Nidderdale Way from Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire, including The Coldstones Cut – Yorkshire biggest and highest public art work.

When: 2nd August 2019

Start/ Finish: Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire Dales


This easy/moderate 10mile anti-clockwise loop started and finished in the beautiful village of Pateley Bridge nestled in the iconic Yorkshire Dales.  Me and my bestie had decided to for a girly meet and had just spent the night at the quaint Willow Bed and Breakfast just off the highstreet. The walk followed the Nidderdale Way, crossing the bridge then west along to Ashfold Side Beck. At the historic lead mining ruins, we followed the path south to Greenhow, then east to Coldstones Cut quarry and finally back into Pateley Bridge along the Nidderdale Way.

To be brutally honest, we did this route the opposite way round than we intended, it was only when we were on the river trail when I realised (too busy talking to my best mate!) – and actually it was probably the better way round to do this loop.

The weather was muggy (shorts and t-shirt weather) with the threat of thunder showers in the afternoon, so we’d hoped to get most of the walk done before we got caught in any rain. The river trail was a small path next to the river through woodland and then through grassy fields. With the ground still damp and the warmth in the air, there were plenty of butterflies showing off their wings.

  • In black and white, Pateley Bridge highstreet at Night
  • OS map showing a red circular route
  • Looking down a country path to Ashfold Side Beck with clouds in the sky
  • Old 1800s lead mining buildings next to a beck

Ashfold Side Beck

We turned off the River Nidd and along one of its tributaries which took us through camping and caravan sites dotted along the beck. This part was tarmaced, however, once through this section we had the footpaths to ourselves as we stumbled upon the “industrial trail” which pointed out the mining heritage of the area from the 1800s. 

Following the next set of markers, we then ended up on the ‘geology trail’ explaining the gritstone and fossiliferous limestone in the area.


A short section through farmland, and I caught a glimpse of what I think was a tawny owl; it was large and fluffy and it was the only thing I think it could have been given the split second I saw it before it took flight. There were also plenty of kestrels and red kites swooping over our heads which is always an awesome site. 

The Coldstone Cut

Our chosen footpath brought us out at the tiny hamlet of Greenhow. From here, we followed a short section of road eastwards before coming to footpath which would lead us up to The Coldstone Cut. It was described in a tourist leaflet in the BnB as a large stone art piece on top of the hill. I thought we’d give it a go and see what it was all about. It would at least make a good picnic stop at the view point.

A short walk from the main road to the top, we were met with impressive site of masonry. We followed our ‘way in’ and then each took a different ‘spiral’ up. I was expecting to be brought out to overlook the stunning landscape over Pateley Bridge and the ‘golf balls’ but no, you were met with a full view into the working limestone quarry. It was actually really cool. We were just about to sit and eat our sarnies when a nice gentleman in high-viz asked us if we could wait outside the viewing platform as they would be blasting in 5 minutes. Cool! Sitting outside the art piece, you could hear the warning sirens go off then the boom of explosives. Overall, The Coldstone Cut is a great place to bring school kids and worth a trip if you’re passing in the area.

Back down the valley, through fields with bees, insects and butterflies and on the Nidderdale Way to bring us back into Pateley Bridge, just as it started to rain. ….time for a cuppa and cake.

If you want to have your own adventure with your mates but have no idea where to start or don’t want the hassle of route planning and navigation, you can hire me and I create a bespoke walk tailored for you and your gang. Check out my Private Guided Walks and start planning your next adventure!