Exploring Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale
One of the joys of exploring the Yorkshire Dales is that every village and market town feels different and has its own special charms. Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale initially seems to consist of a simple elongated High Street, packed with independent shops, cafes and pubs. It's a steep hill, stretching upwards towards the moorland.
Pateley specialises in hidden ancient alleyways and small cobbled courtyards, lovely little corners with a bench where you can sit and watch the world go by.
Anyone in need of a bit of a pick-me-up will enjoy its vibrant floral arrangements and bright blooms.
Wander into some of the alleyways and side streets and you'll quickly discover there's more to Pateley Bridge than meets the eye.
One of Pateley's best known attractions is England's Oldest Sweet Shop, full of traditional delights.
Anyone who has a sweet tooth is in for another treat in one of Pateley's newest businesses, Cocoa Joes. They serve the best Mocha I've ever drunk - and I've carried out some significant research...
I could get completely side-tracked just writing about this one little gem. Lots of places say they serve hot chocolate but what they really mean is hot-water-maybe-milk-poured-over-powder.
Cocoa Joes offers a choice of chocolates (with a tasting bar...), which are ground to make the most incredible, indulgent, delicious drinks imaginable. I digress...
Wander around and you'll discover some other hidden treasures, including the wonderful little Nidderdale Museum, King Street galleries and craft workshops. Make sure you take a look at talented Joseph Hayton - Sculptor's studio.
At the bottom of the hill is the River Nidd and the bridge the market town is named after, a fantastic children's playground and the elegant bandstand.
Pateley is a great base for those who want to discover more of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
It's also the start of the Nidderdale Way, a 53 mile circular walking route, and close to other attractions such as Coldstones Cut, How Stean Gorge, Studfold with their very popular nature and fairy trails, and Scar House Reservoir.