As part of our Green Traveller's Guide to Nidderdale, Paul Bloomfield picks out a selection of B&Bs, hotels, self-catering and campsites in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Yorkshire Dales.
There are lots of great places to stay in the Nidderdale AONB, so to help you narrow it down we’ve picked a varied selection to suit all occasions, tastes and budgets.
Be lord of the manor at lavish Swinton Park, a castle hotel on its own vast estate, which has won awards for its green policies. Or you might prefer a traditional pub, in which case we have several suggestions (the beer is likely to be good, too). Perhaps opt for a B&B, such as the welcoming Cowscot House in Kirkby Malzeard (the breakfasts alone make a trip worthwhile), or stay in a farmhouse, far from the rest of the world.
Campers have some unsual choices too – among our favourites are the eco-friendly Bivouac with its yurts, and the new ‘pods’ at Studfold. Whatever you're after, we're sure you'll be able to find something you like in our collection of green and gorgeous places to stay.
A family-run hotel and restaurant close to picturesque Pateley Bridge, the Sportsman’s Arms prides itself on offering a warm welcome, unpretentious service and great food. Chef-owner Ray Carter has created a menu that favours game – much shot within a mile of the restaurant – and daily deliveries from the coast bring fresh fish to the table. Linger in the cosy bar – a favourite with hikers – where a log fire roars in the winter, and local ales and fine wines are on the menu. There are great walks on the doorstep, pretty villages to explore nearby, and the hotel has fishing rights to a stretch of the River Nidd for keen anglers. sportsmans-arms.co.uk
For location and views across the Yorkshire Dales, the Wellington Inn is hard to beat. A pub with restaurant and 12 rooms, it’s a great base for exploring this beautiful region. The restaurant – think polished wooden floors, faded rugs and warm colours – is renowned for its use of local produce and delicious homemade fare, while locals and visitors enjoy the welcoming atmosphere of the pub with its inglenook fireplace. Stay in one of the super-clean, simple rooms and you can enjoy a hearty full-English breakfast – sure to set you up for a day in the great outdoors. wellington-inn.co.uk
The Timble Inn
Looking for a romantic place to stay? Check in to the Timble Inn – an 18th century Grade II listed coaching inn that marries old world charm with modern comfort. There are nine spacious rooms, with lots of lovely touches to make them feel particularly special, from top-quality Egyptian cotton linen to White Company toiletries. The restaurant focuses on using the finest locally sourced ingredients in its creative menu, all served in decadent surrounds – expect crisp white linen, sparkling silverware and candlelight at night (the Sunday lunch is a particular draw). Perfect for a romantic weekend away. thetimbleinn.co.uk
High Green Farm
Perched on the hillside of Nidderdale, this renovated farmhouse offers amazing views across Gouthwaite Reservoir. There are two pretty, light rooms (a double with adjacent bathroom and twin with en-suite shower) and under floor heating adds to the cosy feeling in winter. The traditional Aga cooked breakfasts include eggs from the farm and locally sourced produce. The historic Pateley Bridge is closeby, with traditional shops and tearooms, and all the region has to offer is easily accessible. highgreen-nidderdale.co.uk
Creaking floorboards, winding staircases and lovely antiques add to this rambling 16th-century farmhouse’s charm. Owners Charles and Maggie will make sure you feel at home – and their love of this glorious area and all it offers will inspire your exploration. It’s the kind of place you can kickback and really relax, with big comfy beds, and individual quirky touches in each room. The kitchen is at the heart of the house and guests breakfast around a large dining table, feasting on the likes of local black pudding, sausages from the next door farm and kedgeree with Nidderdale trout. mallardgrange.co.uk
Moorhouse Guest House
Follow in the footsteps of royals and celebrities (including Bing Crosby!) who have stayed in this gorgeous traditional country lodge in the Nidderdale AONB, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, 20 minutes from Harrogate. Built of creamy York stone and surrounded by rolling fields, the house has five double or twin rooms with views of Dallowgill Moor and unspoilt countryside. The award-winning breakfasts offer a huge choice from pancakes to a full English and afternoon tea and dinner are available on request – and there’s a great local pub the Drovers’ Inn, one of the smallest in England, just next door. moorhousebnb.co.uk
Scaife Hall Farm
Enjoy a stay on a working farm, far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The 600-acre Scaife Farm in Washburn Valley has amazing moor views and great walking right on the doorstep. There are three rooms and a guest lounge with log fires and tons of information on the local area. The hearty breakfasts have won awards – with free-range eggs from the farm’s hens naturally, sausage, bacon and black pudding often from home-reared pigs and Heather honey from the farm too, of course. scaifehallfarm.co.uk
St Georges Court
St George’s Court is a family home and 20-acre working farm (look out for the pigs and the children’s sheep) in Grantley, just outside Ripon. The five en-suite rooms have a cottagey feel and are set round a courtyard, each with its own front door. Besides all the great local walks and adventures to be had nearby, guests can try a spot of fly fishing in the farm’s lake. The breakfasts are up there with the best and will set you up for the day. stgeorgescourt.co.uk
Park House B&B
Two workers’ cottages were converted to form Park House, which boasts an amazing location in the grounds of Jervaulx Abbey – and it’s the home of the abbey’s owners Carol and Ian Burdon. Partly built with stone from the abbey, the house is full of tasteful antiques, and each of the four guest rooms is finished to immaculate standards (the luxury room even has a whirlpool bath) – capturing that home away from home feeling. The little touches here make a big difference – from complimentary tea and cakes on arrival to free entry into the abbey. For those seeking peace and quiet book in now – Park House is a kid-free zone. jervaulxabbey.com
This gorgeous 19th century farmhouse has been painstakingly restored by owners Ed and Penny who welcome guests with open arms. There’s a super-comfy sitting room with squishy sofas (Ed’s paintings hang on the walls), and the six bedrooms (in the house and barn) are top-notch with little extras like WiFi and luxury toiletries. The gardens are a work of art with various ‘zones’, from woodland walks to stone-flagged terraces and the fruit and vegetable section. Breakfasts are equally satisfying – the home-made marmalade is not to be missed. coldcotes.com
Royal Parade Apartments, Yorkshire
Three luxury apartments combining ethical green credentials with five-star luxury. Experience the luxury of a hotel along with the comforts and privacy of a home from home in an unrivalled location. royalparade.co.uk
Yorkshire Bolt Holes
Yorkshire Bolt Holes offers two lovely 18th-century cottages just for two in Nidderdale – Ashknott Cottage in Kirkby Malzeard and Bewerley Hall Cottage in Bewerley. Beautifully decorated, this is self-catering in style (think Cath Kidston touches in the kitchen, the best linen and towels and locally-sourced, natural toiletries). Owner Sarah Manby greets guests at their cottage and gives them the lowdown on what to do and where to go over a cup of tea and slice of homemade lemon drizzle cake. yorkshireboltholes.com
Set in 29 acres of woodland, Helme Pasture is a picturesque country retreat with Scandinavian-style lodges and self-catering cottages. The newly-designed wooden lodges, which blend perfectly into the surrounding woods, sleep from two to eight people, while the well-equipped stone cottages sleep up to four. The location is perfect for checking out the area’s market towns and villages and natural attractions – and then returning to your own home sweet home. helmepasture.co.uk
West Leas Farm
The stone barns on West Leas Farm close to Ripon, have been converted into five lovely cottages. Each has its own character, though all offer everything you need for self-catering in comfort (they sleep from two to five people). The villages of Kirkby Malzeard and Galphay are within walking distance and the location’s great for exploring all Nidderdale has to offer. westleas.co.uk
There’s a traditional caravan and camping park at Studfold in Upper Nidderdale – or you could opt for a spot of ‘glamping’ and bag yourself one of the new camping ‘pods’. The wooden pods offer beds for two, have lights, heating and even a kettle! The camping facilities here are top-notch, the scenery simply beautiful and the location just right for exploring Nidderdale and the Yorkshire Dales. Studfold has an award-winning adventure nature trail too – fantastic for families. studfold.com
Old Station Yard
This family-run caravan and camping site is in a pretty, secluded location within walking distance of Masham. There’s a modern heated toilet and shower block and newly opened café, The Goods Shed, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and uses produce from local businesses. oldstation-masham.co.uk
For information on local food and drink, nearby visitor attractions and activities, see our