Nidderdale – truly a Yorkshire gem

Here in Harrogate, we have our very own dale just a short drive away and it’s a hidden gem!  Nidderdale sits just outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park but is a designated  Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which more than lives up to the description!

The River Nidd runs the length of the dale with its source at the base of the majestic Great Whernside (704m).  The young river tumbles through rugged moorland where the seasons are measured by golden gorse in the spring and rich purple heather at the summer’s end.   Follow the river downstream where the slopes become gentler and the pastures more lush and a network of picturesque villages demand exploration!

Spoilt for choice in Nidderdale – a wide choice of self catering cottages and houses  

We have a wide selection of holiday cottages, converted barns and houses perfect for your needs – whether it’s a stone built cottage to sleep a large family with plenty of space to run around outside (take a look at Daffodil Cottage or the Cottage at Nidderdale), a cosy hideaway for 2 (Robbie’s Retreat), a sumptuous house for 8 guests with Aga (Ivy Cottage) or a chic conversion with views to die for (the Washburn).  We have plenty to whet your appetite!

A sense of the past – explore Yorkshire heritage and history

Nidderdale has a rich archaeology spanning back to the bronze age and visitors can explore the valley’s history of iron and lead smelting, mills which harnessed the plentiful water power available and even the Roman’s left their mark! The Nidderdale Museum in Pateley Bridge is a great place to start!

Get active on the bike tracks and walking trails of Yorkshire

Nidderdale is a playground for anyone who loves the outdoors!  Whether you want a gentle riverside stroll or a 3 day hike, there is a wealth of short, medium and long distance walks in and around the area.  The Nidderdale Way is a 53 mile circular walk from Pateley Bridge, the 6 Dales Trail runs the 38 miles along the entire length of the Nidderdale AONB from Otley to Middleham, whilst the Crackpots Mosaic Trail around Dallowgill near Kirkby Malzeard incorporates 22 delightful mosaics portraying the flora and fauna along the route.

Lovers of two wheels have plenty to look forward to – whether it’s off or on road cycling!  There is a wide range of mountain bike trails ranging from the technically challenging to those for all the family to enjoy – take a look at Single Traction in and around the Washburn Valley (and stay at Calf Cottage close by).

So much to do – attractions, events and activities for everyone

Yorkshire’s natural beauty is dramatically on show at attractions the length of the valley.  At National Trust Brimham Rocks, the millstone grit rock strata have been weathered to form a vast natural adventure playground whilst How Stean Gorge even has a via ferrata for those with a head for heights!  One not to miss is Coldstones Cut - a gigantic sculpture art installation giving panoramic views of Nidderdale and beyond.

Events abound, with the annual Pateley Bridge Walking Festival and the biannual Niddfest cultural festival whilst the hugely popular Nidderdale Agricultural Show held in September is a great day out for all the family.

Food Glorious food – great places to eat and drink

Yorkshire has some of the best places to eat and Nidderdale is no exception!  Whether you’re looking for fine dining (the Michelin starred Yorke Arms at Ramsgill is wonderful) or pubs serving superb food (we love the Station Hotel at Birstwith, the Wellington at Darley and the Sportsman’s Arms at Wath) there’s something for every pocket and taste!  And for cake lovers (and who isn’t?) Sophie’s café at Hampsthwaite and the Toft Gate Barn Café just above Pateley Bridge are both worth a special trip.


Local Attractions in Nidderdale


Dating back to 1600, the woodland surrounding the Nidd Gorge is owned by the Woodland Trust and offers a variety of walks with information boards for guidance showing the extensive flora and fauna you can expect to find.

Visit here for more details.


Pateley Bridge is the principal town in Nidderdale and is the perfect place to start your exploration of the area. 

There are plenty of places to eat and numerous quaint local shops and tea rooms - no visit to Pateley would be complete without a stop of at England’s Oldest Sweet Shop to stock up on your favourite traditional sweets from childhood. 

The town  is the starting and finishing point on the Nidderdale way, a circular route which covers 53 miles, looping around the stunning scenery of the Nidd Valley.

For those eager to find out about the history of the area - visit the Nidderdale Museum. Based in the Original Victorian workhouse, the museum houses a cobbler’s shop, school room and relics and artefacts, depicting the Yorkshire way of life.

Photo courtesy of Pateley Bridge.


Explore Brimham Rocks, and have a great day out at nature's playground.

This amazing collection of weird and wonderful rock formations makes a great day out for families, climbers and those wanting to enjoy the simple pleasures of fresh air and magnificent views over Nidderdale.

Let your imagination run wild as you explore the labyrinth of paths through this unique landscape.

Keep an eye out for some fantastically shaped rocks. Spot the Dancing Bear, The Eagle and The Gorilla, crawl through The Smartie Tube and balance on the Rocking Stones.

Walk over heather moorland or through beautiful woodland, and take in the fresh air and Yorkshire countryside.

Visit website here.

Image courtesy of Charles Allen.


This recently opened 4 mile traffic free cycle, walking and bridle path from Harrogate to Ripley allows gentle cycling through spectacular scenery including the dramatic grade II listed 7-arch Nidd Gorge viaduct.

Visit here for more details.


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