Summerbridge to Darley Round
Summerbridge is a lovely village situated on the B6165 in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire with the River Nidd flowing close by. For such a small village it houses a pub, post office, village store, tea room, butcher and an electrical shop. Two miles to the northeast of Summerbridge is the popular place of Brimham Rocks set within the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and this moorland is filled with fascinating and strange rock formations with plenty of wildlife too. Three and a half miles northwest of Summerbridge is the beautiful market town of Pateley Bridge well worth a visit. Just over the River Nidd is the small village of Dacre Banks which houses a pub, village store and a petrol station. Darley is a pretty village, south of Summerbridge and again the River Nidd flows close by. Many of the buildings here date back to Georgian and Victorian times and this village has won many awards in the Britain in Bloom competition. The name Darley means “Deer-glade” and even today some Land Deeds grant a 12th century right to the Lord of the Forest of Knaresborough to chase deer across village gardens. The village has a post office/shop and a little further down the road at Darley Head is a pub and the Darley Mill Centre which is very popular with visitors. Darley Mill is a converted 17th century corn mill and the miller’s cottage and walled garden were added in 1761 and was powered by a large locally manufactured iron waterwheel in 1874 and ceased to operate in the 1950’s. This 27ft pitch shot wheel has now been restored to its former working glory and you can relax and feed the ducks by the mill pond and/or visit the museum. The Darley Mill Centre a listed building retains many original features and has three floors of shopping from homewards, linen, curtains, toiletries, books, gifts, dried flowers, bathroom, pets, gardening and seasonal items. There is also a children’s play area and also a licensed restaurant with a children’s menu. Then there’s Millie the duck who makes sure that all the children who visit have a great time and they are given a sheet of paper with ten questions to answer. When completed hand your sheet in and you will receive a treat. Once a month there is a competition of who can draw the best picture of Millie. There are special events going on throughout the year. This visitors centre is ideal for all ages whether as a family or on a coach trip.
We first take a look at Summerbridge before we park the car in front of the church at Dacre Banks. We walk towards Summerbridge and take the Nidderdale Way on the right just before the bridge over the River Nidd. We follow the Nidderdale Way close to the river admiring the views and the flow of the river and after passing some stepping stones we carry on until we come to a footbridge over the river at Darley. Here we turn right, go past the sewage works and along the tarmac track to the road. We turn right onto the road and follow the road through the quiet village of Darley passing the school, post office/shop on the left and the stocks on the right. As we leave the village at Darley Head we take a look at the pub on the left and then carry on down the road to the right and after a short way we come to Darley Mill Centre. After we leave the centre we take the footpath on the right opposite the car park and head to the left of Low Hirst Farm and follow the footpath by a beck then over the fields towards the dismantled railway line and the River Nidd. We go under the railway arch and come out opposite the stepping stones, turn left and follow the river for a short way and take the footpath on the left up to the dismantled railway line. We follow this line, going through a gate into a wood, until we get near to the houses at the back of Dacre Banks, we head for the houses and take the path which takes us into Dacre Banks passing the pub and then turn right at the main road and back to the church were the car is parked.
This is an easy flat walk with only small inclines and declines.
This walk is 6.25 miles using OS map 298.
Summer Bridge is near Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
From York take the A59 into Knaresborough then take the B6165 Grassington, Skipton road and Summerbridge is approx 3.5 miles before Pateley Bridge.
Toilets and Refreshments
There are no public toilets in Summerbridge, Dacre or Darley village. There are public toilets at the Darley Mill Centre. For refreshments there is the Flying Dutchman, a village store, tea room and butcher in Summerbridge, the Royal Oak and a village store in Dacre and a post office/shop in Darley and at Darley Head there is the Wellington Inn and the Darley Mill Centre where there is a licensed restaurant.