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Things to do in Cotterdale, North Yorkshire

Cotterdale is a very small settlement, consisting of only 12 cottages, with no telephone box, no street lights, no shop, no pub but instead an abundance of peace and quiet.

Cotterdale, Yorkshire Dales National Park
Cotterdale, Yorkshire Dales National Park © Nick Brundle - stock.adobe.com

It is located about 4 miles from Hawes, the bustling market town and tourist centre at the top end of Upper Wensleydale.

Cotter Force Waterfall
Cotter Force Waterfall © drhfoto - stock.adobe.com

A true get away from it all location, Cotterdale is approached by a long, narrow road which runs alongside the twisting, bubbling, fast-flowing Cotter Beck.

As you drive along this road you get a true perspective of its remote location: it nestles under the protection of high fells (some part covered with thick pine forest) on 3 sides, in fact rather like an amphitheatre.

Cotterdale © Nick Brundle - stock.adobe.com

Be warned that if you pay too much attention to the beautiful scenery you will end up driving into the Cotter Beck as the road terminates very promptly on its banks!!

Hawes © beataaldridge - stock.adobe.com

Surrounding Cotterdale are green meadows and upland pastures divided by a maze of stonewalls: these are stocked with cows and sheep and crisscrossed by public footpaths.

Wensleydale Light
Wensleydale Light © rickbowden - stock.adobe.com

A lovely spot then to enjoy a country holiday in a settlement with an interesting history: a perfectly preserved Iron Age Sword found in Cotterdale now hangs in the British Museum.

Cotterdale © Nick Brundle - stock.adobe.com

Most of its cottages date from the 17th Century and owe their existence to the presence of coal just above the village: indeed by the early 19th Century, the population of Cotterdale exceeded 100.

Great Shunner Fell
Great Shunner Fell © Brenda Winfield

When the coal ran out the miners left and Cotterdale became almost derelict. It now has a resident population of 12, a high number for such a remote place.

Cotterdale © Brenda Winfield

Here is a chance to join with them for a short while and enjoy a deeply rural holiday, staying in ether Town Head House or Eller Haw Cottage amidst magnificent scenery.

Description by Gaynor Walker

The Chapel Cotterdale
The Chapel © Brenda Winfield

Shepherds Cottage Cotterdale
Shepherds Cottage © Brenda Winfield


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