A charge (£7 in 2020) will take you in to the wooded How Stean Gorge. The limestone gorge is spectacular. Approach the gorge from Middlesmoor, the open moorland offering a pleasant contrast.
How Stean Gorge is a dramatic limestone gorge which cuts through the gill in the higher end of Nidderdale. The full gorge is no more than 300 yards from end to end and include an impressive 100 yard tunnel cave. There is a lot of excellent group tuition and gorge walking advertised but sadly the prices that are charged for the humble walker or more likely the family is a little steep for many. I just wish walks were free and they can make money another way.
The best way to make use of your financial output is to extend the walk and enjoy the river further up stream. Away from the gorge the countryside is excellent for the walker particularly beyond the village of Stean where the land opens out. This is the best part of the Nidderdale Way with wide ranging views and some dramatic scenery. My favourite site though is the lovely profile of Middlesmoor with the late light shining on the buildings and the impressive middle aged church.
The gorge is pitch black so bring a torch as I would not fancy tackling the low ceiling and uneven, wet floor without one.
On the east side of the river at Hazel Close turn left and follow the footpath up hill and in to Middlesmoor and enjoy this lovely village. The public footpath stops half way along the river bank before it reaches the road bridge. From Middlesmoor take the road down to Lofthouse and cross the river back to your start point at the Gorge car park.
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