Thursday 4 July 2013

National Park, AONB or SSSI?

Nidderdale AONB - what is that? What's the difference to The National Park? What's an SSSI?

We are right on the edge of the Nidderdale AONB - "Area of Outstanding National Beauty". We're also on the edge of The Yorkshire Dales National Park. So, what's the difference? Well, in terms of landscape beauty and quality, nothing. They were both a result of an Act of Parliament in 1949. The only difference is who controls them and perhaps their purpose. In short, The Yorkshire Dales is controlled by its own National Park Authority, whereas the Nidderdale AONB is the responsibility of the local authorities - Harrogate in our case. There are 15 UK National Parks and currently 46 Areas of Natural Beauty.

It does mean that Nidderdale can get overshadowed by the National Park. But, by staying in Ilkley, you get to be able to very easily explore both - on foot, by bike or by bus. Places in The AONB tends also to be a bit quieter and less visited - but just as beautiful!

And what about Ilkley Moor itself? Well that's an SSSI. A Site of Special Scientific Interest. Different again, but just as rugged and beautiful and Open Access on foot too. You'll just have to decide which you like best!

Find out more at

Photo - Scar House Resevoir - Nidderdale AONB