Pateley Bridge has long been a focal point for visitors to Nidderdale. In the 19th century it was a bustling small town whose inhabitants engaged in a variety of agricultural and industrial activities.
Directions for Walk A
Starting in the centre of Pateley Bridge at the river bridge, walk up the high street. Pateley Bridge Club near the top of the high street was the George and Dragon. The garden on the corner is the site of its brewery. Turn right and follow the Harrogate road for approximately 1km. On the left the stone terrace, parallel to the road, was built in 1780 and was home to the first George Metcalfe. Take the right turn signed ‘Harefield Hall’ and follow the drive behind the hotel [A] (as it is a hotel you will need to buy a coffee or a snack to access the gardens) to pick up a path which goes across a field,
downhill to the river. At the river turn left and walk along
the riverbank to Glasshouses (1.5km). Look for the crenelated wall, fine iron bridge [B1], and large Victorian house known as Castlestead [B] with
specimen trees in the garden and a dilapidated summerhouse in the wood. Further on the right, the large pond [B2] supplied Glasshouses Mill.
After passing the pond you arrive at a road, turn left if you wish to see the village [B3], the mill or the weir. Turn right over the river bridge, signed ‘Bewerley Home Farm’ and take the next right to join a footpath alongside the river. When this re-joins the road, take care as there is no pavement. Continue along the road past Bewerley Home Farm. Continue along the road past Tudor House [C] and its packhorse bridge (which may be glimpsed through the trees) to a junction at Turner Bridge
(1.5km). Turn right towards Bewerley and cross to the left side of the road. Cross Peat Lane and shortly after observe the small iron gate into the wood, known as Fishpond Wood. Continue along the pavement to Bewerley Village. As you pass the village green note Swiss Cottage on the left [I] and bear right towards the main road. Cross the road and walk past the old brewery and onto Wath Road to Grassfield House. On the left view Ashfield Villas [J] and Grassfield
House [K]. At Grassfield House cross the road and take the path to the river signed ‘Bessie’s path’. Don’t cross the bridge, instead turn right and walk along the raised banking between the river and the caravan site to the recreation
ground [L] (1km). Follow the path along the river back to the car park. Look across the road to the stone gates at the car park entrance [O].
Directions for Walk B:
Follow Walk A until you reach the iron gate at point 9 and then go through the iron gate and enter Fishpond Wood [E]. Walk up 6 stone steps and follow the worn permissive path to the lake. Alternatively turn left up Peat Lane [no pavement], before you reach the iron gate, and look for a waymark on the right into the wood. Follow the path to the lake and turn left along the southern bank and dam of the lake then follow the footpath around the East side of the lake to the edge of the wood. Take the right hand footpath over a wall stile to follow a paved path uphill ‘The Monk’s Steps’ next to the wall, go through a kissing gate and walk diagonally down the field to cross a broken wall and a small stream. With the wall on your right, walk towards a small gate in the wall, to join a minor road. Turn left and follow this to the Greenhow/Pateley Bridge Road (1km). Cross the road to join the bridle path ‘Nidderdale Way’. Follow this uphill past Eagle Hall [N] (0.5km).
Where the track bends left, look in a small patch of trees for a way marked post on your right and turn sharp right back to the wall. Climb over stile into the fields. At this point there are good views of Eagle Hall, the old coach house, the gardens and the orchard. Continue on the footpath downhill through three fields, always with a wall or fence on your right, into a fenced path (very muddy) which emerges by a converted barn. Follow the gravel drive to the minor road which emerges opposite the old Brewery (0.5km).