Whenever I head into Nidderdale I ask myself whether the place is actually better off for not being granted National Park status along with the western area of the Dales. Some parts of Nidderdale seem to have developed more naturally and logically than many in the NP region where a preference for the preservation of an idyll seems to have prevailed. One day last week I was enjoying the view from Middlesmoor where St Chad’s graveyard, some 900 feet above sea level, overlooks the whole of upper Nidderdale. Gouthwaite reservoir, much of it still frozen, glistened in the distance. There was the feeling this is a working, living dale not just a picture postcard. The ancient church was consecrated as far back as 1484 but the village, with its steep little alleyways and courtyards, says 18th century. The place has developed eclectically since then, giving a distinct individuality which isn’t always seen within the NP.

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  1. Lee

    I think Middlesmoor is charming. Myself and a friend did a circular walk from Pateley Bridge a couple of years ago.

    I live in the far south of the county and unfortunately the area isn’t easy to reach.

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