Guise Cliff

Guise Cliff

The almost mile long Guise Cliff stands prominently above the small village of Glasshouses and is a major landmark in that part of Nidderdale.

The cliff is formed from a series of steep gritstone buttresses rising from Guisecliff Wood. All but the upper sections of the cliff are hidden by trees and the jumble of rocks and trees at the foot of the crags make access awkward for climbers. Despite this there are still 80 climbing and bouldering routes list for Guise Cliff on the UK Climbing website.

Guise Cliff is largely obscured by a tangle of trees and weather
Guise Cliff is largely obscured by a tangle of trees and weather

Fortunately matters are a bit simpler for walkers who are able to take detours off the thin path running above the crags (not an actual right of way) to stand on top of some of the outcrops and enjoy the superb views up Nidderdale. It should be noted that care does need to be taken as in places thick heather obscures some quite precipitous gaps between some of the rocks.

Glasshouses from Guise Cliff, note the large cleft partly hidden by heather in the foreground
Glasshouses from Guise Cliff, note the large cleft partly hidden by heather in the foreground

Apart from the high crags there are some other features of note on and below Guise Cliff. On the southern end the crag there are some fantastically shaped rocks which are worth looking out for. In the woods below Guise Cliff there is also the delightful Guisecliff Tarn, a rare example of a woodland tarn.

One of the weirdly sculpted rocks on the southern end of Guise Cliff
One of the weirdly sculpted rocks on the southern end of Guise Cliff

Finally, no visit to Guise Cliff would be complete without a visit to another major Nidderdale landmark – Yorke’s Folly. Known locally as Two Stoops, these two stone pillars (a third collapsed in a storm in 1893) were originally built at the behest of the wealthy Yorke family to provide paid work at a time of high unemployment in the late eighteenth century.

Yorke's Folly, also known locally as Two Stoops, is situated above the northern end of Guise Cliff
Yorke’s Folly, also known locally as Two Stoops, is situated above the northern end of Guise Cliff

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