The trig point on Heyshaw Moor

Guise Cliff & Heyshaw Moor

Walk Summary

A short 3.5 mile ramble around Guise Cliff including visits to Yorke’s Folly, Guisecliff Tarn and the trig point on Heyshaw Moor.

Distance: 3.5 miles
Total ascent: 725ft
Walk Rating: *****
Parking: Roadside, Nought Moor
Route: Download Route [GPX]

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Walk Report

Although only short this walk was of great significance. After nearly two months of lockdown restrictions this was the first time I’d been able to travel outside of Harrogate for a walk. On the very first evening that the restrictions were lifted I headed off straight from work.

I was very conscious of not travelling too far and the small parking area on Nought Moor is only about a 15 minute drive from my house. Whilst I had managed to find a great deal of pleasure in my regular walks from the front door, particularly in seeing the changes between early and late spring, it was such a relief to get out in to one of the Dales. Indeed over the previous two months my only glimpse of this part of Nidderdale had been on a clear day whilst walking down Myers Green Lane near Killinghall.

"Returning back to the mast I then enjoyed a walk along the top of Guise Cliff. In a few select places it is safe to venture out on to one of the outcrops and enjoy some of the spectacular views of Nidderdale."

From the car park I first made a short detour through the nearby gate and then on the thin path to the right to visit Crocodile Rock. Nothing to do with the hit single by Elton John, this Crocodile Rock is a large gritstone outcrop that has a good view of Nidderdale between Pateley Bridge and Glasshouses. Returning to the parking area I then crossed the road to take the path climbing up to Yorke’s Folly. Known locally as ‘Two Stoops’, Yorke’s Folly was built in the late 18th century by the Yorke family to provide work for the poor. There were originally three pillars but one came down in a storm in 1893.

Just beyond Yorke’s Folly the path splits. I took the option heading into the woods. The path was not always easy to follow but eventually I made my way to a gap in a wall. From here I took a clearer path heading downhill through the woods. Here and there patches of bluebells added colour to the woodland floor.

Turning right on a wider path I followed this round to reach pretty little Guisecliff Tarn, quite a rare example of a woodland tarn. From the tarn I took a path that initially climbed uphill before turning left and levelling off for a while. On emerging out of the woods I was greeted with a fine view looking towards Brimham Rocks on the other side of the valley.

Turning right I climbed uphill towards the mast above Abraham Crags. Instead of turning right to walk along the top of Guise Cliff I first continued on the broad moorland track for just over a third of a mile to visit the trig point on Heyshaw Moor. Situated on top of a large slab of gritstone the views are excellent. In the evening light the view back towards my hometown of Harrogate was particularly fine.

Returning back to the mast I then enjoyed a walk along the top of Guise Cliff. In a few select places it is safe to venture out on to one of the outcrops and enjoy some of the spectacular views of Nidderdale. Care really does need to be taken though as in some areas there are some very deep crevices hidden in the undergrowth.

Eventually the path brought me back to Yorke’s Folly and thence back to the car. Despite clouding over towards the end the weather had been good, the visibility was excellent and although none of this was new to me it still felt absolutely incredible to be free to get out again.

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