If you’re looking for a day out with a difference in the Yorkshire Dales then you should look no further than The Coldstones Cut, the highest and largest art installation in Yorkshire.
What is The Coldstones Cut?
Created by artist Andrew Sabin, the artwork was opened in 2010 to replace a viewing platform above the massive and impressive Coldstones Quarry.
It’s almost like you’re walking along a street in town between the buildings with the high stone walls towering over you, and pathways lead off in each direction seemingly to make a maze.
But whichever pathway you follow… whether you go left, right, or continue straight on, you’re met by the juxtaposition view of the industrial deep quarry set amongst the beautiful countryside and nature of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Beauty and the Yorkshire Dales beyond.
It’s an amazing view in all directions, and makes you almost forget that the thing you’ve come to see is actually the artwork affording the views… I guess that’s the purpose of the art… to blend the structure with the quarry and the surrounding landscape.
There are a lot of information boards to read about the history of the quarry and the geology the land, and when I see the name of the photographer on one of the boards, I wonder if I’ve stepped into the twilight zone and the photos I’m about to take have already somehow been used!
Tip: I’d recommend going straight on and then to the right… the raised elevation to the right offers slightly better views due to it being on the edge of the grassy hill, rather than the left side which is on a cleared flat plateau for the quarry.
Where is The Coldstones Cut?
Located on the edge of Nidderdale and the Yorkshire Dales, it’s only a couple of miles away from the pretty market town of Pateley Bridge, making it the perfect place to add to your itinerary if you’re in the area.
The structure is only a 10-minute walk from the car park, but it is uphill all the way on a quite rocky path. And being at 1,375 feet (420m) above sea level, it tends to get quite windy and cold so be prepared!
The postcode is HG3 5BJ for your sat nav.
Toft Gate Lime Kiln
The car park is shared with Toft Gate Lime Kiln, the remains of a 19th century lime kiln which is built into the hills and not visible from the car park or path. The chimney is on the edge of the path at a fork on the way up to The Coldstones Cut.
We didn’t go and explore the lime kiln itself, by the time we’d finished at The Coldstones Cut it was starting to rain and we were pretty cold and hungry, so we couldn’t wait to get to our next stop…
Mackenzie’s Farm Shop & Café
10-minutes away on the edge of Blubberhouses is Mackenzie’s Farm Shop & Café… the perfect place to warm up after a walk in the cold!
It’s a labyrinth of a place… from the outside looking nothing more than a small farm shop, but once you step inside it’s like you’ve been transported into a locally sourced shopping centre, with numerous units offering things from scented candles, handmade jewellery, and sustainable cashmere fashion wear to the huge selection of food and drink from the butchers, bakers, and greengrocers. I could probably a spend a day just exploring the shops!
But we’re hungry so after a quick browse we head for the café, and as we look at the menu while waiting for a table, we realise we’ve missed breakfast by 15 minutes! Gutted!!
With the disappointment of missing out of the full English we’d been looking forward to, we’re in two-minds whether to skip the café. But we’re here now, so we may as well try something else for lunch instead.
We go for the Yorkshire Smokehouse Charcuterie & Harrogate Cheeseboard Platter and think maybe it worked out for the best on missing the breakfast! While that still sounds great, the sharing platter is something a bit different and it’s awesome! There is plenty of meat and cheese, and along with the doorstop wedges of bread and cappuccinos, hits the spot nicely after the morning walk! The only downside is it’s filled us so much we don’t have space to try any of the amazing looking cakes!