Visit The Chevin Attraction – Otley

The Chevin is a ridge or escarpment to the south of Otley. A popular place for walkers and tourists. In summer there are many bilberries to pick but it is a long job to get enough for a decent pie.

Otley from the chevin

Chevin Forest Park is an area near Otley managed by Leeds Council.  The term Chevin is linked to Welsh ‘Cefn’ or ridge and may be derived from Celtic or Norse language.

Surprise View

  • From the top of the Chevin in the Royalty car park (the pub, not where the Queen parks) you can look down on Yeadon airport with planes landing and taking off not necessarily in that order.
  • Park at the official car park opposite the pub and walk towards the ridge you will get a ‘Surprise View’ of the Wharfe Valley and the north.
  • At Easter there is a large wooden cross erected on the summit after it is hauled up from Otley in the valley below.
  • The sign marker show what you can see on a clear day and includes Almscliff Crag and York Minster.


  • There are Chevin ranger guided walks between April and September and there is an Otley Walking Festival of- short town-based walks, themed walks, waterside walks, strenuous moorland hikes
  • The Chevin is used for Orienteering and Geocaching. Geocaching started in America and starts with an interesting item hidden in a box that other must find with or without GPS. (Sounds like a riot!).
  • Chevin Forest Trail details
  • If you are not quite up for walking there is a rural pursuit vehicle capable of carrying a wheelchair. There are also mobility scooters

chevin guitar

White House Cafe

  • In the middle of the main part of the Chevin there is a lunchtime cafe 10 am-2 pm but it was CLOSED AT WEEKENDS AND JUST WHEN YOU WANT TO USE IT! SO ARE THE LOOS! I did say it was run by the council.
  • There are birdbox cameras set up around the estate so cafe visitors can have their own Springwatch.
  • You can walk to the cafe in 20 minutes or so from Surprise View, Johnny Lane or East Chevin car park.A bit longer uphill from Otley town

Other Attractions

  • A ‘Geology trail’ is due to be completed for summer.
  • Sculpture in wood are scattered in the woods if you can see them for the Himalayan Balsam weeds.
  • Danefield estate is attached and has Rock climbing, more walking and other pursuits
  • The trees of Chevin forest are important for both resident and migratory birds, including the woodcock, goldcrest and redstart.


  • The Chevin Inn is twinned with the Askwith Arms in a village to the north of Otley just across the valley.
  • The Chevin Country Park Hotel & Spa is set at the top of the Chevin in a secluded wood cabin area – none the worse for that.
  • The Royalty   pub has reopened after refurbishment, the latest attempt in the pop-up pub world. I am not sure it is worth popping up the Chevin to eat or drink there as I got a bad pint and some cold shoulder. But the walk was worth it and the Chevin Inn is near by.
  • Otley is renown for the pubs and venues that offer a range to suit most tastes.

Bits according to Wikipedia
The famous painting ‘Snow Storm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps’ by J. M. W. Turner which hangs in the Tate Gallery, is reputed to have been inspired by a view of the Chevin with a stormy background sky. Turner used to stay in Yorkshire with his friend Walter Fawkes at Farnley Hall on the opposite side of the valley to the Chevin.
Johnny Lane runs from Station road Otley (don’t bother looking for the train it was Beechinged) up past the White House to above the treeline.

Johnny steps

Johnny Steps


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