Bridge to Dacre Banks
point and OS Grid reference:
Bridge – pay and display car park by the river (SE157655)
Explorer 298 - Nidderdale.
Traffic light rating:
(For explanation see My
For advice on .gpx files see
the PDF logo above to give a printable version of this walk without the
view route as a dynamic Ordnance Survey map click here.
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This Nidderdale walk from Pateley
Bridge to Dacre Banks is a mostly very easy walk with just a short section
of about half a mile of steepness out of Bewerley, to which I have allocated
an amber traffic light. There are extensive views across the moors,
especially attractive when the heather is in bloom.
The route takes you past the twin pillars of
Yorke’s Folly, built at the end of the 18th century as a
philanthropic gesture, by the Yorke family, to provide employment during a
recession. Originally there were three pillars but one blew down in 1893.
They were built to resemble the ruin of a religious edifice. From that
point, the walk is level or downhill.
The walk offers splendid views up and down
Nidderdale, some quite dramatic from the section which follows the edge of
Guise Cliff. There is the opportunity for refreshments at the Royal Oak pub
in Dacre Banks before making the return journey.
If you look at the OS map, you will see there
is a return path along the river before Glasshouses. This is tempting but I
think the slightly higher route via Harewell Hall provides better views than
the wooded riverbank. You will drop down to the river anyway at Glasshouses
Dam (fishing lake).
There are public toilets opposite the main
car park in Pateley Bridge where the walk starts and also at the little
village green in Dacre Banks. It is worth commenting that although the car
park in Pateley Bridge is pay and display, it is very reasonably priced. My
walk to Wath,
Gouthwaite Reservoir and the mines and the Pateley
Bridge to Brimham Rocks walk also start here.
If you have time, please pay a visit to the Nidderdale
Museum, tucked away on King Street to the north of Main Street. This is
a fascinating museum of local life with quite a tale to tell about life in
the workhouse. It is very cheap! Check their website for opening times.
From the car park (SE 157655), turn left along the B6265 and just as the
road starts to climb, turn left opposite the Royal Oak pub (not to be
confused with the one at Dacre Banks) signposted Bewerley Park Centre and
Bewerley Hall Farm one mile. Pass the Pateley Bridge auction site on the
Walk through Bewerley, keeping right at the
triangular village green. Pass Bewerley Grange Chapel, a quaint, tiny church
dating from 1494 and built by the Abbot of Fountains Abbey. It is worth a
Pass the end of Peat Lane.
The road crosses over a stream. At the road
junction (SE 158645), turn right signposted “Otley 14 miles”.
The road starts to climb. Pass the entrance to Skrikes Farm and just
after a sharp left hand bend as the road steepens
considerably, leave the road for the footpath on the right following
the fingerpost for “Nidderdale Way” and “Nought Moor ½ mile” (SE
The path climbs steeply towards the trees
(Skrikes Wood), bearing left from the gate. Looking back, Nidderdale begins
to open up.
At the trees, follow the Nidderdale Way
through them along the obvious path. As you come out of the trees, there is
a rather unclear fork. Keep left. To your right you will soon see a curious
structure built into the hillside. Maybe a Hobbit House? But
more likely an old ice house. These were used to store ice from the winter
throughout the year, prior to the invention of the refrigerator.
As you leave the Skrikes Wood
enclosed area via a kissing gate, you briefly cross Nought
Moor before arriving at the road via another kissing gate by a three-way
fingerpost (SE 156637). Go straight over the road to follow the fingerpost
for “Guise Cliff” immediately opposite.
After a brief climb, the path levels out and
you get the first sight of Yorke’s Folly. Follow the path past the folly
and on reaching a three-way footpath “marker” (rather than fingerpost),
turn right through a walkers’ gate. A sign warns of dangerous crevasses
but as long as you stick to the obvious path you should have no problems.
The path follows the course of a wall on your
left and you soon catch sight of the radio mast which you will pass in due
course. To the right on the horizon, you may notice the trig. point at High
Crag but we do not go there. Continue to follow the path along the wall.
After going over a small ladder stile, the
wall drops away but stay on the obvious path. It is worth mentioning that on
the OS map, the Nidderdale way route goes more to the right across the moor
but our route follows the edge of Guise Cliff, for the fabulous dramatic
views. The well walked path is clear.
The radio mast will have disappeared from
view but don’t panic! You come back to it.
The path turns right at the end of an old
stone wall (SE 170632). Keep to the right of the wall here as there are
steep drops the other side. You are close to the radio mast here and the
path swings round to pass to its right. The “golf balls” of the Menwith
Hill RAF (or mainly USAF) “listening” establishment are ahead.
Turn left immediately past the radio mast
then right to follow the Nidderdale Way signs, effectively along the access
route to the mast. When it joins another broad track leading to a house,
Go through a gate by the house “Hill Top”
and a three-way fingerpost and follow the sign for “Heyshaw”, along the
main track, ignoring the track off to the left just after the house.
Heyshaw is a tiny hamlet. Turn left in its
centre and follow the fingerpost for “Dacre Banks” you will soon see,
just past the entrance to Heyshaw Farm and crossing a stone stile. Go over
the small wooden stile across the track and head for the ladder stile which
you can see.
Once over the ladder stile, head for the left
corner of the plantation ahead (SE 177617). From here, follow the edge of
the trees and through the courtyard area of Lanes Foot Barn, to follow the
broad track round to the right.
At a major crossroad of tracks at Lane Foot
Farm (SE 182615). Turn left along Monk Ing Road, following the fingerpost
for “Dacre Banks”. Pass the entrance to Northwoods. As the broad track
turns left for “Eastwoods”, keep straight ahead on the Nidderdale Way
through the little stile, heading gently downhill.
This next section of path is a little
indistinct but to the right is a tumbledown wall. Head for the left hand end
of this, where there is a stone step stile (SE 188617). Follow the fence
line along for 70/80 yards to a wooden stile. Cross this and go through the
accompanying walkers’ gate.
Follow the right hand boundary of the next
two fields and at the end of the second one, go through a walkers’ gate in
the right hand corner. Follow the obvious path round the right hand border
of the next field to the farm and go through the farmyard to follow its
access track, to the right.
The track curves right then, just before
reaching the house, which looks like a converted chapel with long windows,
turn left through a narrow kissing gate (SE 194620 and follow the left hand
boundary of the next two fields.
Go through the walkers’ gate at the bottom
of the second field (you cannot see this until you get to it) and turn
right, to follow the tarmac lane. As it swings left, keep straight ahead
down the little footpath.
On arrival in “suburbia”, turn left to
join the main road (the B 6451).
To visit the Royal Oak, turn right, then left
at the telephone box at the corner of the small village green. Otherwise,
Head north along the B6451 and turn left on
Cabin Lane (SE 197622), just before the filling station. Then turn
immediately right along Harewell Lane, following the public footpath
fingerpost. Pass behind Holy Trinity Church.
Stay on the broad track ignoring any turns
off and after passing the sign for Harewell House, fork right. The track
ends at a gate. Follow the right hand boundary of the field beyond the gate.
At the end of this field, join a broad track
and turn right. You pass Harewell Hall with its stone mullion windows. This
is a Grade II listed building dating from 1662. Turn left as you get close
to the Hall along a concrete track. The viaduct for the now defunct railway
line can be seen shortly, to the right.
Stay on the concrete track and when it forks
by a small pond, go right. The concrete gives way to tarmac. Follow this
down to the river bridge, cross it and turn left along the footpath, passing
Glasshouses Dam fishing lake. The fingerpost tells you it is 1¼
miles to Pateley Bridge.
Stay on the riverside path to Pateley Bridge,
turning left over the river bridge to return to the car park.
If you need to buy any
hiking equipment/clothing before your trip see the Hiking
All information on this
site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any
damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.