If you have been watching Britain in Bloom on BBC2 then you will already have heard about the amazing town of Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale, and its community of heart felt characters helping to put the town on the map. In 2018 Pateley Bridge were awarded the title ‘Best Village’ in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition and this year was finalist in the National Britain in Bloom contest.
This all is headed up by the eccentric and lovely Keith, as the chamber of trade and sweet shop owner, he uses his own time into promoting the wonderful area of natural beauty, historically referred to as Little Switzerland due to its scenery, fresh air and clear water.
Pateley Bridge High Street is full of independent shops including the Oldest Sweet Shop in the World as listed in Guinness World Records. The shop is housed in one of the earliest buildings on the High Street dating from the 1600s and has traded continuously since 1827.
Here you will find rows upon rows of sweets and chocolates to delight everyone, and everything in the shop is like a picture of the olden day, the till still makes that wonderful ping, the rows of sweets are held in the original glass jars, some of which are over 150 yrs old!
There are also two award-winning butchers who attract visitors from far afield including trainee police drivers whose instructors take a detour to come to Pateley for their pies! In December 2016, Pateley Bridge High Street was awarded the title ‘Best High Street’ in the country in the Great British High Street Awards - a competition run by the Government.
Here is our interview with Keith about the history of the sweet trade, and what it means to Nidderdale.
Pateley Bridge is the start of the Nidderdale Way, a walk which is 53 miles around the glorious Dale with its diverse and unique scenery. There are flat easy level walks from Pateley Bridge along the side of the River Nidd, which flows from one end of the Dale to the other.
Just off the High Street is the award winning Nidderdale Museum, which is run by volunteers and showcases the history of the area. There is a fantastic play park for children with the latest equipment and safety matting for protection.
To visit Pateley Bridge and the surrounding area is a unique experience. You will leave feeling you have just visited Paradise not just a place called Pateley Bridge.