Days Out Ripon and Nidderdale

Free activities

Featured Listing

Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve

Things to do/see: Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve covers 100 acres of moorland edge adjacent to Cambrai Lines at Catterick and has a remarkable mix of habitats and species. The reserve contains semi-natural woodland, heathland, flower-rich grassland, streams, ponds, a lake, willow and alder carr, coniferous woodlands and wet meadows.

For school parties and families of all ages there is so much to learn at Foxglove Covert LNR.

Find out about the diverse wildlife species living here on our reserve. Learn about our essential bird ringing and conservation work.

Location: Foxglove Covert LNR, Wathgill, Downholme, Richmond, DL11 6AH

Opening times: Weekdays 9am-5pm, Weekends and Bank Holidays 10am-4pm, Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day

Cost: FREE although donations apprecitated

Featured Listing

FREE, Low Cost or Reduced Entry: Winter Activities

Every season Mumbler goes in search of the best budget-friendly activities and best deals around to keep the kids entertained. So as January rolls around again, after the expense and excitement of Christmas, we’ve got a list of some of the best free, low cost or reduced entry fee activities on in our area this Winter.

Read our blog here.

Featured Listing

Hackfall Woods

Things to do/see: Beautiful ancient woodlands with a water feature (gravity-fed fountain that spouts water about every 20 mins), ruined follies to play in and around, waterfalls, numerous footpaths, small beach along the river – great for picnics.

Location: Hackfall is at the Masham end of the village of Grewelthorpe. Nearest postcode to car park HG4 3DE

Opening Hours: Dawn to dusk

Cost: FREE

Additional Information:

From the website –
The best place to park is in the new car park at the Masham end of Hackfall.

The car park is free and sometimes busy, particularly when the river is high in summer and canoeists come to enjoy the falls.

Click on the images to enlarge.



Coldstones Cut

mumbler - Ripon-17Things to do/see: Walk from the car park up to the viewing platform through high walls and two winding passages. The walls are part of a sculpture created by Andrew Sabin. Views out over the working quarry and surrounding countryside. During work days you can often see trucks moving about. Perfect for any little truck lovers you might know! Beautiful views from Greenhow Hill on the drive there.

Location: Greenhow Hill, nr Pateley Bridge, HG3 5JL. On the B6265 between Skipton and Pateley Bridge.

Opening Hours: Open all day and night every day of the year

Cost: FREE

National Trust Brimham Rocks

Things to do/see: Beautiful rock formations – lots of climbing, scrambling through tunnels and small caves, gorgeous views across Nidderdale, visitor centre, refreshment kiosk (ice creams, sausage rolls, sandwiches, tea/coffee, water, fizzy drinks etc).

Location: Summerbridge, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 4DW 11 miles from Harrogate off B6165, 4 miles from Pateley Bridge off B6265.

Opening Hours: Rocks/countryside area open dawn to dusk* year round.




Ripon Cathedral

Things to do/see: Beautiful cathedral dating back to 7th century.

Location: Minster Road, Ripon HG4 1QS

Opening hours: 8.30am – 6.15pm daily.

Cost: Entry is FREE but you can make a donation.

WALK: Crackpot Mosaic Trail, Dallowgill, Nr Kirkby Malzeard

The AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) Office have a really detailed description of a longer walk of about 7 miles, ideal to do with older children.

“This enjoyable trail around part of Dallowgill is illuminated with 22 mosaics depicting local scenes and flora and fauna which might be encountered along the route. The trail was created as part of a community project to celebrate the designation of Nidderdale as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

You can find  printable sheet written by the AONB office that you can take with you to guide the way. Worth doing this at the end of the summer when the colour of the heather is stunning!


WALK: Fishpond Wood to Coldstone Cut

Overview: Beautiful walk starting in the woods in Bewerley, through fields up to the quarry on Greenhow Hill. The quarry is open to visitors (viewing platform and information). Dog-friendly but livestock in fields along the way.


Difficulty Rating: Challenging for little ones. Uphill all the way, steep in places but plenty of places to stop to admire the views and have a picnic along the way. We definitely suggest bringing lunch for a stop to recharge even for good little walkers!


Distance: Approximately 4 miles round trip.


Details: Start at the iron gate set into the wall in Bewerley (on the right if coming from Pateley Bridge towards Glasshouses). On-street parking is available. Walk up through the woods to the pond. The water is beautifully clear and tadpoles can be seen in Spring. Walk around the pond to the left and up the footpath to the road above.


Follow the road up to the right. This goes past fields and a couple of houses. Stiles or gates along the way. Be sure to close them behind you. The footpath/track is easily marked and goes up past Moor View Kennels. The path goes through fields, down slightly then up past a row of cottages. Go up the path (cottages will be on your left) turn and follow along the boundary line, cottages on your left. Through a couple of gates and into a field often containing livestock.


The path then goes over another stile and up past another set of houses. Farm animals including horses are all round this area so keep dogs on a lead. Follow the path past the houses, turning left at the top. Go along the road to another gate and across more fields with wall stiles.


You will come to a very straight road once over one of the stiles. From here you can see Coldstone Cut. The footpath goes across the next field but this can be quite boggy. You can also walk along the road to the right. It joins the footpath from the car park up to the quarry.


Notes: Can be boggy in places near the top.

WALK: Nidd Falls and Scar House Reservoir

mumbler-17The waterfalls here don’t actually have a name on the map but they are known locally as Nidd Falls. If you are heading to Scar House Reservoir as many people do be sure to stop and see these beautiful falls along the way. As you pull into the private road that heads to the car park for the reservoir (sign-posted) you will see the fire station on the right. Park off the road next to NOT IN FRONT of the station on the right. There is a footpath that heads down the left hand side of the first station  and over a bridge. Beware: As you climb down to your left to see the pools and small falls the rocks can be very slippery. The pool is fun for paddling but again, be warned that it can be slippery underfoot.

Come back out of this area and over the bridge but turn right at the stile. Follow the footpath along the field and scramble down through the trees at the end of the field. You will hear the falls before you see them. They are larger than the previous ones described fall into a slightly deeper pool too. Again, watch out for those slippery rocks!mumbler-18

To get to Scar House Reservoir you continue along the private road you pull in on to the car park at the end. There are toilets available at the cafe building (open in summer) run by How Stean Gorge. Head out of the car park and turn left down the hill towards the dam. You can cross over the reservoir on this and follow the 4 mile circular walk that is well sign posted. You can also extend this by following signs for the Angram Reservoir loop too so you walk would be about 7 miles long.mumbler-19