How Stean Gorge

  • First class limestone gorge (at a charge)
  • Join the Nidderdale Way
  • Good views down the valley

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. This is pitch black so bring a torch as I would not fancy tackling the low ceiling and uneven, wet floor without one. 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 (£5 or £16) is too much for many.

The best way to make use of your financial output is to pocket it 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.

Recommend: Route Change. 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.

Download GPX file

The map below will be amended with the new route via Middlesmoor shortly.

How Stean Gorge 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 091735. There is parking for those using the facilities of the Gorge and some parking in the nearby layby but it may be best to start the walk from the pretty villages of Lofthouse or Middlesmoor.
Height to Climb: 61 ms (200 feet)
Terrain: The rocks in the gorge when I was there were exceptionally slippy but fair play no Health & Safety warnings. The walk away from the gorge is on good tracks.
Eating & Drinking: The cafe at High Stean Gorge is very good. Wholesome English fodder comes to mind. The pub at Middlesmoor is fine for a pint as well.
Similar Walks Nearby: Lost World of Dallowgill
A walk to Brimham Rocks
The Beautiful River Nidd
Places to Stay:


Talbot House, Pateley BridgeLyndale GH