The route follows the northern side of the dale on the outward leg and returns on the southern side. Consequently, the outward and return legs are never far apart.
Ripley stands a little to the north of the River Nidd, at the foot of Nidderdale. From Ripley the path follows a series of side valleys on the northern side of Nidderdale and then climbs to Brimham Rocks. It then descends to the hamlet of Smelthouses and climbs to Blazefield before descending to Pateley Bridge.
From Pateley the path keeps close to the River Nidd, passing Wath, Gouthwaite Reservoir and Bouthwaite to Lofthouse. The path then takes a route high above the Nidd to reach the dam of Scar House Reservoir, where it crosses to the right or south bank of the river.
From the dam the path climbs an old track to reach its highest point at 1,427 feet, before descending to the village of Middlesmoor. It then crosses Stean Beck to reach Stean, and descends on the western side of the valley to Ramsgill.
From Bewley, the path follows a high rocky section known as Guise Cliff, before descending to Dacre Banks. It then follows the Nidd downstream to Darley, Birstwith and Hampsthwaite, where it crosses the Nidd to reach Clint. Finally the path passes Ripley Castle to return to Ripley.
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
about Nidderdale Way)
- Hanson, p.6
- Hanson, pp 10-19
- Hanson, pp 20-29
- Hanson, pp 30-35
- Hanson, pp 36-45
- Hanson, Paul (2005). Nidderdale Way. ISBN 1 870141 64 4.