Walking the Hills and Dales of Nidderdale
- Walk along the flowing River Nidd or cross the bridge for Afternoon tea at a local cafe.
- For the more adventurous a special plaque in Pateley Bridge High street marks the start and finish of the Nidderdale Way, a circular route of some 53 miles
- From St Mary’s churchyard up on the hill there is a grand view of the valley and some interesting and notable graves.
- Around and about are visitor traps including How Stean Gorge, Brimham Rocks and Stump Cross Caverns but the best walks for me are the many solitary rambles over the hills towards Grassington or Masham.
Browsing The Town
- Pateley Bridge is a market town that grew with local lead mining and now excels with colourful summer floral displays. It has won the Britain in Bloom competition a couple of times and should keep the trophy next time.
- It is the home of the Nidderdale Festival and one of the country’s finest Agricultural Shows.
- The narrow streets slope steeply up from the valley lined with shops, cafés, art studios, guest houses and the ever important public houses.
- The main High Street dates to 18th and early 19th century with bow fronted shop windows and handsome classical porches that now offer visitors a variety of shopping experiences. England’s oldest sweet shop can be found here (or at least the oldest sweet shop in Pateley ed.).
- Also worth seeing in the craft workshops are a glassblower, a jeweler and a potter, not forgetting a visit to Pateley Playhouse ‘Little Theatre of the Dales’.
- High above the town are the ruins of the medieval St. Mary’s Church dating from 1321.
- Nidderdale Museum shows how ordinary people lived, in imaginative and realistic settings.
- There are sections devoted to Agriculture, Industries, Religion, Transport and Costume.
- Visit Nidderdale’s living museum and see historic photographs and :
- Cobbler’s Workshop
- Victorian Parlour
- General Store
- Costumes of the 19th & 20th Century
- History of transport in the Dales
A good valley south of Pateley Bridge and Summerbridge near the river Nidd
Upper Nidderdale, near Pateley Bridge
Pateley Rant (a dialect poem of the Nidderdale Festival)
What croods o’ foak i’ Pateley Toon,
Fra roond an’ square, beeath up an’ doon,
All starin’ – see em!
Thar’s ivvery shap and ivvery mak,
Beath gert an’ lile, heath white an’ black,
Wal ivvery street an’ ivvery track
Is block’d up wi’ ’em.
Fra t’Reeaven Nest, an’ t’Middle-toon,
Fra t’Steanbeck Up an’ t’Steanbeck Doon
An’ fra t’Hoalboddom;
Ramsgill an’ t’Wath, ther quota send,
Harcasle youths i’ drooves attend,
Sike lots fra Greenha an’ t’West End
T’toon winnot hod ’em.
Oade men ‘at’s fowerscoore summers seen,
Wi’ hairless heeads an’ sparkless een,
Cum toddlin thither ;
Thar’s lots ov barns at just can woak,
I’ brats an’ frocks as white as choak,
An’ fulgrown lads and lasses stawk
A hunderd different voices rise,
Sitch bawlin, hooarse, discoordant cries,
A preist wad maddle;
Greengrocer Jamie praised his fruit,
Nut Harry tried to follow suit,
An’ Dicky Dee bowt fer his brute
A brand new saddle.
Ower t’Brig they gan be’y scoors at yance,
To Bewerley Park to watch ’em dance,
An’ lake at creckit;
Thar’s kissing rings, an’ twos an’ threes,
They skip an’ jump aboot like fleas;
T’Victoria Band maks under t’trees
A bonny racket.
Neea matter hoo wer time we spend;
Thar’s ne’er a day bud what mun end
Time keeps advancin’ ;
At Feast ‘ir fast it moves away,
An’ money a yan were thar that day,
At winnot (ah’ll be bun to say) ;
T’next Feeast be’y dancin.
They toke o’ Feasts, Wakes, Tides, an’ Fairs,
Whar graceless lads up t’street i’ pairs,
T’yung lasses follow ;
Begin an’ lait all Yorkshire throo,
An’ then yeel finn’d my words cum true,
At Pateley Feeast a’ll quite ootdew
All t’others hollo.
Fra ivvery part o’ t’Deeal they’re tharr
An’t Covil Hooses ;
Girt stridin’ chaps o’ milk weel fed
Like Bewerley Bill, an’ Hearfield Ned,
‘At’s used to nowt bud wark an’ bed,
An ‘lile carooses.
Strang lasses cum fra t’Folly Gill,
Heights, Thornfert, an’ Hardisty Hill,
Wi’ reudy feeaces;
Fra t’Smeltas, Wilsil, an’ New York ,
I’ ‘lastic boots weel heeled wi’ cork,
Seea pleeased this day to miss ther wark
Fer t’seeak a’t reeaces.
Whar yance t’bold Roman Eagle flew,
Noo floatin’ see t’red, white an’ blue,
Freedam’s gay standard ;
Fra Knarcsbro’, Harrogate an’ Leeds,
Pair efter pair to Guyscliffe speeds,
Whar Mowbray’s noble prancing steeds
Lang sin had wandered.
Wi’ joyous smiles as neet drew on,
They start i’ droaves (nut yan be’y yan);
Doon t’street to straddle;
Thar’s monny a lass wokes street and brant,
An’ at her sweetheart leaks aslant,
As. arm i’ arm fra Pateley Rant
They heeameward paddle.
Thomas Blackah (1828-1895)
Source and further poems including Rudyard Kipling on Greenhow
Do not let the weather put you off!