From Coverdale to Colsterdale overlooking Nidderdale is a long moorland trek. It is enjoyable if you like solitude, large skies, uniform terrain and exploring little visited dales. It is, in fact, typical Dales.
One of the great pleasures in walking the Yorkshire Dales is crossing the vast moors between the dales, rarely trodden and often remote, they then drop down in to a valley almost untouched by the modern world. This walk from the lower reaches of Coverdale and visiting Colsterdale is one such walk.
I headed off with Mist and never saw a soul for 12 miles, although to be fair an error in navigation did put me on a moor that no self respecting person (or dog) should be on. Certainly the return trip over Masham Moor and the ‘Haws’ is not to be undertaken lightly with some of the marked paths intermittent at best. West Scrafton and Caldbergh are idyllic dales villages and a joy to walk through as is the quiet valley of Colsterdale, isolated farms and shooting huts the only buildings that are passed.
The route offers two options at the top of Colsterdale, I took the longer detour towards South Haw for the views of Nidderdale (although the reservoirs are agonisingly out of sight) – the path that cuts south after Dawson House I cannot vouch for but it starts well enough.
The paths around the summit of Little Haw and towards Nidderdale are tricky to follow. I ended up looking over to Nidderdale having waded through some thick heather. It is a walk where taking a bearing with a compass is important. Being in some thick ground at time also slows the walk down.
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