|A long-established route from the lowland pastures to the open fells near the source of the River Nidd. From Pateley Bridge the route follows the Nidd north, keeping to the east of Gouthwaithe Reservoir, to Lofthouse. Here the Way loops round the head of the valley to Scar House Reservoir. The route returns along the south side of the dale and follows the west side of Gouthwaithe Reservoir before looping away from the Nidd to visit Merryfield Mines and Heyshaw Moor. After Dacre Banks the Nidd is again followed to the village of Hampsthwaite where the route heads to Ripley with its castle. The Way now follows the northern side of the dale, passing the gritstone outcrops of Brimham Rocks high above the dale and the old lead mill at Smelthouses, on its way back to Pateley Bridge.
Wishing to fulfil my desire to visit Brimham Rocks I decided on following parts of the Nidderdale Way would make for a good week's holiday. As the route is never far from the River Nidd it was possible to divide the walk up into daily circular walks. We found a suitable cottage in Bewerley which was on the actual route. This meant that our journey was never far to the starting point for the day.