Pateley Bridge

The Nidderdale Way.
" Hey, get off our land "
These were the words we could here being shouted from the nearby farm. OK, they were from young children but we were already beginning to get the hints.
A stile with barbed wire across the top, gates tied up with string and now we were trapped in the corner of a field with no exit unless we wanted to wade across a stream. I don’t think someone wanted us there.
The day had started off so well. Les, Gordon and myself had set off from Pateley Bridge to do the reccee for the next Sunday walk. It was a fine day as we strode along the Nidderdale way passing through hay meadows full ,of wild flowers and butterflies. At Gouthwaite reservoir we had intended to walk across the dam but the gates were locked. We had to backtrack to the minor road. Our attempt to find the path through West Wood also failed. It was either non existant or probably overgrown with waist high bracken. Eventually we picked up a path at Stripe Head farm that led us to another section of the Nidderdale Way. We followed Ashfold Side Beck past ‘Caravan City’ upto the remains of the old lead mines. Another unplanned diversion across grouse moors, followed by a steep climb and we reached the B6265.
Here’s where it began to go wrong ! It all seemed so simple on the map and with our GPS how could we fail. A public footpath sign pointed the way.  An hour and a half later we were back where we started having been forced to retrace our steps. Time was running out and we were forced to walk down the busy road into Pateley Bridge.
Don’t worry, this will not happen on the Sunday walk. Les is probably giong to extend the walk round the reservoir and return along the main Nidderdale Way.
This is a good example as to why you need to do a reccee.
Back at the car park we met Keith and Pam. They had just completed their second reccee. They had encountered similar problems in the same area but approaching from the opposite direction had managed to find locate the path. It had been diverted round some farm buildings. probably explained why we had been unable to find it.
One moment of light relief on the day.
Before the start of the walk we had taken advantage of the Public Conveniences. There were cries of help coming from one of the cubicles. Someone was trapped inside. The lock on the door had fell apart and he was locked in. His wife was outside on her mobile, trying to phone the council, anybody, to free her husband. At the end of the walk we just had to check. The door was smashed but he was free,
It reminded me of an old song from my childhood
Oh dear, what can the matter be
Two old ladied locked in the   ……….. you probably know the rest.!
A good days walking, 11 miles.
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