Nidderdale is the long dale of the River Nidd running from Great Whernside towards the Vale of York, a wild gritstone landscape and moorland to the west and a pastoral landscape to the east. Reservoirs such as Gouthwaite and Scar are a distinctive feature of the dale and their stories are told at the Nidderdale Museum in Pateley Bridge.
Sandstone crags and tors punctuate the landscape – visitors love to marvel at the curious shapes of Brimham Rocks. Spectacular views across the dale reward those who take the short walk up to the Coldstones Cut, Yorkshire’s largest public artwork.
Nidderdale is home to internationally important species of bird such as red grouse, golden plover and merlin. It includes a World Heritage Site at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, a vast historic estate comprising the largest abbey ruins in the country, a deer park and a Georgian water garden designed by John Aislabie. The Aislabie connection continues at magical Hackfall Wood where his son William designed a woodland garden complete with follies, waterfalls and gushing fountain.
Traditional hamlets and villages, such as Middlesmoor and Lofthouse, are scattered throughout Nidderdale, some on old drovers’ roads snaking over the moor. At Nidderdale’s heart is the small town of Pateley Bridge which winds its way up the hill and is renowned for shops selling local produce and The Oldest Sweet Shop in England! The town is a great place to stop and buy delicious local foods before a trip 'updale'. King Street Workshops are well worth a visit - it's where you'll also find renowned sculptor Joseph Hayton.
Towards the top of the Dale you’ll find some remarkable attractions: How Stean Gorge; Nidderdale Llamas and the Studfold Adventure Trail, on land farmed by 16 generations of the same family.