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Overheard on the Nidderdale Greenway

View from Nidd Viaduct

'Oh my God, this is the best place ever,' I overheard on the Nidderdale Greenway. 'I really want to come down here with my camera.'

It was a fine June evening, and I was cycling over the Nidd Viaduct. Two teenage girls were looking over the side at the river and woods below. Clearly it was the first time one of them had been down here, and she was impressed.

There is something special about that view. The woods have a primeval quality, which makes me think of the backcountry of Canada more than semi-rural North Yorkshire. In golden evening sunshine in June, it was a sight to lift the spirits.

From the Ordnance Survey map, it's clear that the wild woods are confined to a relatively short stretch of the river Nidd, as it snakes from Bilton sewage works to Knaresborough. The steep banks of the Nidd Gorge have made the land unsuitable for farming or houses, and saved these woods from development. This is the Nidd Gorge on OpenStreetMap:

Map showing the Nidd Gorge and Viaduct

The Nidd Viaduct gives you an elevated standpoint - above the river, but also higher than the tops of some of the trees. You're level with crows as they mass, circle, squabble, and roost in the trees. You get an impression of a corridor of land that's teeming with life, and it gently suggests a richer natural landscape in centuries past. I imagine walking through expanses of virgin forest, amongst denser and more diverse populations of animals and birds.

I was heartened by the fact that this view had touched those teenagers too. Apparently, people of that generation don't spend all their time watching Justin Bieber videos on their telephones! (Of course, I don't know what I'm talking about, and Justin Bieber might be Old News, or Not News At All). Maybe they do watch music videos on their phones, but they appreciate wild landscapes too, which I find encouraging.

Nidderdale Greenway

As I pedalled further, I exchanged a few words with a young chap who said, 'I love coming down here when it's like this. I only wish they'd extend it.'

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Beryl Burton cycleway

Beryl Burton cycleway

The Beryl Burton cycleway is a traffic-free cycle and foot path between Bilton Village Farm and the Nidd at High Bridge, Knaresborough. Read aboutthe Beryl Burton cycleway.

5 thoughts on riding in hot weather

20th July 2016

Road across Dallow Moor

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far. It was more than 30 degrees celcius in North Yorkshire, which can't be right. I went for a bike ride, thinking I'd get a breeze, and everything would be fine. I did get a breeze, but the abnormally hot weather made a difference in various ways. Read my 5 thoughts on riding in hot weather.

Portrait bench on the Nidderdale Greenway Nidd viaductRiver Nidd at Limekiln Wood

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