The best destinations are often the ones that hide in the shadows of noisy neighbours…
Pateley Bridge and Washburn Valley
An alternative to: Yorkshire Dales
Nidderdale is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which shares a western border with, but remains outside, the Yorkshire Dales National Park. As a result, the upper valley of the River Nidd is generally overlooked in favour of the neighbouring National Park land. Needless to say, it is very similar in character to the Yorkshire Dales; that is to say as plump and appealing as a fluffy duvet.
The AONB also takes in the Washburn Valley, part of lower Wharfedale, the fells around Great Whernside and parts of Wensleydale. The eastern side is home to towns and villages, but the finest walking is along the more remote and rugged western side. The Nidderdale Way is a 53-mile hike through Nidderdale, taking in both sides of the valley, and starting and finishing in Pateley Bridge.
Hubs: Pateley Bridge, Harrogate
Tourist information: Pateley Bridge, 0845 389 0179
Map: Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer sheet 298 (Nidderdale)
Image: Steve Meese/Shutterstock