There’s plenty to enjoy when holidaying around Middleham, North Yorkshire. Nestled in the Dales, enjoy far-reaching views, the history, the famous racehorses, a choice of pubs, and family attractions nearby and discover Middleham, North Yorkshire. Whether you are traveling for a family holiday with children or for a romantic break, this small town is a popular choice.

Here are our top 6 things to do on holiday in Middleham, North Yorkshire

1. Watch the Racehorses on the Gallops

You will often see an impressive train of horses being led through the market square, making their way to the famous gallops. Middleham is best known for its top racing stables, with a history of training in the town lasting almost 200 years. Hundreds of winning horses are trained in Middleham each year, across the 15 yards.

You can head to the Middleham Gallops and watch the horses training, which is an impressive sight. The view from here of the Castle and surrounding Yorkshire Dales is an impressive sight, and plenty of walks lead off from here.

Every year the Middleham Open Day takes place in April, allowing you to look around the racing yards. There are also activities and displays throughout the day.

2. Explore Middleham Castle

Visit Middleham Castle which was once home the childhood home of King Richard III, although he spent little of his reign here. Building work began in 1190, and though the castle is now roofless it is a much-enjoyed ruin to explore.

The keep is one of the largest in England, with 12-foot-thick walls and three floors – palatial at the time! It was built in part to guard Coverdale and protect the road from Richmond to Skipton. The remains still have a viewing platform, with fantastic views over Wensleydale from the viewing platform. Visitors in May or June can see the blue ‘fairy foxglove’ flowers in bloom all over the castle walls.

3. Discover Wensleydale

One of the Yorkshire Dales, Wensleydale is the upper valley of the River Ure, and Middleham is a great base from which to go out and explore. It is best known for its cheese, the Wensleydale Creamery production is based in Hawes. You will likely have also heard of its two famous ales, the Black Sheep Brewery and the Theakston Brewery in Masham.

There is a wide choice of lovely villages and market towns to visit. East Witton in lower Wensleydale is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has a great Yorkshire pub, The Blue Lion. Leyburn is a pleasant market town with cafes and restaurants, boutique shops, and the excellent Campbells food shop. We do enjoy a trip to Tennants Auctioneers, one of the most respected in the UK and also with an excellent café.

The Middleham and Wensleydale views are spectacular, and plenty of walking routes from Middleham. The waterfalls at Aysgarth Falls, as featured in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, are a 15-minute drive away; this stretch of the River Ure and its 30 metre drop is spectacular.

4. Go Cycling in the Dales

Known as one of England’s finest mountain biking areas, the Dales have more than 600 miles of bridleways and green lanes to explore. The roads are also quiet out of the summer season, ideal for taking on part of the famous Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire routes. Take on tough climbs and descents in unspoiled countryside, or choose a leisurely bridleway with the damily.

In 2014 the Tour de France passed through Middleham. Now there are lots of local options for bike hire, if you couldn’t fit your own in…

5. Get lost in The Forbidden Corner

This award-winning North Yorkshire tourist attraction is full of surprises around every corner. With tunnels, chambers, and follies to explore in four acres of countryside, it’s a weird and wonderful day out for all the family. One tip – make sure you’re wearing your waterproofs when heading across the steppingstones!

The Forbidden Corner is a great day out for the whole family.

6. Appreciate the Country Pubs

There is such a choice of great places for a pint – or a wine / G&T depending on your favourite tipple. You’re spoilt for choice before you’ve even left Middleham, with four pubs around the market square; that is one per night by our calculation.

Beyond the town, we recommend an evening in 17th century stone inns like The Blue Lion in East Witton. The Wensleydale Heifer is known for its excellent fish menu and is well worth the drive. The Saddle Room is a restaurant next door to The Forbidden Corner. With plenty of nods to Middleham’s racing heritage, and converted from former horses’ stables, the wine selection is vast, in an impressive wine cellar.

Bring the Family on Holiday

For a family getaway in a Middleham holiday cottage, why not try one of our nearby holiday homes.

Hollins Farmhouse is a five-bedroom refurbish farmhouse launched in 2022. A spacious house, the large enclosed garden features a fantastic gazebo offering views towards Middleham.

Sun Hill Farm is a collection of three luxury holiday cottages, less than 5 miles from Middleham. A 3-bed country cottage, a 1-bed homely cottage for couples, and a 5-bed stylish farmhouse can be booked separately or together for groups of 18 guests.

Take a look at our whole collection of Holiday Cottages near Middleham.

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