Pateley Bridge

North Yorkshire

Pateley Bridge is a town in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire.

The town is about 11 miles west-south-west of Ripon, 13 miles north-west of Harrogate, 16 miles north-east of Skipton and around 16 miles north of Otley.

Pateley Bridge is the main town of upper Nidderdale and at the centre of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The town's high street stretches up a hill from its bridge across the River Nidd and was judged village category winner of The Great British High Street awards 2016 . It includes a shop laying claim to be 'The oldest sweet shop in England' through having operated as such since 1827.

Pateley Bridge is the location of an early ford across the River Nidd, and from the 14th century a wooden bridge. This was replaced in the 18th century by a stone bridge.

A railway branch line was opened to Pateley Bridge in 1862. Initial high demand to carry linen, lead and limestone gradually declined with the closure of local lead mines, quarries and mills. From 1907 to 1937, however, it linked to the Nidd Valley Light Railway built up the Nidd valley to serve the construction by Bradford Corporation of the large Scar House and Angram Reservoirs. Passenger traffic to Pateley Bridge ended in 1951 but a goods service continued until 1964 when the line closed.

From before the Norman conquest the land around Pateley Bridge was in the possession of the Archbishop of York leading to the area becoming known as Bishopside. For many years the name was reflected in that of the civil parish council, named High and Low Bishopside Parish Council, but now simply Pateley Bridge Town Council.  Pateley Bridge Town Council website.

In September, Pateley Bridge hosts the annual Nidderdale Show, known locally as Pateley Show, a one-day traditional Yorkshire Dales agricultural show with displays of livestock, produce and crafts.  Nidderdale Show website.

 Town features

Pateley Bridge is in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Pateley Bridge is on the Nidderdale Way 53-mile circular long-distance path.
Pateley Bridge is on the Six Dales Way, a 38-mile waymarked trail between Otley and Middleham.
The town is on the River Nidd.
The town has a rich variety of traditional shops. Pateley Bridge offers bakery goods, butchers, antiques, crafts, flowers, gifts, sweets and other goods.
The town has a pharmacy.
Pateley Bridge has a choice of pubs.
Restaurant dining and cafes can be found in Pateley Bridge.
Takeaway food outlets in the town include fish and chips, curries, pizzas.
Pateley Bridge has a museum.
Pateley Bridge has a theatre.
There are public toilets in the town.
Places of worship: Anglican, Methodist.
Places to stay in Pateley Bridge include guest house, inn, caravan accommodation.


Bus travel

The town has buses to neighbouring towns and villages.

Road travel

Pateley Bridge can be reached via the B6165 B6265

Places to visit

Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Extending across an area of 232 square miles (603 sq km), the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Beauty has Pateley Bridge at its centre. Just to the west is the Yorkshire Dales National Park (see below).The area has a beautiful and varied landscape including rolling heather-topped moorland, stone-walled agricultural fields and farms, small villages, lake-like reservoirs and some outstanding geological features, the best known of which are Brimham Rocks. For more details see our Nidderdale page.

Brimham Rocks

Brimham Moor Road, near Summerbridge
This area of around 160 hectares of heather moorland and woodland can be found around 3 miles east of Pateley Bridge. It features some weird and wonderful rocky outcrops in many strange shapes and formations which have been given familiar names such as The Sphinx, The Gorilla and The Dancing Bear. Some formations stand around 10 metres high and attract climbers as well as walkers and tourists. The site also has visitor facilities including a car park, shop, refreshments and toilets and is managed by The National Trust.
Find out more at the  National Trust - Brimham Rocks website.
Locate on map:  Brimham Rocks

Coldstones Cut

Near B6265, Greenhow Hill
Yorkshire's biggest and highest public artwork, Coldstones Cut, is around 2 miles west-south-west of Pateley Bridge. The hilltop site is reached by an ascending path of around 0.5km from the B6265 road near the old Toft Gate lime kiln. Created by artist Andrew Sabin, Coldstones Cut features two low stone towers reached by spriral paths and a large viewing area where visitors can look down into the hidden depths of a massive working limestone quarry and across the landscape of Nidderdale. A giant Yellow bicycle was placed alongside Coldstones Cut to mark the Grand Dédepart of the Tour de France through Yorkshire in 2014.
Further details at the  Coldstones Cut website.
Locate on map:  Coldstones Cut

Stump Cross Caverns

Stump Cross Caverns

On B6265 Hebden Road, near Greenhow Hill
Situated around 5 miles west-south-west of Pateley Bridge, Stump Cross Caverns are show caves with some impressive stalactites and stalagmites among the limestone features reached by steps leading beneath the ground. A cafe with fine views across the nearby hills is also situated at the show cave entrance.

Find on map:  Stump Cross Caverns

How Stean Gorge

How Stean Gorge offers an outdoor pursuits and activities centre with activities including, rock climbing, canyoning and canoeing, but also provides opportunities for the day visitor offering tickets to explore the ancient limestone gorge as well as a cafe and a shop offering provisions and local gifts. A unique feature of a new events room is a glass floor allowing people to stand directly over the gorge, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
For more information see the  How Stean Gorge website.
Locate on map:  How Stean Gorge

Nidderdale Museum

The Old Workhouse, King Street, Pateley Bridge
Life and work in Nidderdale through the ages is explored through a large collection of exhibits housed in a building which was built in 1863 as the Pateley Bridge Union Workhouse. The museum is run and staffed entirely by volunteers of the Nidderdale Museum Society, which received The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2017. The comprehensive collection is housed in 11 rooms including leisure, agriculture, industry, religion, transport, and costume themes. There is an original cobblers shop, a Victorian parlour, a general store, schoolroom and couthouse, exhibits from World War I and II, about the local lead mining industry and about the area's now-closed railways.
More information at the  Nidderdale Museum website.


One of Yorkshire's historic cities, Ripon has a cathedral dedicated in 672 which was founded by St Wilfred, the Abbot of the monestary of Ripon. The smallest of Yorkshire's seven cities, Ripon also continues ancient traditions, including The Ripon Hornblower who blows the horn at the town's Obelisk in its Market Place at 9pm each evening. Ripon also features some fascinating museums revealing its historic past: a Prison and Police Museum, a Workhouse Museum and Garden and a Courthouse Museum. Find out more about Ripon.

Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Fountains, near Ripon, North Yorkshire
A World Heritage site containing Britain's most complete Cistercian abbey ruins. Fountains Abbey dates from 1132 when it became the home of 13 monks. The water gardens in the wooded valley of the River Skell were a Georgian addition to the Studley Royal Estate with features including classical statues, follies and garden buildings. Also on the estate are the 12th century Fountains Mill, the early 17th century Fountains Hall, the Porter's Lodge exhibition in the abbey gatehouse, St Mary's Church, a splendid Victorian Gothic Church, and a deer park. The estate is off the B6265 Ripon to Pateley Bridge road about 3 miles south-west of Ripon and is managed by The National Trust.

Find out more at the  National Trust - Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal website.

Marmion Tower

Marmion Tower

West Tanfield
An impressive stone gatehouse to a lost manor house beside the River Ure which was once the manor of Elizabeth Parr, grandmother of Queen Katherine Parr, the sixth and last wife of King Henry VIII. The manor passed to Elizabeth Parr in 1513, but the gatehouse is now its only significant remains. The gatehouse was originally built during the latter part of the 14th century but has been remodelled several times. Its first floor has a splendid projecting oriel window. The 69 spiral steps of the tower can be climbed during its daily opening times. The tower is managed by English Heritage and there is no admission charge.
More information at the  English Heritage - Marmion Tower website.

Lightwater Valley

North Stainley
Lightwater Valley is a theme park in 70 hectares of countryside off the A6108 near North Stainley about 4 miles north-north-west of Ripon. It also includes an Angry Birds Activity Park, falconry centre, farm, a country shopping village, cafe and more than 40 rides and attractions, including Europe's longest roller coaster ride, The Ultimate.

Ripley Castle

Ripley Castle Ripley
Situated four miles north-north-west of Harrogate town cente, Ripley Castle has been the home of one family for more than 700 years. It is set in beautiful gardens, grounds which include a deer park and the picturesque estate village of Ripley, remodelled in the mid 19th century. Ripley Castle has a fascinating history involving Kings and Queens, the Gunpowder Plot and Oliver Cromwell. It offers daily guided tours from April to October, has a gift shop and tearooom, offers a wedding and meeting venue and a variety of outdoor activities and events.

For further details see the  Ripley Castle website.
Locate on map:  Ripley Castle

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Adjoining the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the west is the further 841 square miles (2,179 square kilometers) of beauty of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Find out more on our Yorkshire Dales National Park page.

Emergency services

North Yorkshire Police  North Yorkshire Police website.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Civil parish council

Pateley Bridge Town Council
Provides some local services in the area.
Link to council website  Pateley Bridge Town Council

District authority

Harrogate Borough Council

Harrogate is the administrative centre of Harrogate Borough, one of the large district authorities of the North Yorkshire County Council area and the most populous of its seven districts.

The borough also includes many other villages, towns including Knaresborough, Boroughbridge and Pateley Bridge and the city of Ripon.

Within the borough are 76 town and civil parish councils and 11 parish meetings.

The borough council was made up of 54 elected members with one-third elected in each year out of four, but from 2018 there are now 40 elected members elected each four years.

Link to  Harrogate Borough Council website.

The political composition after the May 2018 election was:

40 members

County authority

North Yorkshire County Council
Includes the Harrogate borough and six other non-unitary districts of North Yorkshire.
 North Yorkshire County Council website.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire
Covers the county of North Yorkshire and  City of York.
 Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire website.

National government region

Yorkshire and the Humber

Ceremonial county

North Yorkshire


-1974: In the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Also in

In Harrogate district: Boroughbridge Harrogate Knaresborough Masham Pateley Bridge Ripon

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