Wath: A Nidderdale Classic
A glorious sunny Saturday beckoned four of us out, starting from Wath for the 22 mile classic ride around the top of the Dale with a total of 1,000m ascending. It's easy to appreciate why this is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty but as usual it was unbelievably quiet. With two guide books, maps, Matt's GPS and Alan and Sarah's previous riding experience, the route was easy to follow and over unusually firm dry ground. Alan performed most of the gate-opening duties especially along the route of the Nidderdale Way from Ramsgill to Lofthouse. The more challenging section started with the long rocky climb from Middlesmoor over In Moor, followed by the superb steep rocky descent to Scarr House Reservoir. After a pleasant picnic here we were soon back on to more rough and rocky tracks up over Masham and Lofthouse Moors, passed Jenny Twigg and her daughter Tib and down fast tracks to Bouthwaite. The final section alongside the picturesque Gouthwaite Reservoir soon brought us back to Wath and of course drinks in the garden of the Sportsmans Arms - as sportsmen (and woman) it would have been rude not to, although Alan was probably pining for his usual pudding with custard!