Distance: 7 miles; 11 km
Estimated Time: 3 hours
Map: OS Explorer 297 Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley
Route: View in Google Maps
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The Nidd Gorge and Old Bilton Circular walk is a flat, easy-to-follow route guided mostly by the River Nidd. The walk takes you through woodland with a river-side path for the majority of the walk.
There are plenty of plants and animals to spot along the walk. During the spring, you will certainly smell the wild garlic on your walk, you may hear a woodpecker in the background, and you will not miss the hundreds of squirrels running around the woodland. You may be lucky and spot a bird of prey or deer. For a full list of plants and animals present around the River Nidd, visit the Woodland Trust’s Nidd Gorge page.
The woodland areas can be muddy and boggy. Ensure you have suitable footwear for the walk.
Car Parking and Facilities
The car park for this walk is Conyngham Hall in Knaresborough. The car park is located next to the River Nidd and has space for over 350 cars. There are toilets at the car park.
- 1 hour: 90p
- 2 hours: £1.80
- 4 hours: £3.00
- 10 hours: £4.00
View route in Google Maps.
Nidd Gorge Route
From the Conyngham Hall Car Park you can see the River Nidd and the footpath on the other side of the river. Head to the main road and turn right over the bridge.
Turn right, following the signpost for the Beryl Burton Cycleway.
Beryl Burton was born in Leeds and held 7 world titles in cycling. Her records for a 10, 25 and 50-mile cycle each lasted 20 years before being broken and her 100-mile record lasted 28 years. Beryl’s 12-hour record stood for 50 years until 2017.
At the signpost, follow the direction for Starbeck and Bilton. It is the concreted path.
Keep following the concreted path at the next signpost.
At the next signpost, continue to follow the concrete path over the cattle grid.
Go straight ahead at the cross roads.
Turn right, following the signpost for Knaresborough Round.
The woodland walk starts as you cross through the gate and stile.
Keep right as the path splits into two.
The steps towards the river aren’t difficult, but they can be slippery after rainfall. The woodland area can be muddy and boggy.
Keep right at the next split, heading towards the River Nidd.
The route is easy to follow as the River Nidd will be on your right-hand side for most of the walk. The route is a combination of boardwalks and mud paths.
Continue straight on at the bridge.
During spring, you will likely smell and see wild garlic. Wild garlic has a white flower. The below photo was taken before the flowers had bloomed. The leaves still emit the garlic smell and are often used raw in salads and homemade pestos.
Take the left turn, heading up the steps.
Take the boardwalk to the right. Following the signpost for Viaduct & Nidderdale.
At the next signpost, turn right, following the sign for Viaduct & Riverside.
Walk under the Nidd Viaduct and follow the metal fence and pathway.
Take the left turn up the small incline.
Turn left at the top of the incline.
At the top of Nidd Viaduct, turn right onto the concrete path and cycle lane, following the signpost for Bilton.
At the notice board, turn left onto Bilton Lane.
You will pass the Gardeners Arms pub.
The route on Bilton Lane leads all the way back to the Beryl Burton Cycle lane and the Conyngham Hall car park.