As you can see from the pictures, it really is a very pretty place, and we spent an enjoyable day there, walking along the river (only a short stretch, though!), exploring the high street shops, having lunch at The Willows, and visiting the Nidderdale Museum.
The museum is all about life in the dales, and exhibits are presented not chronologically, but according to topic: there is a room dedicated to education (set up with original furniture like an old class room), fashion (with some very pretty dresses from Victorian times through to the 1950s), law & order (with a court room set up as well as a typical room in a work house), agriculture (with a dairy room, smithy and many more), daily life (with a typical Victorian parlour, an old farmhouse kitchen, a small village shop) and religion (with a lot of information about the Wesleyan church).
The museum is run by volunteers who are most friendly and helpful if you need any additional information. We loved how everything was set up so life-like, and I think I want to go back there some other time (preferably on a cold, wet day when indoor activities hold more appeal).
Pateley Bridge claims to have the oldest sweets shop in England - of course, that one was a "must" for us to see!
On our way back to Ripon, we stopped at a dairy farm where they make and sell their own ice cream. It was delicious, and most welcome on what had been yet another hot, sunny day.