Kettlewell is situated in the district of Upper Wharfedale and is right inside the Yorkshire Dales National Park, making this attractive village the best destination for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking or cycling. The village actually lies at the feet of two of the highest peaks the district - Great Whernside and Buckden Pike. If you want to get away from the city and experience the countryside at its best, you need to visit Kettlewell.
For such a small place there is an abundance of accommodation available, and a lot of it is housed within the beautiful buildings from Kettlewell's past, which spans all the way back to the 17th century. When you arrive you may think that Kettlewell is just another sleepy village, but that's not the case at all! There are loads of activities and attractions to keep you busy, and there are more than enough shops to meet your needs.
The Yorkshire Dales provides Kettlewell with one of the best areas for walking in the whole of England. Over eight million people travel to the park every year, so you will be in good company. There are loads of other villages within the Dales, and a lot of them are within easy reach of Kettlewell, so you can explore the surrounding areas while taking in the natural beauty of the Dales.
Starbotton is a hamlet close to Kettlewell, and is a good example of a low grade walk. Starbotton is five miles from Kettlewell, and the walk uses the field paths in the area. You will enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside on your journey and, from there; you could walk to Buckden or try for Litton.
If you feel up to it, you can take on the difficult task of climbing Great Whernside. This is a high level hike, as most of it is uphill and it is eight miles long. You should not attempt this walk in wet weather, as it can get very muddy! Once you are atop Great Whernside, you will be able to take advantage of the incredible views of the landscape.
The waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales are immensely charming, and the closest one to Kettlewell is Linton Falls. This waterfall is just seven miles away, so you can combine walking and sightseeing. Waterfalls always look better in the rainy seasons, because it creates a lot more water that can cascade over the rocks.
You don't necessarily have to travel outside of Kettlewell to visit some interesting attractions. For instance, the model village, named Ewedale, in Kettlewell is a firm favourite with adults and children alike. Ewedale is an interpretation of the Dales, and it is interactive - you can move all of the figures and objects, such as cars. The model attracts both locals and tourists to it every year.
If you are an experienced walker, you may want to visit the memorial on Buckden Pike. The memorial is dedicated to the Polish crew of an RAF aircraft that crashed during a severe snowstorm, killing all but one of its members. The walk to see this tragic monument is quite difficult, but it is worth it as you will be able to learn about the story of the sole survivor, who managed to make his way to safety with the aid of a fox.
The Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival has been a village tradition for over ten years. Locals and visitors create an eclectic mix of scarecrows, using whatever resources they have, and then the scarecrows are hidden on a trail. For nine days children and adults can enjoy themselves by following clues to find the scarecrows, and afterwards they can taste some of the home-made cakes and treats that are sold in the village.
Any fans of horticulture should visit Parcevall Hall Gardens in Skipton, which is a twenty minute drive from Kettlewell. The garden has many different sections dedicated to different kinds of plants; there is a winter garden, a cliff garden, a rhododendron garden and a camellia garden, as well as many more. The owners of this delicately appealing oasis are constantly changing the design and variety of the plants in the garden, so you can always find something different there.
Not only is Kettlewell a good destination for people who enjoy the outdoors - there are some incredible restaurants, cafes and pubs there to please food lovers as well. Zarina's Tea Room in the heart of Kettlewell serves home-baked cakes that you can try alongside a range of teas and coffees. You can also pick up gifts and souvenirs, postcards, sweets and treats from this little tea room as well!
The Bluebell Inn is one of the two inns in the area, and you can sample some wonderful Yorkshire food there. They have scrumptious dishes created with fresh ingredients from the Dales that are suitable both for meat eaters and vegetarians. Their bar stocks cask ales, beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks.
The sole hotel in Kettlewell has a restaurant that you can eat in even if you aren't staying there. They have delicious food at reasonable prices, the staff are always cheery and helpful and they are dog friendly!
Nearly all of the pubs in Kettlewell serve food as well as drinks, so you should never be stuck for somewhere to eat. Many also have accommodation available, due to the large influx of tourists that this quaint village experiences all year long.
Pub image contributed by Doug Elliot. Maypole image contributed by Stephen Craven. Cliffe Cottage scarecrow image contributed by Nikki Mahadevan. All images are copyrighted but licensed for further reuse under the Creative Commons License.