Yorkshire Dales Guide to Nidderdale


Located in the Harrogate District, Nidderdale takes its name from the River Nidd. It is easy to see why Upper Nidderdale has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, AONB

Amidst the patchwork pattern of dry stone walls and broad, green meadows is the town of Pateley Bridge. Its setting draws visitors from throughout the region who visit its craft centres, fine village pubs and country tearooms. One of the largest attractions every year is the Nidderdale Agricultural Show, held in September.

For a truly authentic taste of early Dales life visit Nidderdale Museum. Winner of a National Heritage Museum of the Year Award, this fascinating exhibition is situated in the original Victorian Workhouse, and features an exhaustive collection of artefacts that chart the history of the area.

At the head of Nidderdale is the highly prized bird sanctuary at Gouthwaite Reservoir. The River Nidd feeds this water paradise having already passed through Angram and Scar House reservoirs before flowing through Lofthouse and Ramsgill.

How Stean Gorge in Upper Nidderdale is known as ‘Yorkshire’s Little Switzerland’ and is very much part of Nidderdale’s spectacular scenery, with a dramatic limestone cleft, 80 feet deep in places. There is ample car parking, and bridges, walks, play area and cafe make this visit one to remember. At the head of the dale is the village of Middlesmoor, an unspoilt village with cobbled streets leading to the church. From here you can see down the valley with breathtaking views along the Nidderdale Way.

A short distance from Pateley Bridge is Brimham Rocks. This spectacle is one of the most weird and awe-inspiring in England.

The elements have fashioned the rocks into fantastic forms, providing dramatic natural scenery. Now under the protection of The National Trust, an information centre and shop have been opened.

The Nidderdale Way is 53 miles long circular walk and runs along the length of Nidderdale, taking in a large variety of landscapes from riverbank to moors.

The route takes in Pateley Bridge, Glasshouses, Smelthouses, Shaw Mills, Ripley, Hampsthwaite, Birstwith, Darley, Summerbridge, Dacre Banks, Bewerley, Ramsgill, Middlesmoor, Scar House Reservoir, Gouthwaite Reservoir, Wath and back to Pateley Bridge.

Nidderdale Pateley Bridge
  • Helme Pasture - Cottages

    Find accommodation near Harrogate with Helme Pasture holiday cottages and lodge surrounded by beautiful oak woodland, close to National Trust Brimham Rocks, as well as Pateley Bridge, Harrogate and Ripon. Walkers can walk sections of The Nidderdale Way, which is close by.

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  • West End Outdoor Centre

    West End Outdoor Centre is situated amidst stunning landscape overlooking the peaceful and tranquil Thruscross Reservoir in Nidderdale, a designated area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

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  • Abbey Holiday Cottages

    Three well-restored holiday cottages near Pateley Bridge. Holmelea Cottage sleeps 6, The Old Joiners Shop sleeps 6 and Sawmill Cottage sleeps 5. With unrivalled panoramic views, Middlesmoor is in an area of outstanding natural beauty and is on The Nidderdale Way route.

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  • Helme Pasture - Lodges

    Two cosy and comfortable Scandinavian Lodges (that can be combined for larger groups). Pet friendly country lodge accommodation in 29 acres of private, award-winning natural woodland close to The Nidderdale Way. The woodland has a David Bellamy Gold Conservation award and is ideal for walks and bird-watching.

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  • Barn Owl Cottage

    Barn Owl Cottage is ideal for family holidays in the Dales, 15 minutes from Harrogate and close to pretty reservoirs. It is a south-facing, luxury barn conversion with patio, garden and wonderful views over a lake for bird watching. Mount Bark Cottages also have Little Owl Cottage for 2/4, sleeping up to 11 together.

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  • Little Owl Cottage

    Little Owl Cottage is great for couples and small family Dales holidays, close to pretty reservoirs and 15 minutes from Harrogate. The master bedroom is huge with king-size bed, magnificent views and en-suite with large corner bath. Mount Bark Cottages also have Barn Owl Cottage for 7, sleeping up to 11 together.

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  • Firs, Summerbridge

    The Firs bed and breakfast with tearoom is in Summerbridge in Nidderdale, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This delightful Dales B&B and Tearoom serving delicious homemade food is close to Nidderdale Way and is an ideal holiday base for Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales.

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  • Pickersgill Manor Farm B&B

    This home from home Farmhouse B&B, with fabulous Dales views, lies on the moors between Ilkley and Skipton with Nidderdale and Wharfedale both nearby. Great for couples and friends shortbreaks or family holidays. Ensuite rooms with lots of little extras. Secure bike storage.

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  • Oxen Close Farm

    Two, immaculate, self-contained holiday cottages set in the picturesque countryside of Nidderdale, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Oxen Close Farm also hosts a small, certified camping and caravanning site on their working livestock farm. Barney's Cottage sleeps 4 and Robbie's Retreat sleeps 2.

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    Activities and Adventure

  • Stump Cross Caverns

    Stump Cross Caverns is one of Britain's premier show caves, located in Nidderdale on the border of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Open 9am - 6pm 7 days a week. They hold special events throughout the year. From primary to university age, Stump Cross Caverns provide interesting and informative visits to the caves.

    Stump Cross Caverns Website Map Where to Stay

    Agricultural Shows

  • Nidderdale Show

    The Annual Nidderdale Show is held in the picturesque surrounds of Bewerley Park, Pateley Bridge. It is one of the county's foremost agricultural shows and attracts crowds of 15,000. Held annually at the end of September. Affectionately know as 'Pateley Show'.

    Nidderdale Show Website Map Where to Stay

    Castles, Gardens and Stately Homes

  • Swinton Druid's Temple

    These stones at the Swinton Estate, look ancient but are really only 200 years old. They were erected by Thomas Danby, the owner of Swinton Estate, Ilton, 3 miles south west of Masham, at the top of the Nidderdale region. The Druid's Temple is found near Leighton Reservoir, surrounded by moorland and Yorkshire Dales Landscape.

    Swinton Druid's Temple Website Map Where to Stay


  • Nidderdale Museum

    Situated in the picturesque town of Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire, this fascinating and friendly museum is housed in the former workhouse and is situated opposite St Cuthbert's Parish Church. Its 11 rooms illustrate the rural life of Nidderdale in the recent and more distant past..

    Nidderdale Museum Website Map Where to Stay

    Visitor Farms, Wildlife, Walks and Trails

  • Brimham Rocks, near Pateley Bridge

    Brimham Rocks near Pateley Bridge Nidderdale offers beautiful walks and rock climbing amongst dramatic moorland rock formations. This is a precious wildlife habitat where you will find changes from season to season, with overwintering birds and bilberry season in autumn.

    Brimham Rocks, near Pateley Bridge Website Map Where to Stay
  • How Stean Gorge

    Prepare for adventure at the How Stean Gorge Outdoor Centre in Nidderdale, Yorkshire! How Stean Gorge is a spectacular limestone gorge in the stunning Yorkshire Dales. Open each day 9am - 5pm to the public and for group activities, team building, stag and hen dos.

    How Stean Gorge Website Map Where to Stay
  • Nidderdale Llamas

    Kiln Farm, idyllically positioned with fantastic views, is a family run trekking centre in the heart of Nidderdale. You can even hold a hen party there ! Opportunity to adopt a Llama or Alpaca.

    Nidderdale Llamas Website Map Where to Stay
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