Pateley Bridge Panorama Walk

Walk Summary

A short but enjoyable walk with my wife and two young nephews from Pateley Bridge to Glasshouses via the Panorama Walk before returning alongside the River Nidd.

Distance: 3 miles
Total ascent: 640ft
Walk Rating: ****
Parking: Car park, Pateley Bridge
Route: Download Route [GPX]

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Walk Report

I am blessed, not only with a daughter, but also lots of beautiful nieces and nephews. I’ve had the pleasure of taking a number of them out for walks of varying kinds. It was still something of a surprise though when two of my youngest nephews, Daniel and Jake, announced that they wanted to go on a ‘big boy walk with Uncle Matthew’.

Aged 4 and 3 respectively I obviously couldn’t take them on the kind of ‘big boy’ walks that I do. I did however immediately think of taking them on this walk, one that I have happy memories of doing with my daughter when she was their age. Thankfully Lisa was coming along with us so I didn’t have to worry about carrying them both if they got too tired!

“Having been on an enclosed path most of the way Daniel and Jake immediately ran into the grassy pasture – and promptly both fell over. Judging by the smiles on their faces this was a most enjoyable activity.”

Starting from the riverside car park in Pateley Bridge the walk is really quite simple. Turning up the high street we carried on up the main road as it bends round to the right until we came to a green sign saying ‘Panorama Walk’. This led us steeply up an enclosed path, initially between houses, to the entrance to the churchyard of St Mary’s. Here we made a slight detour to the edge of the churchyard for a wonderful view of Pateley Bridge.

Continuing on we came to the Panorama Walk proper. Formerly known as Knott Lane, the Panorama Walk was renamed as such in 1887 when it became a popular promenade for Victorians. Today the name does not quite fit the views as for the most part they are obscured by trees and hedges. Even if there had have been some views Daniel and Jake were not tall enough to see over the walls. The climb up to the Panorama Walk is a steady one and quite steep for little legs. They both did brilliantly.

A short way along we came to an iron gate on the right which leads on to a crag. Known simply as ‘The Rock’ it has iron railings around it to stop anyone falling off. It is the best viewpoint on this stretch of the walk and the first time Daniel and Jake could properly see across to Guise Cliff on the other side of the valley. An information board shows how much more open the views used to be and once again how trees now largely obscure the panorama.

Continuing on the rather panorama-less Panorama Walk we eventually came to the small collection of houses at Knott. A steep drop down a minor road led us to the outskirts of Glasshouses. Turning left we then took a path signposted through a field. Having been on an enclosed path most of the way Daniel and Jake immediately ran into the grassy pasture – and promptly both fell over. Judging by the smiles on their faces this was a most enjoyable activity.

At the bottom of the field we briefly turned on to a street in Glasshouses before turning down a lovely little enclosed path. Again it was quite steep and it was quite sweet to watch Daniel take his little brother’s hand to make sure he didn’t fall. At the bottom of this path we walked back on to the road and joined the riverside footpath that would take us back to Pateley Bridge.

Almost immediately we came to Glasshouses Lake. A bench on a small platform provided us with the perfect place to have our picnic. From the lake it was then an easy walk back to Pateley Bridge along the riverside path. Well it was easy for us. My nephew’s were by this time starting to tire. They did however soon regain their energy when we reached Pateley Bridge. We’d promised them an ice cream if they were good on the walk. Duly obliging we then took them to the playground to finish off what had been a lovely few hours in their company. When I asked Daniel what his favourite bit had been he said, “all of it”. You can’t ask better than that!

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