We absolutely love the Nidderdale Greenway walk here at Harrogate Mumbler. It’s great one for all the family, including the dog. It’s part of an old railway line & the main paths are bike, pram and wheelchair friendly (don’t follow the woodland route if you’ve got wheels as there are steps back up. It can be steep in places and paths may include steps and board walks, and it can be slippery in wet weather) The main Nidderdale Greenway runs from Harrogate to Ripley and takes in some spectacular views of Nidd Gorge along the way.
The Nidd Gorge is a magical place where children can see otters, kingfishers, heron, mallard and many other birds. You might even see the lesser spotted bear from Peru! Paddington 2 the Movie was shot in Nidd Gorge where the viaduct takes the Nidderdale Greenway over the Gorge. The Nidd Gorge wood is over 100 acres and made up of five woods, with the river Nidd running through the gorge, dividing the woodland into two equal parts. So there are plenty of different routes and walks to take.
There is an information board near the main entrance on Bilton Lane showing the wood’s extensive footpath network. The car park there is free, but it’s small and does get busy so be warned. If there is no space, you can park at the large carpark in Ripley & do the route the other way round. From the Bilton Lane car park, a pedestrian gate leads to a well-surfaced forest track. The track runs through the wood for around 1.1km (0.7 miles) to the river Nidd and connects with other paths which link with a network leading to Harrogate, Knaresborough and the surrounding area.
Map taken from the National Cycle Network OS Maps. Click to visit website
From Harrogate you can pick up the route from the end of the dragon road pay & display car park (next to Asda carpark). From there the route goes through Bilton and onto Ripley. If little legs can’t walk or cycle that far then you can park on Bilton Lane & pick up the route from there. We often take the bikes & cycle to Ripley & back. it’s probably about 45mins cycle each way, but the lure of Ripley Ice cream or a sausage roll from the tea shop in the Ripley Castle courtyard is usually bribery enough to keep them going!
If you’re walking & the full route to Ripley & back is too long then you can pick up the Number 36 bus in Ripley which goes regularly between Ripon & Harrogate.
The Woodland Walk, recommended by The Woodland Trust is 1.5 miles and should take about 1.25 hours. It’s enjoyable at any time of the year, but brilliant in spring and autumn. Although be warned – some sections do get very muddy!
You can also peel off left or right by the Nidd Gorge viaduct & pick up the Harrogate Ringway. This is a circular walk around Harrogate & Knaresborough. Not one for the feint hearted (it’s 20 miles!) however the section of the walk alongside the River Nidd into Knaresborough is glorious & you can always hop on the train back from Knaresborough into Harrogate!
Sally takes her girls on their bikes and they love it. “We’re all exhausted afterwards, but reward ourselves with a Ripley Ice cream at the half way point” . We went with my little girl in the summer – we took a picnic and had a fab time exploring the woods and making dens. Evie is a regular here too – her dog Bear loves it!