Walk to Knaresborough and around the Nidd Gorge.
One of the fascinating aspects of rambling is how new aspects of a familiar landscape can be revealed by a different leader. For Saturday's walk we had a leader, Andrew Willoughby, well known in the locality for the large amount of repair work carried out by the RA working party to paths, bridges, etc., Leaving The Avenue, Starbeck we headed west along the old railway line to join the footpath past Longlands Farm by Forest Head to Knaresborough's High Bridge. The weather was cold but overcast and the chill wind kept us on the move. Turning left along The Conyngham Hall Trail we encountered volunteers from The Knaresborough Nidd Gorge Conservation Group setting a new hedge. Crossing the River Nidd the ramblers climbed through woodland at Tentergate, with the kind permission of the landowner, to join the Knareborough-Ripley road until we could rejoin the riverside track at the next footpath. At this point we paused and reflected on the benefits a footbridge would bring to enable access to the publicly-owned Horseshoe Fields on the other side of the river. Recent rainfall had turned parts of the riverside walk into a muddy bog and it was good to rest beside the Scotton footbridge for lunch. At this point we crossed the river and walked along the south bank as far as the old railway viaduct. Here some of us indulged in more daydreams relating to the reopening of this section of the old railway to some form of human traffic. The last section of our route back to Starbeck was along the cycleway converted a number of years ago by Sustrans. The numbers of walkers and cyclists using this route gives clear confirmation of the wisdom of their investment.
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