Nidderdale Way – Stage 1: Pateley Bridge to Lofthouse

It was an inauspicious start to an amazing walk. Within the first few minutes of starting on the 54-mile (87km) Nidderdale Way, I was a bit lost. My guidebook had directed me to walk down Mill Lane in Pateley Bridge before passing “between houses to reach a footpath that signs you up a narrow alley along the backs of houses.” I was now wandering around the cul-de-sac of Mill Lane wondering where the Nidderdale Way had disappeared to. The large number of signs on houses and gates proclaiming “private”, “no right of way” and “no footpath” suggested that I was not the first person to get confused about where to go, and that the people who had come before me had decided the way to go was through someone’s garden. Luckily, I spotted a small footpath sign pointing to an inconspicuous, narrow alley partly obscured by greenery.

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