This attractive grey stone village is in a steep, narrow part of the dale, where the old coach road over Park Rash Pass from Middleham and Coverdale joins the main road up Wharfedale.
Three inns in the village bear witness to the village's former importance as a transport hub. The Blue Bell Inn is probably the oldest and welcomes walkers and tourers with hand-pulled ale and log fires in the colder months. Almost opposite lies the Racehorses Hotel housed in a lovely eighteenth century building beside the Wharfe. Last but not least is the Kings Head, hidden away from the main road but well-worth seeking out for it's locally-sourced ingredients and imaginative menus.
The village's narrow back lanes with rows of picturesque cottages add charm to this compact community, which has a good choice of facilities for visitors. As well as the three pubs there are delightful tea rooms such as Zarina's where you might be served cakes made from eggs laid by hens in the back garden.
Not to be missed is the annual Scarecrow Festival which is a firm favourite with families.
In the twenty-first century walkers are probably the most frequent visitors. Some are walking the Dales Way northwards towards Buckden. Others are setting out to climb Great Whernside (704 metres) to the east. Another popular ramble is over Old Cote Moor to Arncliffe in Littondale, returning via Hawkscliffe and the fine viewpoint down to Kilnsey Crag from Knipe Scar. If you are feeling less energetic, then a gentle stroll along the river is recommended, or perhaps a look around the beautiful parish church with its Norman font.
There is a regular minibus service to the village from Grassington during the week and additional bus services on Sundays. Buses stop outside the National Park car park which has toilet facilities. The garage next door is one of the few places where you can get fuel between Grassington and Hawes
The Kettlewell Village website has information on the festival and also the wide range of accommodation available in and around the village including a Youth Hostel.