Delve into Nidderdale’s past at Heritage Open Days

The 17th century 'Witch of the Woods' cottage, near Galphay.

The 17th century 'Witch of the Woods' cottage, near Galphay.

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Historic buildings and venues which detail Nidderdale’s illustrious past are set to open their doors to the public for free over the next four days.

The annual Heritage Open Days programme gives people the chance of a glimpse behind the scenes at some of Nidderdale’s proudest assets and hidden gems.

Many of the sites are not normally open to the public or usually charge a fee.

The scheme was launched in 1994, and is the country’s largest free celebration of architecture, history and culture.

The event, which runs from today until Sunday, began 14 years ago, and has grown in popularity to become one of the biggest in the UK.

To showcase some of Nidderdales stunning sites, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) team will be running a programme of events.

Venues include the privately-owned Wath Mill and Nidderdale Museum, in Pateley Bridge. There will also be a walk to the ‘Witch of the Woods’ cottage through privately owned woodland near Galphay.

Leanne Fox, information officer at Nidderdale AONB, said: “Nidderdale AONB is one of Britain’s finest landscapes and has an abundance of heritage sites to visit. Our programme will showcase some of these wonderful sites.”

The programme includes:

Discover Wath Mill - today, 10.30am to 1.30pm at Wath

Come and find out about the history of the mill and see the fabulous surviving machinery in this gem of a textile mill.

•Explore Fishpond Wood - Friday, 10.30am to 1.30pm at Bewerley

Explore this beautiful woodland and find out about the work that has been done as part of the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership, including restoration of the wonderful ice house.

• Walk to the ‘Witch of the Woods’ cottage - Saturday, 11am to 3pm at Galphay

This enchanting 17th century cottage is nestled amongst woodland just over a mile from the village of Galphay. A route map can be downloaded from www.nidderdaleaonb.org.uk or collected from the Galphay Inn on the day.

• Nidderdale Museum - Sunday, 1.30pm to 4.30pm at King Street, Pateley Bridge

The museum will be open free of charge

In addition to the Nidderdale AONB events, a range of other sites will be opening up in the area, including Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, “The Ruin” at Hackfall, owned by the Landmark Trust, and Old St Mary’s Church in Pateley Bridge.

For full details visit the AONB website at www.nidderdaleaonb.org.uk or ring the AONB office on 01423 712950.