Nidderdale AONB

matthew hillier

Here on the Eastern flanks of the Pennines in North Yorkshire, the Nidderdale AONB is a diverse and dramatic landscape with wild, open moorlands and secluded, pastoral dales.

Together with its historic and cultural sites, and wildlife habitats of international importance these features make up a landscape worthy of designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covers 233 square miles (603 km2) of Northern England in the county of North Yorkshire.  The only town in Nidderdale AONB is Pateley Bridge.  See Wikipedia article on Nidderdale

The AONB shares a common boundary with the Yorkshire Dales National Park immediately to the west.

The special quality of the landscape was formally recognised by the Government on 14 February 1994, when it was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Landscape Attractions

The natural beauty of the AONB is its greatest asset and there are many landscape attractions. Here are just a few highlights:

Brimham Rocks – The National Trust
Moorland overlooking Nidderdale filled with strange and fantastic gritstone rock formations, and rich in wildlife.Hackfall Woods near Grewelthorpe – The Woodland Trust
A Registered Historic Park, this steep wooded valley includes historical features created by the owners of the Studley Estate in the 18th Century.

Cultural Heritage

The AONB is rich in cultural heritage – with remains from over 6,000 years of human activity. Evidence suggests that there has been almost continuous settlement over this time with the exception of the Roman period for which evidence is scanty. Fantastic places such as Fountains Abbey/Studley Roger (which is designated as a World Heritage Site) add to the richness of the AONB. Parts of the AONB landscape have been shaped by lead mining – in fact villages such as Greenhow were created specifically to house miners. You can still see remains of the industrial past in many parts of the AONB. Listed below are a few highlights:

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Estate – A World Heritage Site

Druids Temple
A ‘folly’ accessible from a public footpath, situated in Druids Plantation (woodland) between Healey and Ilton (Grid Ref SE174 787).

Other Attractions
Nidderdale Museum, Pateley Bridge
Museum of the Year Award winner in 1990, this museum has a large and lively collection illustrating all aspects of the Dale’s history.

Toft Gate Lime Kiln
This 19th Century lime kiln has information boards detailing the history of the site and a parking area for about 25 cars. Open all year round with good surfaced paths it’s about 2 miles from Pateley Bridge on the B6265 Grassington Road, just before Greenhow Village.

Nidderdale AONB,
The Old Workhouse,
King Street,
Pateley Bridge,
t: 01423 712950