Nidderdale highlights

A series of reservoirs up the valley offer bracing walks along with interesting stories about their construction.Gouthwaite Reservoir is a great place for bird watching. Scar House Reservoir tucked high up in the hills offers great walking and mountain biking. The extensive high heather moors above the valley turn purple as they flower in late summer. The market town of Patelely Bridge is an excellent base to explore the area and has a full range of facilities plus a community-run museum and the fascinating King’s Street craft workshops. The National Trust’s Fountains Abbey is nearby as are Ripon Cathedral and Newby Hall.

Dramatic gorges and caves

At Lofthouse you can discover How Stean Gorge where you can explore the dramatic limestone gorge, go through caves, take on a via ferrata or just have a coffee and admire the view. 

Cycle through history

The Way of the Roses cycle route passes through Pateley Bridge and then continues on to Brimham Rocks with its strange rock formations, and then to Fountains Abbey a stunning World Heritage Site.

South of Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale opens out and the scenery changes to rolling farmland as the river continues its journey past Ripley and Harrogate to Knaresborough.


Nidderdale is in the eastern Dales and is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Upper Nidderdale begins at the small market town of Pateley Bridge and is a narrow valley surrounded by large expanses of heather moorland. You can enjoy walking, mountain biking, pony trekking or fishing.



Widdale is perhaps one of the less well-known dales in the National Park, but it is worth making the trip up from Ribblehead or down from Hawes. The B6255 was once an old turnpike road. Here you can experience the feeling of remoteness in amongst the conifer woods or bleak moorland that lie on either side.



Littondale is a quiet little dale off Upper Wharfedale. The shallow River Skirfare meanders across the farmed valley floor. It disappears below ground for much of the year north of the hamlet of Litton. This exposes a dry, rocky bed, one of the unusual features of limestone landscapes.


Rawthey Valley

The Rawthey Valley is located in the north-west corner of the National Park. This broad, u-shaped valley has a hummocky, undulating valley floor. It is dominated by the overwhelming presence of the Howgill Fells.



The most northerly of the dales within the National Park is home to the wonderfully named Booze and Whaw – two of the small communities in the valley. The largest village, Langthwaite, is famous for being used in the title shots for the iconic series 'All Creatures Great and Small' in particular the Red Lion pub.


Ingleton Glens

The Ingleton Glens form the lower part of Chapel-le-Dale at its junction with Kingsdale, extending down to the National Park boundary immediately north of Ingleton.



The River Aire begins its life just south of Malham at a spring known as Aire Head. As it flows downstream below Airton, the River Aire crosses the southernmost of the Craven Fault lines. Here the narrow valley known as Malhamdale widens to become Airedale.



Coverdale is a side valley of Wensleydale. Starting close to East Witton it runs in a south-westerly direction with its major settlement being Carlton-in-Coverdale. Beyond Carlton a narrow singletrack road ascends the valley, eventually climbing over Park Rash from where it descends steeply to Kettlewell.


Lune Valley

The River Lune begins its journey on the northern slopes of the Howgills, then flows west to Tebay before doing a sharp left near Junction 38 of the M6. It then journeys south along the western slopes of the Howgills before the valley opens out as it flows towards Kirkby Lonsdale.


Mallerstang and Eden Valley

The River Eden starts its journey to the sea high in the Mallerstang valley. It crashes down through Hell Gill – a narrow, steep-sided limestone gorge – into the main valley at Aisgill. Legend has it that the highwayman Dick Turpin once leapt over the gorge on his horse to escape pursuing lawmen - crossing is now much easier thanks to a lovely stone bridge.