Woodale Moss

Woodale Moss

Woodale Moss is the name of the highest point of the moor between Middlesmoor and Scar House Reservoir in upper Nidderdale.

Height (m): 459
Height (ft): 1506
Prominence (m): 36
Classification: Four
Hill No: 16360
Grid Ref: SE076761
OS Map OL30, 298
No. of Visits 2

The hill is in fact the terminus of a long, very broad moorland ridge descending from Great Whernside. While the southern and eastern flanks of the hill are largely given to pasture the summit itself is made up of tussocky moorland. Elsewhere, especially around the subsidary top of Rain Stang, heather abounds.

Woodale Moss from Dead Man's Hill on the other side of Scar House Reservoir
Woodale Moss from Dead Man’s Hill on the other side of Scar House Reservoir

Although there are no public rights of way to the summit it is situated on access land and is easily accessible from In Moor Lane. In Moor Lane, which also doubles up as a section of the Nidderdale Way, is the broad track that crosses the moor from Middlesmoor to Scar House Reservoir. To gain the top of Woodale Moss from In Moor Lane leave the latter at grid ref: SE072760. Initially keeping a wall on your right a faint quad track leaves the wall behind to cross the summit.

In Moor Lane as it passes to the west of Woodale Moss and Rain Stang
In Moor Lane as it passes to the west of Woodale Moss and Rain Stang

On my first visit in January 2007 the highest point of Woodale Moss was unmarked. Upon my return nine years later someone has planted a stake very close to the 459m spot height. The view from the summit of the moors and fells above upper Nidderdale is good but lacks any real depth to it.

The stake marked summit of Woodale Moss
The stake marked summit of Woodale Moss

To the north of the summit the grounds suddenly steepens as it drops down over Woodale Scar to High, Middle and Low Woodale. Part of Woodale Scar was quarried for stone which was used in the construction of Scar House Reservoir. The top of the quarry can be visited quite easily from the summit and provides an alternative route back to Scar House Reservoir to the Nidderdale Way.

Looking down on Woodale Quarry
Looking down on Woodale Quarry

Few people have heard of Woodale Moss and probably even fewer have made the detour to the summit. Perhaps more visited is the subsidary top of Rain Stang. Situated a third of a mile to the south-east of the summit, Rain Stang is topped by a concrete Ordnance Survey column and is thus a place of pligrimage for trig point baggers.

The trig point on Rain Stang, a subsidary summit of Woodale Moss
The trig point on Rain Stang, a subsidary summit of Woodale Moss

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