At 53 miles, this long distance circular footpath was devised in the 1980s and has quickly become a favourite amongst continuous trail walkers
See what's planned
- Walk the 53-mile-long distance circular path over five walking days, starting and ending at Brimham Rocks
- Visits to the villages of Pateley Bridge, Middlesmoor, Ripley and Ramsgill
- View some of Yorkshire’s famous sights such as Ripley Castle, How Stean Gorge and the natural grit stone sculptures at Brimham Rocks
- Contrasting landscapes and good old-fashioned British scenery
- Accommodation in the centre of Harrogate
At 53 miles, this long distance circular footpath was devised in the 1980s and has quickly become a favourite amongst continuous trail walkers. It is traditionally walked from Pateley Bridge, the home of England’s oldest sweet shop, in four stages. However our holiday is for six nights, with five walking days to allow more time to take in many of the interesting features along the route. Although the Nidderdale Way is a low level route, it does ascend above the valley floor at times.
This walk is a beautiful journey through subtly contrasting landscapes. The Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was created in 1994 to conserve the rich heritage and character of the dale and its surrounding countryside.
Some of Yorkshire’s famous sights you’ll see along the way include Ripley Castle, with its deer park and gardens laid out by Capability Brown, including a beautiful 19th century estate village rebuilt to resemble a French village castle. There’s also How Stean Gorge, a spectacular limestone ravine as well as the Guisecliff buttresses and the fascinating natural gritstone sculptures at Brimham Rocks.
There are charming old villages too which we pass along the way as well as the River Nidd and Gouthwaite Reservoir, with its array of birdlife.
Our route starts and finishes at Brimham Rocks and transport will take us to the start of the trail each day and return us back to Harrogate at the end of the walks.
- Half board en suite accommodation (breakfasts & dinners in the hotel)
- Private coach transport to and from the trailheads each walk day
- Services of a dedicated tour leader
What's not included?
- Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
- Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
- Discretionary tips
- Optional excursions
- Travel Insurance
This is a Grade 5 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent. The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding but equally rewarding. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' for more information.
Our bottom line is happy travellers, and to that end we trust our tour leaders to use the itinerary below as a basis for providing you with a great holiday. We expect our leaders to make adjustments to the itinerary if the weather, group ability or other local conditions make that necessary. There are normally more options available to our leaders than those listed below and one or more of these options may well be chosen. All distances, heights & timings are approximate.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
The Crown Hotel Harrogate
Independent arrival at The Crown Hotel Harrogate. Check in is from 3pm. Dinner each evening is in the hotel restaurant.
Brimham Rocks to Low Sikes
The Crown Hotel Harrogate
The tour starts at Brimham Rocks - the amazing collection of natural rock formations. There will be time to explore these dramatic moorland rock formations before the start of the walk. We will walk downhill to Pateley Bridge then we will follow the River Nidd leading up the valley. The route passes Gouthwaite Reservoir before finishing at Low Sikes.
Low Sikes to Studfold Farm
The Crown Hotel Harrogate
We walk passed Scar House Reservoir, the largest dam in Britain when it was finished in 1936. It takes in one of the most photographed churches in Britain in Middlesmoor to Nidderdale's natural wonder, How Stean Gorge, before we finish up in Studfold.
Studfold Farm to Nought Moor
The Crown Hotel Harrogate
This is probably the most challenging section of the holiday. There is a steep section coming out of Wath across fields on the diverted Nidderdale Way. The route takes us along the side of the valley to Ramsgill, climb up to see the old lead mine and descend to Bewerley before climbing to Nought Moor.
Nought Moor to Hampsthwaite
The Crown Hotel Harrogate
We start up on the moor, passed Yorke's Folly, which can be rough underfoot, then downhill to the river. This walk includes the gritstone crag which rivals Brimham Rocks for views. We continue along the river then uphill through the woods, back along the river and around Birstwith and into Hampsthwaite finishing by the church.
Hampsthwaite to Brimham Rocks
The Crown Hotel Harrogate
We cross over fields, tracks and bridleways for a moderate walk featuring the ancestral seat of the Ingilby family for 28 generations at Ripley Castle, continue along Clayton Gill, walk through farmland and finish back at the rock formation at Brimham Rocks where we started the holiday.
Independent departure after breakfast. Check out is by 11am. We hope you have enjoyed your holiday and we look forward to welcoming you on another soon.
Walks & Excursions
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator.
We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by
us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price,
non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or
additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Tour Leaders & Local Guides
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
Your Travel Details
To reach the hotel…
by car: From the A1 North – Exit the A1(M) junction 47 to Harrogate. Follow the A661 for Harrogate town centre into West Park one way system. After the second pedestrian crossing turn left down Montpelier Hill. The Crown Hotel is at the bottom.
From the A1 South – Exit at Wetherby onto the A661 following signs for Harrogate town centre. Follow the A661 for Harrogate town centre into West Park one way system. After the second pedestrian crossing, turn left down Montpelier Hill. The Crown Hotel is at the bottom.
by rail: The nearest railway station is Harrogate which is a 10 minute walk to the hotel. There are trains from London Kings Cross amongst other places.
by coach: The nearest bus station is at Harrogate. The coach station is in the town centre just off Station Parade, which is less than 100 metres from the railway station.
You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the accommodation: www.rome2rio.com
The AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may help you find our hotels. Details can be found at: www.theaa.co.uk and www.rac.co.uk
Please check the time of dinner on arrival at the hotel, and aim to be in the hotel bar half an hour before dinner (approximately 7pm) for an introduction to your Ramblers Walking Holidays tour leader, an outline of the planned programme for your holiday and the chance to meet your walking companions.
Please note, if you choose to drive to the Crown Hotel, car parking is very limited and is on a first come first served basis. If you are able to park at the hotel, the hotel charges a surcharge of £12 per day. Reception staff can assist with nearby street parking if required, however street parking is likely to be charged on the meter. There are various other chargeable car parks in the town which you may wish to use.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
Passports and Visas
Passport Information for United Kingdom
Any non UK or EU citizens may be subject to passport, identity card or visa requirements to enter the United Kingdom.
Breakfasts and dinners are included and taken at the hotel. With a menu sourced from local suppliers, breakfast is served in the historic Churchill Suites featuring oak-panelled walls, stained glass windows and ornate ceiling decorations. The hotel's stylish restaurant, known as The Place, is where our evening meals are taken. Lunch is at your own expense.
Footwear & Kit List
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
- Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
- Lightweight quick-drying trousers
- Walking T-shirt/shirts
- Walking socks
- Fleece or jumper
- Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
- Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
- Swimwear (if appropriate)
- Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
- Day sack liner
- Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
- Basic first aid kit
- Walking poles (should you find them useful)
- Sit mat
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
- Holiday money
- Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
- Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
- Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
- Holiday booking confirmation document
- Travel insurance details (if applicable)
- Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is
filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter
such as a Water-to-go bottle available from
Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go
for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website
at www.watertogo.eu and
enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the
discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us
to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information
Maps, Guidebooks & More
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map (1:25,000)
OL2 Yorkshire Dales Southern and Western Area
OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern and Central Area
289 Leeds, Harrogate, Wetherby and Pontefract
297 Lower Wharfedale and Washburn Valley
299 Ripon and Boroughbridge
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
Tel: 01684 593 146
E-mail: [email protected]
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:
Staying Healthy On Holiday
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility
to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on,
and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure.
Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for United Kingdom
No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.
Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations.
Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence
of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups
not only gives you an up close and personal experience of
your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate
environment. We feel that the most important starting point
to protect the environment is to be out in it.
For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able
to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives.
Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose
aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries
we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long
term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less
developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way.
See our website for more information and details of some of the
projects we support.
Staying In Touch
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for the future. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature
of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change
to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and
your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your
attention to any significant change.
You may wish to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.
Ramblers Walking Holidays
Our office is open and our Sales & Reservations team are available to speak to you from:
- 09.00 to 17.00 Monday to Friday
Please quote your Booking Reference number and Tour Code whenever contacting us.
We wish you an enjoyable holiday!
Our holiday walking grades
Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent.
The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground.
Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding.
Discover more about our walking grades