Top Tourist Attractions

Length: 7½ miles
Time: 3½ hours
Start/finish: Sustrans 67 junction with Bilton Lane (Google map/OS Explorer 297)
Grade: Moderate
Refuel: Carriages, Knaresborough

Autumn’s true glories are experienced through trees: the turning of leaves from greens to fiery yellows and reds; the wine-black clusters of berries and nuts on drooping branches; the musty smell of leaf litter as shafts of sun streak the damp earth.

A mile from my home on the northern edge of Harrogate, a thickly wooded river gorge provides the perfect stage to witness the splendour of autumn.

Enter the Nidd Gorge by following the Sustrans cycleway 67 from Bilton to the defunct Victorian viaduct that spans the river. After taking in the viaduct’s views, descend and wind along for four miles of sylvan splendour to Knaresborough, slowing to the river’s pace and stepping through the dioramas of alder, oak, beech, chestnut, birch and waterside pines that lean over the mirror-like surface to create breathtaking patterns with their reflections.

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