Discovering the Upper Nidd

  • A glorious open landscape
  • Plenty of wildlife throughout
  • Understand the nature of reservoirs

I had never visited Upper Nidderdale before I undertook this walk. Officially outside the National Park (designated however ‘an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’) Nidderdale is in reality a great undiscovered wilderness. The word that comes to my mind about Upper Nidderdale is ‘openness’, the panoramas and vistas appear vast and there are no steep hills to spoil the view. It is true however that there is not a lot to see, particularly towards the upper reaches of Angram and Scar House Reservoirs but I treated this as a walk with a difference and certainly was not disappointed. Sadly my overriding memory of this walk was being attacked by an angry pheasant and dive bombed by some gulls at Scar House, something I have not encountered before!

The walk is long but I think it is important to walk up the reservoirs to judge for yourself the impact on the environment and also to take the high bridleway under Dale Edge to enjoy the vastness of this area rather than the more cluttered valley bottom which the Nidderdale Way follows. Finally the names are great; crossing Woo Gill and Trizzling Gill is only surpassed by Dead Man’s Hill (where the bodies of 3 tinkers were discovered….headless). All in all a very enjoyable and educational day.

Recommend: Visit How Stean Gorge near Middlesmoor, exceptional rock scenery.

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Upper Nidd map

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL30 Yorkshire Dales North & Central Buy Map
Start Point: SE 092742. Follow Moor Lane from the car park at the top of Middlesmoor.
Height to Climb: 378 ms (1,240 feet)
Terrain: The route is straightforward throughout on good bridleways except in the last mile from the Shooting House 108753 when the path is more intermittant back to Middlesmoor.
Eating & Drinking: The Crown Inn is a good pub in Middlesmoor although I never seem to find it open! It is 7 miles to Pateley Bridge and the valley seems well endowed with pubs and tea shops.
Similar Walks Nearby: The beautiful River Nidd
Countryside of Pateley Bridge
Brimham Rocks
Places to Stay:


Sweetheart Tea RoomsTalbot House, Pateley Bridge