Nidderdale - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

13 April 2016

We’re banging the drum for Nidderdale – a hidden gem amongst the Yorkshire Dales. yet just a short drive from Harrogate, Ripon, Otley, Ilkley, Knaresborough and Leeds.

Nidderdale’s designation as AONB (the clue’s in the name – area of outstanding natural beauty) is well deserved!  From its origins on the slopes of Great Whernside (704m) the River Nidd flows through glorious moorland swathed in yellow gorse in Spring and purple heather in Autumn before wending its way down through the historic town of Pateley Bridge and attractive villages of Summerbridge, Glasshouses,  Dacre, Darley and beyond.

Whatever you love to do – you’ll love Nidderdale!

If you can't wait to pull on your walking boots (and Nidderdale has 200 square km of open access land)  – choose from gentle pastoral rambles along the river bank, a scramble up to grade II listed Yorke’s Folly or the more challenging Nidderdale Way, Ripon Rowel or 6 Dales Trail.  There’s even a mosaic trail taking in 22 mosaics depicting the flowers and wildlife you can expect to see along the way.

Or if two wheels is more your thing – challenge yourself off road (from green all the way to black routes) – anyone for the Brimham Blast? – or on road taking in a southern or northern loop around the dale.  VO Cycling provide bikes for hire, offer expert local knowledge and can even lead organised groups

Such an unspoilt and diverse habitat is just perfect for the protection and encouragement of wildlife where rare plants, birds and animals are relatively commonplace to the keen observer.

And if all that activity has worked up an appetite – Nidderdale has a great food culture from delightful tea rooms and cafes (try the Darley Mill Centre in Lower Nidderdale or Toft Gate Barn Café further up the dale), to popular local pubs offering a warm welcome and great food (We like the Wellington Inn at Darley) through to the Michelin starred Yorke Arms at Ramsgill for a truly unforgettable experience.

Worried about keeping the children amused?  No Need!  There’s plenty to keep them entertained (and wear them out!) – scrambling over the natural adventure playground of National Trust Brimham Rocks, exploring the natural world at Studfold Trails or catching their breath on the Via Ferrata of Howstean Gorge! You can even trek with llamas if that's your thing!

With so much to do in the area – you’ll want to return again and again and we have some beautiful properties to suit whatever your budget or size of party!

We’re very excited about 3 our newest additions; Robbie’s Retreat (sleeps 2), Barney’s Cottage (sleeps 4)  and Ivy Cottage (sleeps 8) are all idyllically positioned to enjoy everything that this wonderful area has to offer.  And many guests return again and again to their Nidderdale favourites  – find out why they love The Washburn, Fern Bank Mews, Rose and Daffodil Cottages, Buchanty House, Greystone Cottage and the neighbouring Spring and the Mistal.  

Take a look online, or call us on 01423 523333 to find your perfect Nidderdale Retreat – you’ll be left wanting more!