away from you, but you should maintain your line downhill to the bridle gate in the hedge opposite (grid ref. SE215615).

Cross the next field at 1 o/c, making for the wall which you then follow to a gate in the corner. The path goes left through the farmyard and you follow it to the main road. Here you turn left and then cross to the bridleway opposite after 90 yards (grid ref. SE214606). Drop to the access track and follow this down to the right towards the farmhouse. There is an ice cream parlour and coffee shop which makes an excellent resting place here! Where the path forks (grid ref. SE211601) take the right hand fork to White Oak Farm, passing through Willie's Wood. As soon as you leave the trees, take the bridlegate on the left, crossing this field at 2 o/c to a series of bridlegates. Then go forward with the hedge on your right. As you approach the river the path rises quite sharply right and then follows the course of the Nidd to the footbridge which you cross.

Keeping the river on your right now, just follow the Nidderdale Way, passing through the gardens of some modern housing. After a couple of stiles continue along the riverside path with the embankment of the former North Eastern Railway branch line rising on your left.

After the stile at grid ref. SE199605 cross the field at about 2 o/c to a visible stone stile in the wall on the right. Turn left then right along the remains of the track bed, with views towards Summerbridge on the right. The track runs through Low Hall Farm, whose farmhouse was built in 1635. Cross a couple of fields beyond the farm and you will see the Royal Oak pub in the distance. Follow the track back to the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 3726 Brimham Rocks Circular - easy - 4.7 miles/7.6 km

Walk 1574 Thruscross Reservoir - easy - 4.5 miles/7.3 km

Walk 1078 Hampsthwaite & Ripley Park - easy - 7.5 miles/12.2 km

Walk 1405 Thruscross Reservoir & Kex Gill Moor from Blubberhouses - easy/mod - 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk 2405 Ripon Rowel Walk Leg 3 - Sawley to Ilton - moderate - 11.0 miles/17.9 km

Walk 1572 Swinsty Reservoir - easy - 3.0 miles/4.9 km

Walk 1358 Ripley & Knox circular - easy - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 3528 Fountains Abbey & Markenfield Hall - moderate - 8.7 miles/14.1 km

Walk 2404 Ripon Rowel Walk Leg 2 - South Stainley to Sawley - easy/mod - 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk 1800 West of Harrogate without a car - easy/mod - 9.0 miles/14.6 km

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