Scot Gate Quarry

Scot Gate and Wath

Walk Summary

A short walk from Pateley Bridge up to the old Scot Gate quarries via an old tramway before taking the high road to Wath and returning via Gouthwaite Reservoir and the River Nidd.

Distance: 5.5 miles
Total ascent: 975ft
Walk Rating: ****
Parking: Car park, Pateley Bridge
Route: Download Route [GPX]

Photo Gallery

Walk Report

As so often seems to happen on a bank holiday weekend the weather wasn’t great. I didn’t go out on Saturday and Sunday started off quite wet. Matters began to improve early in the afternoon so I decided to go out for a shortish walk. In the end I picked this pleasant walk, one that I’d first done back in January 2007.

Starting from one of the car parks in Pateley Bridge I walked up the main street before turning left on to Church Street. Passing St Cuthbert’s Church I continued on along Wath Road. Just after crossing a bridge I took a stone step stile on the right. This provided access to a thin path above a grassy groove. This path follows the course of an inclined tramway which once served the Scot Gate Quarry high above. The path steepened as I entered some woods for a short pull up to the top of the tramway.

“The first time I did this walk the Nidd was in flood and the volume of water dropping down from the dam was quite awe inspiring. This time there was hardly a trickle. “

At the top there was a great view back down the valley and down to Pateley Bridge. Set back just from the top were the remains of the tramway’s winding house against a back drop of Scot Gate Quarry. Turning left a path skirted the quarries on my right with a drop to the left providing more fine views of Nidderdale.

Eventually the path led me on to Wath Lane. My initial plan had been to make a detour up to the trig point on High Bishopside. I’d visited the trig point twice before but on neither occasion did I get a satisfactory picture of the view from the trig point. Unfortunately though the skies, so promising on my drive out to Pateley, had clouded over again. Therefore I decided to omit the trig point and continue left along Wath Lane.

The road soon began its descent towards Wath. Despite the overcast skies there was a fine view ahead of the foot of Gouthwaite Reservoir. On the far side of the reservoir patches of light illuminated Mark Hill and the upper reaches of Burn Gill. Eventually Wath Lane joined Wath Road. Turning right I entered the little village to turn right again and take a track entering Spring Wood.

Almost immediately I came across some fine displays of rhododendrons either side of the track. Gradually winding up the track passed the house at Spring Wood Top. Just passed this is an old quarry. I was looking forward to trying to get a photo of the waterfall that I’d seen before dropping into the quarry. Sadly though it was on this occasion dry.

After leaving the woods the track began to descend providing good views of Gouthwaite Reservoir. At a gate I doubled back left to take a slanting path descending towards the reservoir’s dam. The first time I did this walk the Nidd was in flood and the volume of water dropping down from the dam was quite awe inspiring. This time there was hardly a trickle.

After passing the dam I spotted a couple of black rabbits next to the path as I followed the Nidd downstream to return to Wath. Crossing over the road I continued on the footpath through a field. This soon joined a small embankment. This was the course of the Nidd Valley Light Railway. The railway opened in 1908 to initially transport men and materials to the head of the dale for the construction of Angram Reservoir.

Continuing on the path entered some woods where I passed the confluence of Foster Beck with the River Nidd. Not long after I crossed the Nidd at a footbridge. Turning left I followed the path between the river and a large caravan park to emerge on to the Pateley Bridge Recreation Ground. With absolutely typical timing the sun chose this moment to break through the clouds again. Indeed the sun stayed out as I drove home after finishing the walk.

Although the cloudy skies for the majority of the walk was a mild annoyance this was still a nice little walk. When visiting Pateley Bridge I usually do the Panorama Walk. This is a nice slightly longer alternative in which the views are actually much better than the Panorama Walk. Indeed the views on the descent of Wath Lane are some of the best that Nidderdale has to offer.

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