This week we feature an article on Otley by new contributer Lyndsey Thomas, AKA Girl About Yorkshire. Lyndsey has made it her mission after moving back North from London to Yorkshire to rediscover the area and what makes it so special. All words and images (@AllAboutTheStory.)below are credited to her.
For more of Lyndsey’s work visit: http://www.girlaboutyorkshire.com/about/
‘Welcome to Otley in beautiful Wharfedale. With a market 3 days a week and beautiful scenery and stunning views, plus an impressive number of hostelries providing food and refreshments to satisfy the most discerning palates, Otley is truly a gem in the heart of Wharfedale.
It’s a lovely little place full of super friendly Yorkshire folk and a vast array of pretty little shops, cafes and lots (and I mean lots!) of pubs. Cobbled streets and alleyways weave around the town and every time I visit I always manage to come across another shop or cafe or similar hidden away in a little cobbled square. I’ve even managed to get quite lost on the odd occasion.
If, like me, you are also a sucker for a piece of cheap second-hand furniture and have grand intentions of shabby-chicing it up (I have several pieces in the garage waiting for a spare weekend – my husband keeps threatening to burn them) then you’ll be in your element. Otley has a good selection of second-hand furniture shops piled high with chairs and dressers and chests of drawers screaming out for someone (with plenty of time on their hands) to rub them down and slap some paint and sparkly knobs on them.
The place is not overrun by Costa Coffee’s and Starbucks, which is wonderfully refreshing; however there are no less than 19 little tearooms and coffee shops where one can indulge in scrummy homemade cake and cups of well brewed tea (or coffee).
My favourites include Yum! At the Baytree, which is like stepping into someone’s living room in the 1930s and has thee most amazing array of homemade cakes – check out the lemon drizzle meringue cake – oh my god!
Step foot into the 1950’s in The Pink Teapot Cafe, where everything is pink, quite literally, and the lovely ladies that work here are dressed in pink poker dot headscarves and aprons.
There’s also lots of independent shops featuring antiques, local craft beers, fresh flowers and books and no less than three decent butchers who all claim to make the best pie.
Otley is also well known for its extensive selection of watering holes with over 30 pubs in total and its very own Historic Ale Trail. Although I’m not sure if it’s such a great idea to attempt 30 pints of locally brewed ale in one day…
Also, the Chevin Forest overlooks Otley and is made up of 700 acres of woodland and crags so once you’ve explored the town you can strap on your hiking books and head up to the hills for some of the most breathtaking views of the Wharfe Valley. A few more great pubs up here too. My fave is the Chevin Inn.
Oh, there’s a lovely riverside park too, and a little birdie tells me that there might also be a lido (that’s an outdoor swimming pool) in the not too distant future.’