Pateley Bridge to Scar House
9. Pateley Bridge to Scar House (20 or 24 miles return) This can be started from the car parks in Pateley Bridge or a lay-by near the turn off to Wath about 1½ miles from Pateley. This cuts out a windy and narrow section of road. The route makes use of the public road following the side of Gouthwaite Reservoir, through Ramsgill and on to Lofthouse.
Beyond Lofthouse turn right onto the private water authority road which continues for 5 miles up to Scar House. This is a former track of the Nidd Valley Railway and so has no severe hills although there is a gradual uphill all the way up to Scar House (and a fast return!). It is possible to cycle across the dam at Scar House. There is then the option to continue to Angram Dam which is completely traffic free!
The public road section is undulating but with no severe hills and occasional traffic. The water authority road only sees light traffic going to the car park at Scar House. A shortened version could be done for very small children utilising the private road section only (from Lofthouse) . Allow 3-4 hours for full trip.
Whilst the gate beyond Scar House dam advises 'no access' I have received a letter from Yorkshire water confirming that access is permitted for cyclists along the tarmacadam road to Angram Dam which would add a very pleasant and easy going 4 miles (return). Indeed there are plans to complete a circular cycle route around Scar House Reservoir. It is permitted to cycle across both dams.
There is plenty to see en-route including the reservoirs, Scar House Dam, Goyden Pot (visible from the road) not forgetting the picturesque villages of Wath, Ramsgill and Lofthouse. The scenery is outstanding throughout. A diversion could be made to How Stean Gorge on the way back, about ¾ mile from Lofthouse (turn right immediately upon leaving the water authority road). Back to top
The Nidd Valley Light Railway operated by Bradford Corporation primarily for construction of the Angram and Scar House reservoir projects was closed in 1937 following completion. there are many remains including old stations, the tunnel at Goyden Pot and the trackbed can be clearly seen.
There is in theory a tea room at the farm at the far end of Scar House dam although I have never seen this open. It would not be sensible to rely on this. There is a cafe at How Stean (short diversion at Lofthouse required- turn right and then left) and the Crown Hotel at Lofthouse both of which would be a safe bet.