Ripon to Pateley Bridge – 22 June 2019

How time flies! The first time we finished at Pateley Bridge was in 2003. We then had a gap of four years before coming back in 2007, then back again in 2009. Eight years went by before we visited again in 2017 and here we are again in 2019. Only five times in sixteen years but it is one of our most visited places in the Yorkshire Dales beaten only by Hawes, Malham and Reeth and of all the places in the Yorkshire Dales they seem three unlikely locations.  The walks to Pateley Bridge start not far from Ripon and strangely we have never finished there.

Two of the three routes out this time around come through Studley Royal Park which contains among other things Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens. The estate has had many owners but is now managed by English Heritage and is a World Heritage Site.

The two routes pass by St Mary’s Church in the grounds of Studley Royal which is a memorial church with an unusual historical background. In the 1870s, Studley Royal was owned by George Robinson, Earl de Grey, and his wife, Henrietta, whose widowed mother, Lady Mary Vyner, lived at neighbouring Newby Hall.

In April 1870 Henrietta’s youngest brother, Frederick who was 23 years old and was touring through Europe, arrived in Athens. On Monday 11 April he joined a group of other tourists on a day trip to the site of the Battle of Marathon, some 25 miles from Athens.

On their way back through the mountains, Frederick together with 5 other tourists was captured by a group of Greek bandits. One of the hostages, Lord Muncaster was released and tasked with raising the ransom money for the hostages’ release.

Tourists had been captured before in Greece, but such incidents had been concluded peacefully on payment of a ransom. But this time troops surrounded the place where the hostages were being held, and the bandits panicked. In the confusion that followed Frederick Vyner and his companions were shot dead.

To commemorate Frederick’s death, Lady Mary Vyner and the de Greys decided to put the money they had set aside to pay the ransom towards building two churches on their lands: Christ the Consoler, near Newby Hall, and St Mary’s, Studley Royal.

St Mary’s Church is open from April through to September between 12 pm and 4 pm so while the two groups are walking through the grounds of Studley Royal it might be to early in the day for them to see inside the church.

The third route starts on the B6235 road on the way to Pateley Bridge and comes through the wood at High Moor and joins the other two routes some miles after they have left Studley Royal.

Towards the latter part of the walk all three routes pass through Brimham Rocks which are a large group of balancing rock formations many of which have been given strange names such as the Camel, the Turtle and the Dancing Bear but might require a bit of imagination and a reasonable viewing angle to make out which one is which. Far easier to recognise is the ice cream stall which is well worth a visit and as it is unlikely that any of the groups will be kidnapped a longer stay might be in order.

If you would like to join us for a walk and an ice cream you can get n touch with us from our contact page and you can find the walk descriptions here and the GPX routes here.

Pateley Bridge Weather

Walk No. 13 Ripon to Pateley Bridge 22 June 2019
Area: Yorkshire Dales Map: EXP 298

7.5 miles Moderate
Start: B6265 Road Grid Ref SE225673
Pickerstones – Warsill Hill Farm – Warren House – Middle South Farm – Summer Wood House – Brigham Rocks – White Houses – Nidderdale Way to Pateley Bridge

11.5 miles Moderate
Start: B6265 Road Grid Ref SE277702
Studley Royal Obelisk – Ripon Rowel Walk – Sawley – Lacon Hall – Butterton Bridge – Warsill Hill Farm – Warren House – Middle South Farm – Summer Wood House – Brigham Rocks – High Woods Farm – Smelthouses – Knox Hall – Footpath on the north side of River Nidd to Pateley Bridge

13.5 miles Moderate
Start: B6265 Road Grid Ref SE298708
Studley Roger – Plumpton Hall – Green Man Gate – Chinese Wood – Devil’s Chimney – Studley Royal Obelisk – Ripon Rowel Walk – Sawley – Lacon Hall – Butterton Bridge – Warsill Hill Farm – Warren House – Middle South Farm – Summer Wood House – Brigham Rocks – White Houses – Nidderdale Way to Pateley Bridge

Pub: The Royal Oak Telephone: 01423 711577