Pateley Bridge is a small market town nestled in the heart of Nidderdale, a place designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or AONB, in the Borough of Harrogate- the happiest place to live in Britain in 2015.. so how’s that for a starter? :)
AONB is any countryside in the UK that’s needs conservation due to its significant landscape value. It’s so beautiful and special that its worthy of protection. There are 46 AONB’s in Britain, and Nidderdale is one of them. If these natural beauty and happiness in and around Pateley Bridge is not enough to charm you, then please read further.
Photos above are by Andre’s Lens Photography
If you wanted a break from the city and enjoy a countryside experience to remember.. whether it’s a romantic couple’s getaway, a unique family adventure or an ultimate weekend with friends, Pateley Bridge and the rest of the Dales will surely not disappoint. No matter what’s the season, there are variety of things to do and places to see so let’s crack on.
Pateley Bridge offers a variety of accommodation, from camping to glamping, budget B&B’s, holiday cottages, guest houses, caravan sites and hotels (click Pateley Bridge accommodations for more details ). Within Pateley High Streets are small shops, quaint little tea rooms, pub, beauty and spa boutique, award-winning butchers and certainly not least, is the Oldest Sweet Shop in England– official World Guinness record holder as the oldest sweet shop in the world. Now that’s a tourist destination in itself!
Next, Where to eat? Pateley Bridge has a variety of takeaways, tea-rooms and restaurants, there’s even a Michelin starred Hotel for those who wanted some fine dining experience. Whether you like Indian, Italian or the good old British grub, Pateley can cater whatever tickles your fancy. (click places to eat in Pateley for more details).
Lastly, what to see and do in Pateley Bridge? After exploring what’s on the Pateley High Street, nearby is the Nidderdale Museum, founded in 1975, offering a large collections depicting the Yorkshire’s way of life through the ages. A small admission charge of £2 for adult and accompanied children are free (bargain, right?). Near the museum is the Kingstreet Workshop, bringing together a group of artists, makers and designers working as individual businesses. They design and make exclusive pieces in a variety of materials like fine wood, clay, hand-blown glass, precious metals and gemstones and textiles. Also in display are Yorkshire’s most talented zeitgeist artist’s artworks including Alister Colley, the official artist of The Grand Depart tour de France in 2014. Visitors are welcome to browse, buy or even commission a special piece and it’s open throughout the year, do check their website for events and changes.
The Nidderdale Leisure Centre is also within walking distance. It boasts a swimming pool, a gym and full size sports hall. They have fun session swimming, general or family swim and it’s open for non members. But if you wanted something different to do then why not try horse riding? Check out the Bewerly Riding Centre, established in 1967 and ABRS approved & British Horse Society registered, they give lessons to adults and children of all ages and abilities.
A constant #1 onTripAdvisor for things to do in Harrogate and in the top ten of things to do in the whole of Yorkshire is Llama trekking by Nidderdale Llama. A unique, great exercise and fun outdoor experience based on a family working farm offering Llama experience and trekking in fantastic countryside views. So what are Llamas? It’s a domesticated packed animal of a camel family, but they also provide range of options from all including close contact with alpacas and some other animals on the farm. Check out their website and FAQ’s before your visit, as you may find it very helpful.
Brimham Rocks, 4 miles from Pateley is an amazing collection of weird and wonderful rock formations, caused by millstone grit being eroded by water, glaciation and wind. They are around 320 million years old and scattered over 50 acres. It’s a great day out at nature’s playground for families, climbers and those wanting to enjoy the magnificent view over Nidderdale. Try and spot the Dancing Bear shaped rock, The Eagle and the Gorilla, The Sphinx or crawl through The Smartie Tube and balance on the Rocking Stones. The site is open all year round and entry is free, just a car parking charge for visitors who are not members of the National Trust.
Coldstone Cut, 2 miles from Pateley is Yorkshire’s biggest and highest public artwork. This monumental sculpture was created by artist Andrew Sabin and won the Marsh Award for Public Sculpture in 2011. Perched at a height of 1375 feet above sea level, visitors can freely walk through and explore various winding paths with the view of spectacular quarry hole and limestone quarrying operation, and the magnificent 360 degree view of the Dales and beyond. It’s definitely a one of a kind experience, just wear suitable footwear and clothing as it’s surely windy up there.
Not far ahead is the Stump Cross Cavern, about 5 minutes drive from Coldstone Cut or 4.7 miles from Pateley. It is one of Britain’s premier show cave discovered in 1860 by miners looking for lead veins. The caves are filled with stalactites and stalagmites formation dating back 200,000. This is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), several fossils have been found here- prehistoric reindeer bones and wolverines, the latter is on display at the site’s visitor centre. The cave extends to an overall length of approximately 6km, many of the deeper cavern are only accessible to experienced cavers, but thankfully the Reindeer cavern was opened to the public in 2000. It’s an interesting and exciting family experience touring the lit caves and exploring the ancient rock features close up. Access to the cave is via a 65 steps, there are handrails on both sides and helmets are provided which must be worn at all times. They also have spacious tearoom and gift shop on site. Please do check their website for opening times and prices. Another interesting site 2 miles out of Pateley is the Toft Gate Lime Kiln, a largely intact piece of Nidderdale’s industrial heritage located at Greenhow Hill.
Another must-see attraction nearby Pateley are How Stean Gorge and Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden.
How Stean Gorge is a spectacular limestone ravine carved out over thousand of years by waterflow. It’s one of the only places in the UK where you can comfortably enjoy both rocksports and paddlesports, and outdoor activities like via ferrata, gorge walking, caving, rock climbing and abseiling. A perfect day out for couple, families and group of people who loves adrenaline pumping and thrilling activities. This natural wonder is open all year round!
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with the finest Cistercian monastic ruin in Europe, elegant Georgian water garden and medieval deer park.. A one of a kind and inspiring place that have drawn people for centuries. This has always been one of my favourite must-see tourist destinations in the whole of UK.
Love nature and walking? Well Pateley Bridge is the starting and finishing point of the Nidderdale Way, a circular walking holiday around the quiet Nidderdale Valley on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. A 53-miles long beautiful walk within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that follows the River Nidd, a paradise for walkers and great challenge for bikers. The route can be completed in 4 days, passing along some of the great attractions I’ve mentioned above.
The must-see event in Pateley is the annual Nidderdale Show, one of the county’s foremost agricultural show where visitors can browse wonderful display of livestock, produce and crafts that the Dales has to offer. Another cool yearly event to check out is the Pateley Bridge 1940’s Weekend, a themed weekend that takes you right back to World War 2! Many shops, cafes and pubs will be evoking the wartime spirit and everyone is welcome to dress up in 1940’s clothes! There are military enactors and displays of military vehicles and aircraft, a plotting war room and agricultural display and there will be 1940’s singer and brass bands playing as entertainment.
Pateley Bridge is accessible from Harrogate, Ripon, Skipton and Otley. Nearest airport is Leeds Bradford and motorway road links to Manchester, Birmingham and London. There’s also a constant bus service(Transdev 24) from Harrogate to Pateley and vice-versa.
UPDATE: Pateley Bridge won The Great British High Street- Village category in 2016 and named one of the Best Places to Live in Britain by The Sunday Times (March 2017).
I’ve called Pateley Bridge as my home for 9 years now and it’s been a privileged to be living here in this magical place. I’m not being biased, but those awards says it all!
If you wanted a personal/personalised tour guide please feel free to contact me or just leave a comment below for any other queries.