Between Harrogate and Knaresborough is a fine bit of countryside where the River Nidd flows through a deep gorge. The Nidd Woods walk from Knaresborough takes you through some open countryside, the lovely village of Old Bilton as well as the lovely woodland.
This is a lovely stretch of riverside walking. The woodland is beautiful, the paths wide and on te day I walked it the dabble light made for a memorable walk. Nidd Woods have also an historical context, the viaduct and mill part of the industrial heritage of the area. Look carefully amongst the woods and you will also find some more ancient remains going back to the Iron Age. The woodland itself is a mix of broadleaf, better on the southern banks. It is more managed on the northern banks.
The initial part of the walk travels through open countryside and has its own interest. Conygham Hall and Bilton Hall reflect the age of Georgian splendour, particularly Bilton where the grounds sweep down impressively to Knaresborough. Before arriving at the unspoilt village of Old Bilton the modern world intercedes in the form of a large campsite with lovely views to the east. Before arriving here it is possible to shorten the walk by cutting along a path that joins the main walk at the foot bridge across the River Nidd.
There is a mix of forestry tracks and riverside paths in the woods. The tracks are easy and quick, the paths nearest the river more interesting. I varied it and used the forestry tracks only when I wanted to hurry up.
When planning a walk which has half the walk in woodland and half through a more exposed landscape then it is beneficial to choose which way to walk. On this walk I have suggested starting by heading west on the exposed track and returning via the woodland this may not be the best choice. Take in to account the following:
Good choice your first walk. I am from Knaresborough originally & have done that walk a lot. I am in London at present. I haven`t been there since 2019. Before that I have visited occasionally as a holiday. I have never lived in Knaresborough since 1993. Something you may not know about the Gardeners(arms) is that a former landlord had the record of the longest tenure of any landlord of any pub in Harrogate & Knaresborough . I didn`t know any of this myself though I found this out from reading the Nidd Gorge info board. Also you may see Red Kites flying over the route. It`s been a very hot day here today. Could have done with a walk there myself as I did one Easter.
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