In May we had my Mum and Dads cocker spaniel Alfie staying with us when the date for our monthly family day out popped up on the calendar. We’d visited Pateley Bridge earlier in the year, and walked part of the Nidderdale Way. We had a quick look at the map and decided a walk around Gouthwaite Reservoir, following more of the Nidderdale Way would be a good idea. It looked like a proper marked path, no farmers fields of cattle or sheep to traverse and would be ideal for walking a dog.
We were very pleased that Alfie was fine on the journey, as he is not a very good traveller in cars, he couldn’t wait to jump out of the car. The walk took us from Pateley Bridge and along the River Nidd.
It was much warmer than our previous visit to Pateley bridge, overcast, but a lovely warm day. The girls were jostling for a chance to hold Alfie, but managed to take it turns (thankfully!). He was in his element, romping through meadows along the River Nidd, sniffing all the different smells.
We walked past Gouthwaite Dam, and picnicked in a little corner opposite.
The path onwards passed the reservoir is a treat. Although you are fairly far away from the banks we saw oyster catcher and curlew flying overhead. We even think we saw a wryneck! The girls were in heaven as we passed a field full of Grelag geese goslings, and hundreds of rabbits. Wildflowers everywhere, bracken, lichen covered dry stone walls and a beautiful view over the reservoir.
As the path took us nearer the shore we were attacked by a huge cloud of midges!! The youngest took glee in wearing her Dad’s mosquito net. Unfortunately we only had one, the rest of us had to fasten up our hoods and run.
This is where the walk took an unpleasant turn. Our route on the map took us around the reservoir and the Nidderdale Way back into Pateley Bridge. What we hadn’t realised when we’d planned the route was that this part of the Nidderdale Way was along a road, approximately 5 miles back into Pateley Bridge. We’d assumed that there would be a footpath adjacent to the road. Although this is a country road, it is incredibly busy, and the cars drive ridiculously fast. There was also a bike race on the same day, and I’m amazed there were no accidents, inconsiderate motorists flying around the cyclists on a tiny country road!
So the return was a little fraught, the girls were getting tired and bored. One positive to come out of this walk was that the girls all decided that they prefer to climb hills!!! That flat walks were boring, and they missed the thrill of a race to the trig point. This really made me smile, all those hills that we’ve climbed has paid off. I love that even though hill climbing can be a challenge and hard, they have decided that it’s worth that effort, worth the bit of pain and discomfort. We were all relieved to get back into Pateley Bridge, and were all very happy to see the ice cream van still parked up in park. Alfie dog looked ready for a little snooze in the car after a 10 mile walk.