Ripley is a village just north of the Yorkshire town of Harrogate. It offers a great place to stay if you are a keen walker or Yorkshire explorer, with a small selection of shops, cafes and a pub. It is also home to the 15th Century Ripley Castle and Gardens.
My partner and I set off on a hot and sunny Monday afternoon for an afternoon walk from Ripley to Harrogate. The walk follows cycle route 67, and is 4.9 miles long. Monday was a little too hot to enjoy such a walk with the 28 degree heat blasting onto our heads as we set off, however the route is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon in spring or summer.
Firstly, you need cross the village car park, and walk alongside the main road into Ripley. Then take a left into a side street and continue into the woodland area on your immediate left. This veers into a set of high slopes ideal for young people to practice cycling and skateboarding stunts(!) so be careful to avoid any cross fire whether you are on your bike or not (!).
You will walk alongside a beautiful stream for a few minutes before going up-hill and deeper into the woods. Within minutes you have gone from main roads and villages to fields of green grass and land for as far as the eye can see. The walk or cycle takes you through shaded areas where the trees meet in the middle. Contrasted to vast open spaces like the huge bridge over the River Nidd, where you can see they are planting lots of new trees.
Once you have crossed the bridge there is a vast array of shaded trees, overlooking the river, to sit and have a picnic under. Or if you prefer to sit in the sun, then a few hundred yards in front offers you an open field to rest in.
After our rest in the shade we continued along the route with high trees. This part of the route is rather enclosed and surrounded by high bushes. Great for nature lovers with lots of insects and birds around.
You will shortly pass by the village of Killinghall. (But, I must say this part of the route left me feeling rather flustered and frustrated with the heat wave because there was very little to see. The first part was definitely my favourite.) But rest assured- if you do decide to do this walk while we are enjoying our hot weather, you are now into the last mile(!).
Shortly, you will come to the Harrogate line railway and be about five minutes from the end of the route. The route reaches the centre of the town at Asda supermarket where you will be able to receive some light refreshment (or as I recall, some freezing cold water).