A fascinating little walk from Lofthouse to Goyden Pot before tracing the course of the Nidd downstream until its re-emergence at Nidd Heads.
|Parking:||Car park in Lofthouse|
|Route:||Download Route [GPX]|
For the second weekend in a row my friend Paul was down from Co. Durham with several hours on his hands while his wife attended an art class in Harrogate. So it was that, after visiting How Stean Gorge and Woodale Moss the weekend before, we headed back up into upper Nidderdale for this largely low level walk from Lofthouse.
Parking in the car park next to the village institute we dropped down a path to a footbridge over the River Nidd. Just above the bridge the river drops down a series of small rocky ledges, a charming scene. Having crossed the bridge we continued upstream to visit Nidd Falls. A delightful waterfall, it is somewhat surprising that it doesn't warrant a mention on the Ordnance Survey map.
"Continuing north we reached the blocked off former railway tunnel. Here we were greeted by the rather surprising sight of a number of men with shotguns, presumably out pheasant shooting."
Continuing up the valley we attempted to follow the public right of way as it leads to Thrope Bridge. For much of the time there was precious little evidence of a path on the ground and signage was fairly non-existant. The path has probably fallen into disuse as it is easier to remain on the access road to Scar House Reservoir, this is a shame as there was a particularly nice section in woodland alongside the river.
Eventually we reached Thrope Bridge where we finally joined the Scar House access road. Continuing north we reached the blocked off former railway tunnel. Here we were greeted by the rather surprising sight of a number of men with shotguns, presumably out pheasant shooting. It was a bit disconcerting when we were only metres away and they all suddenly reacted to a call by raising their guns and blazing away in the opposite direction. To be doing this on the road itself seemed highly dangerous.
Moving away from the shooters and their bloodthirsty pursuits we dropped down to the river which, after a very wet winter, was rather too wide and full to attempt to cross to Manchester Hole on the opposite bank. Instead we walked downstream to view the incredible sight of Goyden Pot swallowing the entire River Nidd.
Continuing above the now dry riverbed we were briefly diverted from the river by Limley Farm. Once past the farm and its usual pack of dogs chained up in the yard we dropped back down to the riverside. Still largely dry, apart from a few pools, the riverbed did not begin to fill up again until being fed by How Gill just beyond the covered entrance to New Goyden Pot.
Shortly after we arrived at Thrope Farm where we joined Thrope Lane. A bit muddy in places it is for large stretches a fine grassy track with good views over this part of the dale. It was a day of sunshine and showers and we encountered a particularly wintry shower shortly before arriving back in Lofthouse.
To complete the walk we did a small loop to Nidd Heads to visit the place where the Nidd bursts back into the open air after its long subterranean journey since being swallowed by Goyden Pot. It is a fine spot which is easily missed as it emerges from caves under the road itself.
I don't do many purely low level walks but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The walk itself, tracing the journey of the Nidd, was quite fascinating. At the same time it proved a welcome respite, for a few hours at least, from the stresses and pressures I was feeling at the time.