Wharfedale

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The broad sunlit uplands of Lower Wharfedale above Otley

Wharfedale is one of the Yorkshire Dales in England. It is the upper valley of the River Wharfe. Towns and villages in Wharfedale (in order, travelling downstream, from west to east) include Buckden,[1] Kettlewell, Conistone, Grassington, Hebden, Ilkley, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Otley, Pool-in-Wharfedale, Arthington, Collingham, and Wetherby.[2] Beyond Wetherby the valley opens out, and becomes part of the Vale of York.

The section from the river's source to around Addingham is known as Upper Wharfedale and lies in North Yorkshire and in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The first fifteen miles or so is known as Langstrothdale, including the settlements of Beckermonds, Yockenthwaite and Hubberholme, famous for its church, the resting place of the writer J. B. Priestley. As it turns southwards, the Wharfe then runs through a green and lush valley, characterised by limestone outcrops, such as Kilnsey Crag, and woodland, generally quite unusual in the Dales.

Below Addingham the dale broadens and turns to the east. This section is shared between North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, and includes the towns of Ilkley, Otley and Wetherby.

The Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust has a remit to conserve the ecological condition of Wharefdale, Wensleydale, Swaledale and Nidderdale catchments from their headwaters to the Humber estuary.

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