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Howardian Hills AONB
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Nidderdale AONB

Nidderdale AONB
Black Sheep Brewery
Brimham Rocks
Coldstones Cut
Druid's Temple
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Hall
Gouthwaite Reservoir
Hackfall Woods
How Stean Gorge
Jervaulx Abbey
Marmion Tower
Nidderdale Museum
Nidderdale Villages
Pateley Bridge
Ripley Castle
Scar House Reservoir
Stump Cross

Thornborough Henges
Toft Gate Lime Kiln
West Tanfield


OS grid reference:- SE 102 735

The pretty village of Lofthouse is situated in Nidderdale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty about a mile to the south of Middlesmoor and 7 miles from the Market town of Pateley Bridge.

The name derives from the Old Norse lopt hús, meaning "houses with lofts". The village has a pub 'The Crown' which serves food and offers accommodation, there is also a village hall, a primary school and a small shop which seves as both Post Office and general store.

How Stean Gorge lies close to the village, known as 'England's little Switzerland', where the river has carved out a deep gorge down the valley. The steep sided gorge is almost 1 km (just over ½ a mile) in length and up to 20 metres (80 feet) deep in places. Visitors can explore its caves and tunnels or take part in a number of outdoor activities such as gorge walking, abseiling, caving, canoeing, and rock climbing.

A cave in the gorge (pictured right) was once the hideout of a notorious highwayman named Tom Taylor, who is said to have killed many of his victims in cold blood . The cave leads off the side of How Stean Gorge and emerges in a nearby field. Local legend relates that he hid in the cave and when he overheard people approaching he would make a sound like the hoot of an owl. Searchers then concluded that the cave must be empty if an owl was in it.

However, after being involved in a fracas, Taylor lost some of his front teeth, resulting in the subsequent 'hoot' sounding nothing like an owl. He was eventually apprehended, tried and executed.

Yorkshire Towns and Villages