Pateley Bridge

Upper Nidderdale

'A woodland clearing near paths' is where this busy little town gets its name from. The main feature here is the narrow, steep High Street, lined with shops, cafés, art studios, guest houses and welcoming public houses. England's Oldest sweet shop can be found here, and, according to David Brearley, the best butchers in the whole of Yorkshire. In the summer months there are so many floral arrangements to enjoy, from hanging baskets to flower-filled stone troughs. The town, along with neighbouring Bewerley, has won the Britain in Bloom competition twice.

View down the High Street


Pateley's old-time prosperity relied on leadmining, quarrying and flax, all featured in the award-winning Nidderdale Museum. There is also a glassblower, a jeweller, a potter and the 'Little Theatre of the Dales' - Pateley Playhouse. Traditions are also preserved with annual events such as the Nidderdale Festival and the Agricultural Show, one of the country's finest. 

St Mary's Church

High above the town are the ruins of the medieval St Mary's Church. A chapel was established here before 1321. From the churchyard one has a grand view of the valley. In the churchyard are the graves of a woman who was almost 120 years old when she died in 1743 and quadruplets born in 1755. One of the more unusual landmarks up here is Yorke's Folly, two towers built by a local and influential family, the Yorkes, to provide work at a time of depression. Each worker received a loaf of bread and 4 old pennies a day.

Nearby is How Stean Gorge, a spectacular limestone gorge known as Yorkshire’s Little Switzerland. It owes its existence to the last years of the Great Ice Age, about 14,000 years ago. The chasm is 66ft (20mts) deep, and contains such features as Elgin's Hole and Tom Taylor's cave where a trove of silver Roman coins was once found. A little path clings to the cliff and leads along the sides of the gorge, which are clad in ivy, mosses and ferns. 

Stump Cross Caverns is on the road to Grassington and contains some wonderful stalactites and stalagmites up to 200,000 years old. In 1963 one man spent 105 days in the caves in total isolation except for a telephone link, presumably to the Samaritans.


The Old Sweet Shop