Nidd Gorge is a bit of park land preserved by Harrogate Borough Council, its part of The Woodlands Trust...so its Free...not all parks are, RHS Harlow Carr Gardens are NOT Free, National Trust is NOT Free, English Heratage is Not Free...all other areas of parkland are unless privately owned.
Originally the whole area from oakbeck which is near Jennyfields in the north west, to Starbeck in the north east was under the protection of Bilton Hall, some kind of mannor house. The owner died and the house became a nursing home and lost its land to the council. Estates like Bilton and Jennyfields were built on it, but the Gorge was left alone.
Now the Gorge is about forty mins walk from my parents...so that will be an hour from my new house in Jennyfields. Scotton is part of the Gorge on the north bank...it was some type of water mill...or something. its now just a house someone lives in I think. You cant walk the North East side of the Gorge until you get to Burgess...thats presumably the private land for Scotton mill. But after the bridge at Burgess you can walk the north side...I have never ventured far on that side beyond The Sanctum....on the south side you can walk all the way to Knaresborough...though I have never made it all that way either...its a long walk...and I've always stopped to read, or write poetry, so I've never tried to walk it properly.
I will do eventually...each time I go I find a new pathway or something...but in winter its treatcherous so I avoid the Gorge...why I went in December was beyond me.
As for other bits of woodland...in short, they ARE walkable from my house IF you have about five hours. So Hookstone is about an Hours walk to the South east, and Birk Cragg maybe about two hours walk to the south west. Beyond that, further out is a creepy place called Fewston....I have up until now stayed clear of that place.
Mother took me once in the car...its probably another hour out from Birk Cragg at my Present location...its near Menwith Hill which is a US listening post. Fewston is one of a set of three resovuours...it was a small village long, long before Harrogate or Menwith was around...maybe longer then Knaresborough, in the middle of The Great Knaresborough Forrest. The Owner at that time was one of the founders of Harrogate, he built Saint Johns Chapel, the crypt of which lies beneith Christ Church on the Stray...there are some really nasty stories about who he was and the sorts of things he did. He built this church in the middle of a forrest on a cross roads.
Later for some reason he burried completely Fewston at the bottom of a gigantic lake. during the summer months the water in the lake drops and the village appears out of nowhere. people go and walk on the old roads and houses there.
I got out of the car, it was dusk, and for some unknown reason I wanted to be taken back home immediately. We walked to the lake, but I would not walk round it, I insisted we went back to the car. We were there for all of about quarter and hour.
It was only AFTER that experience that I decided to do a little research into Fewston and heard about the village at the bottom of the lake. There is a village called Fewston that exists still in the area....I think the one at the bottom of the lake was called Old Fewston, and went by a second name also. I think it may have been something to with a Mr Fairfax, I think he owned the village before it was submerged. I think he left to go to America eventually...either that or maybe he's still at the bottom of the lake
..but more important was a Thomas Linley who seemed to mention a chapel, that may or may not have been Saint John Chapel. This was in the same century as Mother Shipton in Knaresborough. Mother Shipton in a single verse predicted the American Civil War (before America was colonized) Metalic boats, Climate change, The French Revolution down to the number of dynastic rullers from start to finish, Women in the workplace, A federal European Super State...and the second world war.
Her prediction for the end of the world was that we would know its coming by the falling of the bridge in Knmaresborough over the Nidd ...unfortuntely, she forgot to state which bridge she was talking about as there are at least three ahahahaha
I suppose he might just have suffered from porphyria, and she dementia...but either way...Fewston just gives me the creeps.