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Upper Nidderdale
Winter in Nidderdale

Nidderdale, historically also known as Netherdale,[1] is one of the Yorkshire Dales (although outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park) in North Yorkshire, England. It is the upper valley of the River Nidd, which flows south underground and then along the dale, forming several reservoirs including the Gouthwaite Reservoir, before turning east and eventually joining the River Ouse.

The only town in the dale is Pateley Bridge. Other settlements include Wath, Ramsgill, Lofthouse, and Middlesmoor above Pateley Bridge, and Bewerley, Glasshouses, Summerbridge, Dacre, Darley, Birstwith, Hampsthwaite and Kettlesing below Pateley.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty[edit]

Nidderdale was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1994.[2] The AONB covers a much wider area than Nidderdale. In addition to Nidderdale itself (above Hampsthwaite), the AONB includes part of lower Wharfedale, the Washburn valley and part of lower Wensleydale, including Jervaulx Abbey and the side valleys west of the River Ure. The highest point in the Nidderdale AONB is Great Whernside, 704 metres above sea level, on the border with the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Local government[edit]

Nidderdale was historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and in the Lower Division of Claro Wapentake. In the 19th century local government reforms most of the dale fell within the Pateley Bridge Poor Law Union,[3] later the Pateley Bridge Rural Sanitary District[4] and from 1894 Pateley Bridge Rural District.[5] In 1937 the rural district was merged to become part of Ripon and Pateley Bridge Rural District.[6] Hampsthwaite and Felliscliffe in the lower dale fell within Knaresborough Poor Law Union, later Knaresborough Rural Sanitary District and from 1894 Knaresborough Rural District, which merged in 1938 to become part of Nidderdale Rural District.[7]

Since 1974 the whole dale has fallen within the Borough of Harrogate in North Yorkshire.


A Nidderdale Omnibus started operating on 1 August 1849 and ran between Pateley Bridge and Ripley Station. In 1862 the North Eastern Railway opened the Nidd Valley Railway from Nidd Valley Junction near Harrogate to Pateley Bridge. Between 1907 and 1937 the Nidd Valley Light Railway served the dale above Pateley Bridge. The Pateley Bridge branch closed in 1964.

Nidderdale is now served by the buses of Harrogate Bus Company.

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, A.H. (1961). The Place-names of the West Riding of Yorkshire. 5. Cambridge University Press. p. 76.
  2. ^ "Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty". Visit Harrogate. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  3. ^ Vision of Britain: Pateley Bridge RegD/PLU
  4. ^ Vision of Britain: Pateley Bridge RSD
  5. ^ Vision of Britain: Pately Bridge RD
  6. ^ Vision of Britain: Ripon and Pateley Bridge RD
  7. ^ Vision of Britain: Knaresborough RD
  8. ^ The Independent - The Dales: A lifelong romance, 6 November 2005

External links[edit]

Media related to Nidderdale at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 54°05′12″N 1°45′28″W / 54.086688°N 1.757728°W / 54.086688; -1.757728