Bordering the Yorkshire Dales National Park to the west, the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a 233-square mile region of dramatic contrasts, with the River Nidd slicing across from the fells in the west to the south-east.
The landscape varies from remote heather moorland in the west – important for wildlife, particularly grouse – to the softer eastern side with rolling hills, farmland and pretty towns and villages. Our Greentraveller Guide to Holidays in the Nidderdale AONB is designed to help you get the most from your visit. We’ve done the research for you, seeking out the best places to stay, from luxury country house hotels to campsites, and we’ve found the best food too, whether it’s at a Michelin-starred restaurant or a farm shop. We’ve picked key places to visit and activities you shouldn’t miss out on – from walking with llamas to caving.
You’ll also find info on how to reach the main stations by train or bus, and how to travel around within the AONB by bus or bike.
Leanne Fox, Information Officer for the Nidderdale AONBA word from the Nidderdale AONB
Nidderdale’s landscape is varied and full of contrasts. The uplands to the west contain some of the most famous grouse moors in the country, where walkers, horseriders and cyclists can enjoy an exhilarating feeling that only comes from wide open spaces and gradually unfolding horizons. The landscape broadens and flattens to the east, giving way to a softer more pastoral landscape with historic parks and gardens and great country houses such as Hackfall, Swinton Castle and Fountains Abbey. They sit cheek by jowl with fascinating remains of mines and quarries from the Roman period to the 19th century, alongside massive stone dams, reservoirs and spillways constructed by the water industry in the nineteenth century.
There are endless opportunities for enjoying Nidderdale’s landscape on foot, while opportunities for mountain biking are some of the best. Established attractions provide opportunities for cave exploration, rock climbing and scrambling, and Nidderdale’s Via Ferrata is attracting record numbers! Walking with Llamas, and visits to family-friendly farms with nature trails are also on offer, and there are plenty of places to stay too, from B&B’s that offer a traditional Yorkshire welcome, to eco-friendly timber lodges, camp sites and some of the best country house hotels in the region.
Great food is available everywhere as well, at traditional cafés, shops selling local food and Michelin-starred restaurants. Although proud to be part of the Yorkshire Dales, Nidderdale has a character all of its own!