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Summerbridge - Birsty Woods - Brimham Rocks
submitted by Allan Othick from Batley

Parking: Dacre Banks which is about 4 miles south east of Patley Bridge
See map of starting point
Directions: Get road directions to the parking place here (nearest available location by postcode: HG3 4ED)
Map: Ordnance Survey - Explorer 298 (Nidderdale, Fountains Abbey, Ripon & Pately Bridge)

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Buy this map from Ordnance Survey
See map of walk area
Distance: About 8 miles (13 km)
Grade: 2-B


About this walk

This walk has something for everybody who enjoys a variation in their walk We have a stroll by the river side, then a steady climb up hill to enjoy the first of many splendid views this walk gives you. We walk through fields and up through woods to the rocks of Brimham, where you can see for something like 50 km on a clear day. We then have a stroll across the moors with almost 360 degree views. Then we are down in little valleys and up to the top of small hills. Up through fields with views all around and then down through little woods back to the start.

The Royal Oak Pub

The weir

Lane to Braisty Woods

The walk starts from the free car park opposite the Royal Oak Pub in Dacre Banks Summerbridge which is about 4 miles south east of Patley Bridge. Leave the car park and go back to the main road, and turn right going past the church on the left and the garage on the right. When you have gone over the bridge, you will turn left down riverside lane. Walk down this lane and shortly there is a long farmhouse in front of you. At this point the footpath forks. and you take the left fork, stay on this path keeping the river on your left passing by the weir until you come to the end. When you come to the end of this path and in front of you is a building with a clock on it, here you turn right which takes you to the main road At the main road turn left, passing the Summerbridge fire station. After only 30 yards you cross the road and go up the lane which is sign posted Braisty Woods.

The Mill Stone

Here is where you have to walk uphill for a while, it does start a little steep but it soon levels out and believe me its worth it for the views on the left about three quarters of the way up. When you are nearly at the top you will go through a new gate and there is a new house been built on the left. At this junction you turn right and after 50 yards when you see the fork in the path, take the left fork. Do not go down the path signposted Oakwell House. Keep on this path to the main road, where there is a mill stone which has Birsty Woods on it.

The 6 spaced out trees

Here you will turn left for about 50 yards and you will see two farm gates on your right. Go through the second which is a metal one. If you look straight in front of you at the other side of the field there is a telegraph pole, about 100 yards to the left of this is a stone style. Go over this and the little stream and walk straightforward keeping close to the 6 spaced out trees on your right.

Leading into the woods

Half way across this field is a good point to stop and admire the wonderful views. When you reach the wall there is a wooden style which gets you onto a track. Here you turn right going up this path until you come to a wooden style on your left after about 300 yards. Please note at this point I was met by a very nice farmer checking to see if I had a dog with me. The reason been that the cows in this field have young calves and the farmer was worried that the cows would chase the dog. Apparently if the dog is on a lead and the cows trying to protect the young go for the dog. It looks if the cows are going for the humans, but if the dog is not on a lead and allowed to run away from its owners, the cows lose interest. So he was there only for safety reasons and not to put you off. I found him a very nice friendly chap to talk to. Go across this field at a slight angle to the left, looking for the gate that leads you into the woods.

Trying to keep to the path through the woods to the farm house, is difficult because the cows have really messed up this path with their hoofs. And I found I had to go up and round to the right. Follow the path through the farm to the minor road. Here you will turn left and keep on this minor road with Brimham Rocks up on your right. But keep on this path until you have a white bungalow straight in front of you, and about 50 yards from where the minor road turns to the right there is a single bush on your right and a green path going up to Brimham Rocks. Follow this path up and in between the rocks which will lead you straight to the café and the toilets, where a well deserved cup of tea and a sandwich can be had if required.


When you are ready, go down the path to the right of the café which leads you through the two main car parks, where you will come to the main road. Here you will turn right and after 100 yards look for a signpost on your left signposted Riva Hill.


Now comes an easy walk across the moors with stunning views all round. Carry on over the styles and through the gates until the junction where the track bends to the left towards a farm house, but you go straight on through the metal gate, and carry on until you come to the main road. At this point you turn left and after about 100 yards turn right down the path to Briham Hall Farm. It does look a private track to this farm but each time I have done this walk they have come out when the dogs have started barking and said hello to me.

Follow the track down and to the left at the bottom and then to the right to the gate at the entrance to the field. Go through the gate and over the stream and carry on up to the top of this field, keeping the stone wall on your left. When at the top you go over the style and up to the top of this field also. Once again we are treated to some wonderful views, and it is here that I stop to take it all in.

At the top you climb over a stone style and into the main road. Here we turn left and after passing two drives and Firtree Bungalow on the right, we go up the third drive towards the house. Just before the house we turn right then first left in between the farm buildings, heading towards the plantation. After going through a metal gate and after about 100 yards there is a fork where we bear left. Go through the plantation until you come to a metal gate. Go through this and keep straight ahead keeping the stone wall on your left. After 100 yards or so climb over the stone style and keep going straight on. Here when you get to the top are some more of the wonderful views that we see on this walk.

Keep going until you come to a wall and go over the style, where you come to a four way marker post. We go straight on which is signposted Summerbridge where from here it is all down hill with still more views of the countryside. When you come to a wooden gate go through this and you will see that the path forks, you take the left fork going down hill. This brings you to a minor tarmac road. Turn left going down hill where you will come to the Flying Dutchman public house, and the B-6165. Cross over the main road and go straight down the hill for 300 yards and you will be back to the bridge and start of this wonderful walk.

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