Nosterfield Well Snape Round

Watch the video of this walk

Nosterfield is only a small attractive hamlet located between Ripon and Bedale in North Yorkshire. It may only be small but houses a unique pub, The Freemasons Arms which is well worth a visit, and a massive nature reserve. The pub stands in a block of 17th century cottages and is described as unspoilt and full of character with its preserved and real relics of the past. It is a free house with accommodation and local ales from the Black Sheep and Theakston’s brewery at Masham.

Nosterfield Quarry and Nature Reserve, is free and open 7 days a week all year round, is a wonderful place to visit for walking the footpaths and bird watching. This is a sand and gravel quarry used for building houses, roads, schools, hospitals and drainage projects. The minerals were laid down by the receding Ice Age 15,000 years ago and then after the Ice Age water and marsh covered a large part of the landscape. The site is being restored to a mix of pasture, nature conservation and quiet recreation such as fishing. Around the lakes trees and vegetation have been planted to encourage habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, birds, mammals and plants. There are now 200 species of birds and waders, 200 species of plants and insects and 20 different types of butterfly. At the quarry entrance, a short way on the outskirts of Nosterfield, there is free parking, a public toilet and a visitors centre which is open and free, all year round.

Well is a small pretty village with a large church and The Millbank Arms which is an old coaching house serving excellent meals Tuesday to Sunday and also provides accommodation.

Snape is another pretty village with a long, narrow village green and is split into two by Snape Beck. Snape Castle, a historic grade 1 listed building, has had many famous occupants and was built between 1420 and 1450 replacing the Manor which was built in 1250. The first floor chapel at the castle was built in the 15th century. The Undercroft, beneath the chapel, has been converted into cottage accommodation for up to four people over the age of 13 years. The castle is not open to the public but a service is held in the Chapel of Ease on alternate Sundays. At the top of the village is a monument in the form of a cross which was erected by friends of Lady Augusta Millbank of Thorp Perrow, who died in 1844. In the early 19th century Snape developed as a centre for the wool combing trade, this cottage industry fell to industrialisation of the woollen mills of the West Riding. The Castle Arms Inn is a grade 2 listed 14th century inn serving excellent meals at reasonable prices and uses local produce. The inn also has 9 ensuite rooms and has been awarded 4 rosettes by the AA. This inn was once a pig farm and buildings, and at the back of the inn the old cowbyre and piggery have been converted into a function room.

We park at the side of the road round the corner from the pub and we cross over the main road a take a single track road leading to a cottage. At the cottage wall end and where the road turns into a grass track we take a grass path on the left into the trees and follow the path. The path turns left again which brings us to the nature reserve we then take the path through the middle of the ponds. At the end of the ponds the path goes straight ahead through some trees and then we bear to the right into an open field and keep to the path at the hedge side we then go through two small fields before we arrive at Well. Here we turn right onto the road through Well and take the footpath at Well Hall Farm on the right just past the pub, this path takes us past a Black Sheep brewery depot. We go over the stile and follow the path to the end of the field, turn left then right through a gate with a stile and keep to the right side of the field until we come to a stile. We go over the stile and cross the field and then another field to the country road at Low Park. We turn left on to the road and follow the road to Snape. Just before the Snape village there is a footpath on the left which we take after we take a detour for a look at Snape. We go back to the footpath and follow the edge of the field to a footbridge we go over this and keep heading forward to the end of the field and follow the hedge line left then right and where the field narrows we go over a stile into the next field where there are some power lines, we head forward and half way down the field we go through a large gap on the right (this is not signposted) into a field and take the grassy track, with wheel ruts, on the left then we follow the path and signs through the trees until we come to an open field with a pond on our left. We follow the path left then right by the fence, we can see Well in front of us, to the end of the field where we turn right and then just before the Black Sheep Brewery Depot we take the path on the left to go by the side of the church. At the end of the path we turn right onto the road go past the front of the church to the end of the road here we turn left back through the village and take the path on the left where we came up and retrace our steps back through the fields and through the centre of the nature reserve and then take the path through a few trees on the right. We go over a stile then over two fields which will bring us out just to the right of the Freemasons Arms in Nosterfield and make our way back to our car.


This is an easy flat walk taking in Nosterfield Quarry reserve.


Approx 6.75 miles using OS map Explorer 302. Add 1 mile if you walk up and down the village of Snape.


Nosterfield is near Masham in North Yorkshire.


On the A1 take the B6267 between Leeming Bar and Dishforth. Nosterfield is approx 5 miles from Masham.

Toilets and Refreshments

There is a public toilet in Nosterfield Quarry car park. For refreshments there is the Freemason’s Arms in Nosterfield, The Milbank Arms in Well and The Castle Arms Inn in Snape. All three pubs do good meals and also have accommodation. Snape also has a shop.

2 responses to “Nosterfield Well Snape Round”

  1. Vic Stonely says:

    Good walk and some nice sites such as Snape Castle but why go to the quarry ponds when the real Nosterfield Nature Reserve is just one mile south – an ex quarry but truly full of amazing wildlife.

  2. It’s going to be end of mine day, but before ending I am reading
    this enormous paragraph to increase my know-how.

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