Last Week’s Shoot – Guisecliff Wood

I’ve been to Guisecliff Wood quite a few times in autumn, but always seemed to arrive too late for the trees around the tarn, so I made a point of going in mid-October this year – and wasn’t disappointed!

Birch Trees in Autumn at Guisecliff Wood
Autumn birch trees and bracken in Guisecliff Wood near Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale

I’ve wandered along the river from Pateley Bridge to Glasshouses in the past and then up through Parker Wood, but this time I went through Bewerley and up the steep Nought Bank Road before taking a farm track into the woods.  There were some nice mossy birch trees here with lovely yellow leaves which were nicely backlit by rather watery sunlight through the thin cloud.

Autumn Oak Tree at Guisecliff Tarn
Oak tree and fallen autumn leaves at Guisecliff Tarn

I followed the track out of the woods again and then cut back on the path up the hill towards the tarn.  There are some nice boulders next to the tarn (see feature image, top) with a mossy oak tree overhanging the water nearby.  This looked pretty good this year with a few colourful leaves left on the tree despite the recent gales, but plenty on the edge of the tarn and floating in the water too.

Bracket Fungus and Floating Leaves at Guisecliff Tarn
Bracket Fungus and Floating Leaves at Guisecliff Tarn

I followed the easy path along the north bank of the tarn and at the far end there were more floating leaves and a nice part-submerged tree trunk with a bracket fungus making a lovely detail image.

Gristone boulder and autumn birch trees by Guisecliff Tarn
Gritstone boulder and autumn birch trees by Guisecliff Tarn

There’s a path marked on the map along the south bank of the tarn too, but it’s very overgrown so I’ve not persevered with it before, but this time I clambered over a fallen tree and managed to locate (most of) the seldom used path.  It was worth the effort with more colourful birch trees and some huge boulders.

Yorkes Folly or Two Stoops in autumn on Guise Cliff
Yorke’s Folly (or Two Stoops) in autumn on Guise Cliff

Having spent quite a bit of time around the tarn I continued up the path and out of the woods onto the top of Guise Cliff to admire the views over Nidderdale before wandering along the cliff top to Yorke’s Folly, where the autumn bracken looked great as the sun broke through the light cloud cover for a while.

Footpath by a mossy stone wall in Skrikes Wood
Footpath by a mossy stone wall in Skrikes Wood

I descended Nought Bank again through Skrikes Wood which provided a few more opportunities for nice autumn colour before the return to Pateley Bridge (via the tea shop at Bridgehouse Gate, of course!).

Skrikes Wood near Pateley Bridge in Autumn
Autumn trees and mossy boulders surrounded by fallen leaves in Skrikes Wood

For more of the images from the shoot take a look at the website:

About marksunderland

Mark Sunderland is a retired landscape and travel photographer still taking the occasional photograph! For image licensing and prints see

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