The Yorke’s Folly and Guise Cliff route is one of the most brilliant walks in Pateley Bridge in the Yorkshire Dales. Starting alongside the quaint River Nidd, you’ll then climb up through ancient woodlands to reach Guise Cliff in Heyshaw Moor. Along the way, you’ll enjoy marvellous views of the surrounding Yorkshire countryside. After exploring Guise Cliff, you’ll then return to Pateley Bridge via Yorke’s Folly, which is a fascinating set of stone pillars.
In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the Yorke’s Folly and Guise Cliff walk – one of the best walks in Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire. After describing the highlights of the walk, we’ll discuss how to get to Pateley Bridge. We’ll then look at where to eat, places to stay and things to do in Pateley Bridge.
We hope you find this guide helpful. For information about other great walks in the Yorkshire Dales, read our guides about Simon’s Seat and Valley of Desolation, Conistone Pie and Dib and Brimham Rocks (coming soon).
Yorke’s Folly and Guise Cliff
When it comes to walks in Pateley Bridge, the circular route taking in the River Nidd, Guise Cliff and Yorke’s Folly is a real gem. Certainly, it’s not a well-known trail option. So, expect a quiet and peaceful walk.
It’s actually possible to do a shorter return walk from Pateley Bridge to Yorke’s Folly (Yorke’s Folly Walk) or to Guise Cliff (Guise Cliff Walk). But, we think this loop walk, which takes in both Yorke’s Folly and Guise Cliff, is a great choice for a walk in the Dales. Certainly, we highly recommend this circular route option. That way, in one magnificent walk, you’ll explore many of the best natural and historical attractions, south of Pateley Bridge in Yorkshire.
Before we describe the walk, please find below the trail specs and a GPS-guided map.
Yorke’s Folly and Guise Cliff Map and Stats
- Type: Loop
- Distance: 9.2km
- Time: 2.5–3.5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 235m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Pateley Bridge
Yorke’s Folly and Guise Cliff Trail Description
In this trail description, we’re going to talk about the key points of the Yorke’s Folly and Guise Cliff walk. Personally, we did the walk in a clockwise direction, which meant visiting Guise Cliff and then Yorke’s Folly.
After arriving in Pateley Bridge, a charming town in Yorkshire, you’ll shortly make your way to the River Nidd. The flat walkway alongside the River Nidd gently winds its way towards the village of Glasshouses. Certainly, the River Nidd creates a relaxing and tranquil ambience. Starting early in the morning, we walked by a few locals going for their morning stroll, who were all very friendly. You’ll follow the River Nidd for about 1.8km before arriving at Glasshouses Dam. Then, you’ll turn right at the end of the dam, following a road that leads you away from the River Nidd.
The next part of the walk ascends through lovely ancient woodlands. Basically, a trail weaves and climbs by Parker Wood and in between Guisecliff Wood and Bar Cabin Wood.
Eventually, the trail leaves the dense woodlands and leads to an open expanse, nearing Guise Cliff. You’ll soon enjoy wonderful views, over the Yorkshire Dales. Then, you’ll walk by the eastern edge of Guise Cliff ascending to High Crag Ridge on Heyshaw Moor, where you’ll find a trig point. At this vantage point in the moorlands, there are small rocks to climb and explore.
From there, you’ll retrace your steps back towards Guise Cliff. It’s then possible to follow the edge of the cliff, heading towards Yorke’s Folly. Personally, we briefly followed a section of the multi-day Nidderdale Way, which was set slightly back from the edge of the cliff. Eventually, the Nidderdale Way trail meets the trail, which follows the edge of Guise Cliff. Then, heading in an easterly direction, you’ll reach Yorke’s Folly.
FYI – if you do follow the trail alongside the edge of Guise Cliff, keep an eye out for Crocodile Rock! It’s a rock perched near the edge of Guise Cliff, which doesn’t really look like a crocodile; although, someone thought it did!
Soon, you’ll reach Yorke’s Folly, also known as the Three Stoops. Although, only two of the three stone pillars remain. So, Yorke’s Folly has also become known as the Two Stoops. The building of Yorke’s Folly, overlooking Bewerley and Pateley Bridge in Yorkshire, was initiated by John Yorke and finished in around 1779. Positioned on the edge of Nought Moor, what remains of Yorke’s Folly is an interesting example of mock gothic ruins.
Once you’ve scoped out Yorke’s Folly, you’ll make your way back to Pateley Bridge to finish the circular walk – definitely, one of the best walks in the area! In the closing stages of the walk, Beck and I enjoyed speed hiking.
What’s speed hiking? It’s pushing the pace, covering a trail quicker for a good workout. Find out more here.
How to Get There
The easiest and quickest way to get to Pateley Bridge in Yorkshire is to drive there yourself. You can park at the pay and display Pateley Bridge South Car Park (address – High Street, Pateley Bridge, Harrogate HG3 5BD), next to River Nidd. Otherwise, if you arrive early enough, you should be able to find free street parking in town.
If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car using Rentalcars.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Rental Cars, which are very easy to book online.
In terms of public transport, it’s possible to get the Nidderdale Service 24 bus to Pateley Bridge from Harrogate. But, bus services are limited. So, we don’t recommend using public transport to get to Pateley Bridge in Yorkshire.
Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire
Pateley Bridge is a gorgeous town in Harrogate in the Nidderdale Area of Natural Beauty, Yorkshire. There are plenty of great places to eat and drink in this quaint town on the River Nidd. Also, there are some decent places to stay in Pateley Bridge, if you want to spend your weekend or holiday there. Below, we’ll review all of the most important information regarding this town!
FYI – if you want to find out more about Pateley Bridge history, head to the Nidderdale Museum (AKA the Pateley Bridge museum).
Walks In Pateley Bridge
In terms of walks in Pateley Bridge, we think the walk described in this guide is one of the best to choose from. But, there are many other walks in the area. For a list of the best walks in Pateley Bridge, head here. Otherwise, we’ve hand-picked, what we believe are some of the other best walks in Pateley Bridge. The links below will direct you to a map of the walk.
- Panorama Walk
- Pateley Bridge to Brimham Rocks
- Pateley Bridge Circular Walk (keep in mind that some alternate routes Gouthwaite Reservoir)
Pubs In Pateley Bridge
There are plenty of great pubs in Pateley Bridge. After doing Yorke’s Folly and Guise Cliff walk, you’ll certainly be thirsty! For your convenience, we’ve listed what we think are the best pubs in Pateley Bridge below.
Pateley Bridge Restaurants
Other than charming pubs, Pateley Bridge has some nice restaurants to visit too. Below, we’ve listed the best restaurants in town. So, once you’ve explored Yorke’s Folly, you’ll know where to go to sit, relax and have a nice meal. Although, if you’re after pub grub, visiting one of the pubs listed above should do the trick! Click on the links below for more information about the menus on offer.
Pateley Bridge Accommodation
Why not spend the weekend at Pateley Bridge? Let’s go through accommodation options.
Pateley Bridge Hotels
Pateley Bridge has some magnificent hotels. Admittedly, you won’t find much in the way of a budget stays. But, there are plenty of lovely mid-range hotels and bed and breakfasts in the area.
- The Willow Bed and Breakfast: The Willow is one of the most highly-rated hotels in the area. Most people rave about the central location and on-site restaurant.
- Crown Hotel: this centrally located hotel is another fine option for those wanting to check out the town and also find a great base for completing the Yorke’s Gully and Guise Cliff Walk.
- Harefield Hall: it’s no coincidence that Harefield Hall is the most popular Pateley Bridge hotel to stay at. This stylish adults-only 4-star country guest house is located just outside of town and is surrounded by lovely gardens.
Pateley Bridge Camping
For those up for a spot of camping, the centrally located Riverside Caravan Park is your best Pateley Bridge camping option.
Pateley Bridge Shops
The high street at Pateley Bridge is relatively short; but, packed with many delightful independent shops. So, are there any standout options? Well, it’s hard to go past The Oldest Sweet Shop in the World without stopping in!
Hiking Essentials For the Yorke’s Folly and Guise Cliff Walk
These are our five hiking gear essentials for this walk.
Why do you need this?
See it in action
These walking boots are very comfortable and a great choice for walking in the Yorkshire Dales
This camera is the best compact digital camera on the market. Lightweight, compact and durable, the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII takes high quality photos and videos
It can get wet and windy in the Yorkshire Dales, so pack a waterproof/windproof jacket!
This is a great backpack for day hikes. It has plenty of space to store everything you'll need
You can't beat a GoPro Hero when it comes to action cameras
Make sure to also pack water, snacks, sunscreen and a hat! For a longer hiking gear list, read our 66 Travel Items You Must Travel With. For a list of everything else you’d need for travelling, read our Packing Checklist.
- Explore Pateley Bridge after the walk: make sure to visit a pub or restaurant after the walk. There’s plenty to enjoy in town.
- Do the walk in good weather conditions: this walk was really enjoyable on a clear and sunny day!
- Explore other national parks in and near Yorkshire: don’t just stop at the Yorkshire Dales. Head to the beautiful Lake District and North York Moors National Parks.
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