Walk: Fascinating history lesson around Pateley Bridge
This walk, courtesy of the Walking Englishman, is a lovely wander around the Pateley Bridge area, and is also a fascinating history lesson.
The walk starts in the town and takes in the lovely Fishpond Wood near Bewerley, then heads west over deep green meadows covered in swathes of buttercup and vetch, eventually arriving at the edge of Coldstones Quarry at Greenhow.
Coldstones is a working quarry with accommodation for a viewing of modern quarrying techniques should you wish to visit. The route goes past the quarry and round Bewerley Moor to visit old lead workings at the disused Cock Hill and Providence Mines. There are lots of information boards at the mines to read about the history of lead mining in the area.
After the history lesson on mining, return to Pateley Bridge via Ashfold Side. It is a walk full of interest throughout and a must for connoisseurs of the area’s industrial heritage.
Begin on the bridge in Pateley Bridge town centre which crosses the River Nidd. Head over the bridge to the starting point of the Bewerley Industrial Heritage Trail.
Set off by climbing steadily up the B6265 for a few yards before turning left and walking through Bewerley village. The designated trail misses the village and takes a path over Sugar Hill to the side of Fishpond Wood.
Don’t do it - instead walk through the village and turn right along the first lane you come to. Follow the lane, due west for about 200 yards until you reach a sign pointing into the wood. This takes you through the wood past Fishpond.
Leave Fishpond Wood and rejoin the trail, heading for the meadow fields. There are colours everywhere set against the deep green background of the grass.
Amble through the wild meadowland and ascend to Moor Houses via Haver Garth and Gillbeck Farm. After Moor Houses leave the colourful path behind and cross a metalled road to join low moorland fields. The colours are sparser now as you approach the edge of Coldstones Quarry.
The trail guide informs that it is possible to visit the quarry and see the working from a visitor gantry.
Cross a quarry road you come across the second information board of the heritage trail. This informs you are now near old medieval mine workings.
Mounds are still evidence of this industrial past which began in the 10th century under the control of the Byland and Fountains monastic houses.
Move on to Tewit Farm and crossed the Greenhow Hill Road into Galloway Pasture, which leads to the highest point of the walk near Greenhow Hill Top. Make your way over the pasture past a host of old mine shafts and cross the B6265 for the second time and make your way onto Cock Hill. This leads down to the disused workings of Cock Hill Lead Mine.
From Cock Hill Mine walk along Brandstone Beck for a short distance, then climb up a bridleway to Near Hardcastle. This takes you to the Nidderdale Way (SE121657) where you turn left and walk a short distance to the final industrial site Providence (or Prosperous) Mine. This mine is set in a wonderful location by Ashfold Side Beck.
After surveying the mining site, move on over the wooden bridge and follow Ashfold Side to Low Wood.
You are now on the return to Pateley Bridge, walking though the largest of caravan parks that nestle by the side of the beck for quite some time until emerging into open land at Corn Close.
Then make your way across fields to the side of the River Nidd and enjoy a short walk back into Pateley Bridge.