North Yorkshire

Lofthouse is a village in the Harrogate former district of North Yorkshire.

Lofthouse is in upper Nidderdale reached by minor roads 6 miles north-north-west of Pateley Bridge and around 10 miles over moors to the south-west of Masham. It lies around 20 miles by road to the north-west of Harrogate.

The village is just above the River Nidd and a mile from the smaller hillside village of Middlesmoor, where the anglican church of St Chad looks out over the valley. Interestingly the only inns in both Lofthouse and Middlesmoor are called The Crown Hotel.

Although quite a remote village today, Lofthouse did in the early 1900s have a railway station on the Nidd Valley Light Railway. The railway was principally created for the construction of the Angram and Scar House Reservoirs, a few miles further up Nidderdale above the Nidderdale Caves where the river famously runs underground. In addition to the reservoir construction, the railway also offered a passenger service between Lofthouse and Pateley Bridge which was run by Bradford Corporation, for which the reservoirs were built. The track was lifted in the 1930s after completion of the huge reservoirs.

 Village features

Lofthouse is in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The village is on the River Nidd.
Lofthouse has a pub - The Crown Hotel.
Places to stay in Lofthouse include inn, camping accommodation.
Lofthouse has a village hall - Lofthouse Memorial Institute.
There are public toilets in the village.
Locations of toilets and opening times can be found at this North Yorkshire Council - Public toilets web page.
Lofthouse has a school.


Bus travel

The village has an infrequent bus service.

Road travel

Lofthouse is reached on minor roads .

Places to visit

Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Extending across an area of 232 square miles (603 sq km), the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Beauty has Pateley Bridge at its centre. Just to the west is the Yorkshire Dales National Park (see below).The area has a beautiful and varied landscape including rolling heather-topped moorland, stone-walled agricultural fields and farms, small villages, lake-like reservoirs and some outstanding geological features, the best known of which are Brimham Rocks. For more details see our Nidderdale page.

Brimham Rocks

Brimham Moor Road, near Summerbridge
This area of around 160 hectares of heather moorland and woodland can be found around 3 miles east of Pateley Bridge. It features some weird and wonderful rocky outcrops in many strange shapes and formations which have been given familiar names such as The Sphinx, The Gorilla and The Dancing Bear. Some formations stand around 10 metres high and attract climbers as well as walkers and tourists. The site also has visitor facilities including a car park, shop, refreshments and toilets and is managed by The National Trust.
Find out more at the  National Trust - Brimham Rocks website.
Locate on map:  Brimham Rocks

Coldstones Cut

Near B6265, Greenhow Hill
Yorkshire's biggest and highest public artwork, Coldstones Cut, is around 2 miles west-south-west of Pateley Bridge. The hilltop site is reached by an ascending path of around 0.5km from the B6265 road near the old Toft Gate lime kiln. Created by artist Andrew Sabin, Coldstones Cut features two low stone towers reached by spriral paths and a large viewing area where visitors can look down into the hidden depths of a massive working limestone quarry and across the landscape of Nidderdale. A giant Yellow bicycle was placed alongside Coldstones Cut to mark the Grand Dédepart of the Tour de France through Yorkshire in 2014.
Further details at the  Coldstones Cut website.
Locate on map:  Coldstones Cut

Stump Cross Caverns

Stump Cross Caverns

On B6265 Hebden Road, near Greenhow Hill
Situated around 5 miles west-south-west of Pateley Bridge, Stump Cross Caverns are show caves with some impressive stalactites and stalagmites among the limestone features reached by steps leading beneath the ground. A cafe with fine views across the nearby hills is also situated at the show cave entrance.

Find on map:  Stump Cross Caverns

How Stean Gorge

How Stean Gorge offers an outdoor pursuits and activities centre with activities including, rock climbing, canyoning and canoeing, but also provides opportunities for the day visitor offering tickets to explore the ancient limestone gorge as well as a cafe and a shop offering provisions and local gifts. A unique feature of a new events room is a glass floor allowing people to stand directly over the gorge, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
For more information see the  How Stean Gorge website.
Locate on map:  How Stean Gorge

Nidderdale Museum

The Old Workhouse, King Street, Pateley Bridge
Life and work in Nidderdale through the ages is explored through a large collection of exhibits housed in a building which was built in 1863 as the Pateley Bridge Union Workhouse. The museum is run and staffed entirely by volunteers of the Nidderdale Museum Society, which received The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2017. The comprehensive collection is housed in 11 rooms including leisure, agriculture, industry, religion, transport, and costume themes. There is an original cobblers shop, a Victorian parlour, a general store, schoolroom and couthouse, exhibits from World War I and II, about the local lead mining industry and about the area's now-closed railways.
More information at the  Nidderdale Museum website.


One of Yorkshire's historic cities, Ripon has a cathedral dedicated in 672 which was founded by St Wilfred, the Abbot of the monestary of Ripon. The smallest of Yorkshire's seven cities, Ripon also continues ancient traditions, including The Ripon Hornblower who blows the horn at the town's Obelisk in its Market Place at 9pm each evening. Ripon also features some fascinating museums revealing its historic past: a Prison and Police Museum, a Workhouse Museum and Garden and a Courthouse Museum. Find out more about Ripon.

Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Fountains, near Ripon, North Yorkshire
A World Heritage site containing Britain's most complete Cistercian abbey ruins. Fountains Abbey dates from 1132 when it became the home of 13 monks. The water gardens in the wooded valley of the River Skell were a Georgian addition to the Studley Royal Estate with features including classical statues, follies and garden buildings. Also on the estate are the 12th century Fountains Mill, the early 17th century Fountains Hall, the Porter's Lodge exhibition in the abbey gatehouse, St Mary's Church, a splendid Victorian Gothic Church, and a deer park. The estate is off the B6265 Ripon to Pateley Bridge road about 3 miles south-west of Ripon and is managed by The National Trust.

Find out more at the  National Trust - Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal website.

Marmion Tower

Marmion Tower

West Tanfield
An impressive stone gatehouse to a lost manor house beside the River Ure which was once the manor of Elizabeth Parr, grandmother of Queen Katherine Parr, the sixth and last wife of King Henry VIII. The manor passed to Elizabeth Parr in 1513, but the gatehouse is now its only significant remains. The gatehouse was originally built during the latter part of the 14th century but has been remodelled several times. Its first floor has a splendid projecting oriel window. The 69 spiral steps of the tower can be climbed during its daily opening times. The tower is managed by English Heritage and there is no admission charge.
More information at the  English Heritage - Marmion Tower website.

Lightwater Valley

Lightwater Valley

North Stainley
Lightwater Valley is a theme park in 70 hectares of countryside off the A6108 near North Stainley about 4 miles north-north-west of Ripon. It includes more than 40 rides and themed attractions aimed at under-12s.

Find  Lightwater Valley on map.

Ripley Castle

Ripley CastleRipley
Situated four miles north-north-west of Harrogate town cente, Ripley Castle has been the home of one family for more than 700 years. It is set in beautiful gardens, grounds which include a deer park and the picturesque estate village of Ripley, remodelled in the mid 19th century. Ripley Castle has a fascinating history involving Kings and Queens, the Gunpowder Plot and Oliver Cromwell. It offers daily guided tours from April to October, has a gift shop and tearooom, offers a wedding and meeting venue and a variety of outdoor activities and events.

For further details see the  Ripley Castle website.
Locate on map:  Ripley Castle

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Adjoining the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the west is the further 841 square miles (2,179 square kilometers) of beauty of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Find out more on our Yorkshire Dales National Park page.

Emergency services

North Yorkshire Police  North Yorkshire Police website.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Civil parish council

Upper Nidderdale Parish Council
Provides some local services in the area.
Link to council website:  Upper Nidderdale Parish Council

District authority Abolished

Harrogate Borough Council

Harrogate Borough Council ceased from April 1, 2023. From 1974 it was the most populous of the seven abolished shire districts of North Yorkshire. The borough also included many other villages, towns including Knaresborough, Boroughbridge and Pateley Bridge and the city of Ripon.

The North Yorkshire Council unitary authority takes over services previously operated by Harrogate Borough Council. These included local planning, waste collection, street cleaning, parks and car parks, housing and markets.

Places in the former  Harrogate district.

Unitary authority New

North Yorkshire Council

The North Yorkshire Council is a new unitary authority formed from the previous County Council from April 1, 2023. It covers the existing county duties including highways, schools, libraries and transport planning over an area of around 3,085 square miles while also taking over the responsibilities of the seven huge district authorities also created in 1974 — Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby — these including local planning, waste collection, street cleaning, parks and car parks, housing and markets.

Councillors were elected to the County Council in 2022 and continue as councillors of the new North Yorkshire Council unitary authority. In that election, the Conservatives gained a slim majority gaining 47 of the 90 seats.

Places in  North Yorkshire

Link to council website:  North Yorkshire Council

Political composition:

4613119 NY Ind5411
90 members

NY Ind = North Yorkshire Independents group     E = By-election in Eastfield division pending on May 25, 2023.
Composition and groupings as at May 4, 2023

County authority Abolished

North Yorkshire County Council

North Yorkshire County Council was a shire county authority which existed between 1974 and April 1, 2023, covering duties including highways, schools, libraries and transport planning. It was transformed into the North Yorkshire Council unitary authority on April 1, 2023, while the seven huge district authorities within — Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby — were also abolished.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire
Covers the county of North Yorkshire and  City of York.
 Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire website.

National government region

Yorkshire and the Humber

Ceremonial county

North Yorkshire


- 1974: Within the West Riding of Yorkshire.
1974 - 2023: In the Harrogate shire district of the North Yorkshire county.

Also in

In Harrogate district: Boroughbridge Harrogate Knaresborough Masham Pateley Bridge Ripon

 Home    Travel    Places to visit - a website. Made in Yorkshire UK   |  Terms of use  |  Privacy policy  with  No cookies  |  Contact  |