The Walking column with Tim Ledbetter, owner of Sypeland Outdoors Countrywear and Mountain Sports
It has been a busy month: The Pateley Bridge In Bloom Group have been busy tidying up the High Street - taking out our summer bedding displays and putting over 200 geraniums to bed.
Green fingers crossed and a lot of plant cuttings later and I am sure we will have even bigger and better displays for Pateley Bridge in 2020.
This week Ann Brett, Sarah Jones and I went along to see our friends at Harrogate Borough Council Central Nurseries. We toured their many greenhouses and chose some wonderful winter plants. After filling two cars to the brim and carefully driving back to Pateley we have once again planted out the High Street tubs and planters.
These are sponsored by many of our local businesses through the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade who entered Pateley Bridge in the Britain In Bloom competition.
Over the past month more than 70 people have come to my shop, Sypeland Outdoors, to collect their free badge for walking the Nidderdale Way. I remember particularly two gents who had travelled from Malta to walk in beautiful Nidderdale. They, like many others, had heard the BBC radio series, “Ramblings” presented by Claire Balding OBE. Although this programme was first aired nearly three years ago the programme is still available to listen to at www.nidderdale.co.uk
As the nights are drawing in and the days are getting shorter I, like many people, find there is less opportunity to go for a decent walk. However, the other week I went for a great night hike led by the Scouts at Masham. The Scouts led the younger Cubs up Pen Hill in Wensleydale. They planned the route, learnt about grid references and contours on a map and discussed the most important things to take with them in their rucksacks on their mini adventure. Much good equipment was suggested: waterproofs, hats, maps, etc. but my favourite suggestion from one eager Scout was ‘common sense’ – difficult to pack but essential out in the hills.
The walk went well and Scouts, Cubs and helpers all had a great time.
A favourite walk I would like to share with you starts at Lofthouse and is known as the Dale Edge Circular. It is easy to follow from Ordnance Survey map 298 and is approximately nine miles long. Start at Lofthouse, follow the road through the village and start to climb the hill known as Trapping Hill.
You will soon see a footpath sign on your left – follow this path which, in turn, becomes a lovely grassy track.
At Thorpe Farm take the footpath that leads up to the right through a gate by the barn. The path rises steeply for a short distance and eventually emerges out onto open moor. The shooting house has the look of a tiny church perched high on the hill and is a fabulous place for a short break where you can ponder the view over the dale to Great Whernside.
From here you follow the good track round the “Dale Edge” all the way to Scar Reservoir and across the dam. At the end of the dam turn right then follow the first footpath track on the left. This track is part of the Nidderdale Way and takes you back to Middlesmoor. Work your way through the village turning left to the church.
Spend some time to admire one of the best views of Nidderdale from the churchyard then take the footpath to the right of the church gate back through the fields to Lofthouse. As ever, if you need any help with routes call in and see me and I will be happy to help you on the right path.