Visitor Site

With wildlife around every corner, any walk in the Harrogate area, even just a short one, will reward wildlife lovers. For a real treat, we have a range of recommended nature walks, viewing locations and attractions. 

Nidderdale National Landscape is home to many wildlife species, some of which are considered endangered.

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The National Landscape’s beautiful moorland heather and blanket bog supports many habitats, and many upland hay meadows have been returned to a wildflower mix that enhanced bio-diversity. These moorlands also provide an ideal environment for amphibians and reptiles, while above skylarks can often be heard even if they can’t be seen due to the heights they fly to.

It may be a rare sight, but otters have been seen frolicking in the river Nidd up as far as Darley and Summerbridge.

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Discover a wealth of walks and some hidden gems along your way, have your binoculars ready for lapwings, curlew, snipe and black grouse.

Birdwatchers will also delight in spotting red kites and buzzards. A question often asked is how can you tell the difference? The answer: buzzards have broader wings and shorter, less defined tails and if you can hear it, it’s very probably a buzzard.

You will also find family learning trails to explore and interesting facts, things you never knew about nature and the surroundings especially aimed at young school children.

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Nature Reserves in the area have allowed natural flora to establish encouraging oyster catchers, willow warblers and flycatchers to nest nest and feed happily in idyllic surroundings. Geese and waterfowl are easily observed at the many reservoirs in the area, especially in the Washburn Valley.

Explore unforgettable heritage sites, reservoirs, beautiful woodlands and riverside paths all with their own group of native inhabitants and many stunning views.

With all this, there is also great accommodation from relaxing country inns and homely B&B’s to luxurious spa hotels, as well as welcoming pubs and eateries.

So make sure you plan a short stay or a longer stay to explore the amazing wildlife on our doorstep