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Tour the Yorkshire Dales with us, where there is plenty to discover. We drive across the villages of Hawes, Reeth and Aysgarth, and explore hidden treasures such as the Druids Temple and Thorp Perrow. Well located for sightseeing in the market towns and the many walks that wind across the hills, here’s a handy guide from our cottages in the Yorkshire Dales.
Imagine driving along the idyllic country roads through picturesque villages and arriving at ‘the Top of the World’. The world famous Tan Hill Inn, Britain’s highest pub is 1,732 feet above sea level, is set against the back drop of the most stunning scenery found in the UK. You can get here from your cottage in the Yorkshire Dales by following the Regional Route 71 from Richmond.
Sitting high above the beauty and delights of Arkengarthdale, Swaledale and Teesdale you can join walkers and cyclists exploring the area. Walk along the famous Pennine Way and through part of the coast to coast before stopping for a tea and scone at Ravenseat. Then make your way to the Tan Hill Inn for a well deserved rest in front of the roaring fire. Watch the weather doesn’t turn sour at ‘The Top’ as you may end up being part of next years Waitrose Christmas advert, which saw a group of villagers snowed in at the 17th century Tan Hill Inn! Believe it or not, this is not too far fetched for locals as dozens of drinkers have been caught out by snow, notably in 2010 and 2013 guests and staff were left locked in by deep drifts for five days…
Make another stop at the CB Inn for some award winning pub grub. The ever-changing menu offers local produce ranging from a hearty lunch of Beef burgers, smoked applewood, and chilli chutney on brioche buns served all washed down with a pint of Black Sheep Yorkshire Bitter, or a more sophisticated evening meal of Seafood and chorizo linguine chilli, complimented by a choice from the CB Inn wine list. Doesn’t it sound mouth-watering…
While staying in your cottage in the Yorkshire Dales, break away from the luxury of the roaring fire and visit the pretty village of Reeth. En-route, you will experience some of England’s most scenic views, all just on your doorstep!
The many tea rooms are busy all year round, and a great stop off perhaps after a stroll along the river. Interesting craft shops produce traditional local products, preserving the heritage of the Yorkshire Dales. There is a spectacular large village green at the heart of the village where a market is held every Friday.
As you start to head up into the Dale, you will notice the change in scenery from kerbstones to drystone walls. Take gentle strolls over the Swing Bridge and along the River Swale, or day-long routes for the hardier walker to take in all the scenic views!
In the 18th century, Reeth was the capital of the lead mining industry. If you head to the Swaledale Museum, you can learn much more about this and how, in its heyday, Reeth was producing over 10% of the country’s lead.
If you are feeling particularly energetic, why not take on the summits of Great Shunner Fell, Lovely Seat and Addlebrough. From fell running or group hiking are you up for the challenge?
Take the scenic drive through the Yorkshire Dales into Hawes, a magical little market town in the heart of Wensleydale, so make sure you count how many cheesy looking hay bales you can spot!
Celebrate the glorious Dales at the Dales Countryside Museum, where you can step back in time and find out why elephants and hippos once roamed the area before heading next door to The Rope Makers to watch traditional rope making in progress.
Wensleydale is most famous for its crumbly white cheese, which is made in Hawes with milk from local farms. Visit the award-winning Wensleydale Creamery, built in 1987, where you can hear some cheesy jokes, learn about the history of cheese, watch skilled cheesemakers at work as well as try some mouth-watering complimentary samples.
On your way home, stop off at The Wensleydale Heifer, an award-winning seafood restaurant. The Fish Bar is less formal while the restaurant is ideal for any special occasion, we highly recommend the Surf and Turf for a treat!
Hardraw Force is a definite must-see attraction, surrounded by woodland and is the highest single-drop waterfall in England at over 100 feet. You can reach the falls through the Green Dragon Inn, a perfect place to stop at after exploring the area.
A quaint little Yorkshire village, Aysgarth is not to be missed. And, just outside of the village is Aysgarth Falls which is one of Wensleydale’s best-loved attractions.
The famous Aysgarth Falls are an impressive spot, where the River Ure hurls itself over three massive rocky steps; the Upper, Middle and Lower Falls. The upper and middle falls were featured in a key scene with Kevin Costner in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and are certainly the most eye-catching. When the water level is low, you can catch plenty of people pottering about over the falls. In the wetter months, you can appreciate the water cascading at full speed. Nearby by there is a wooded valley boasting wild flowers and many woodland walking trails laid out for visitors, with spectacular views along the way. Look out for any dormice, which are thriving in the woods too! The National Park Centre hosts a delicious café, well known for its delicious home-made cakes! Alternatively, take a picnic and sit by the top of the falls where there are an abundance of benches and space to idle away the hours. The centre is also stocked with guides on local walks to help you make the most out of your visit.
If you wish to walk further, there are many walks through the woods to Carperby, West Burton and Castle Burton as well as riverside walks to Askrigg and Bainbrige. Aysgarth Village is small but has plenty of amenities; two pubs, a shop for bike hire, and tearoom. The church is worth a visit, as it is home to a stunning screen saved from Jervaulx Abbey after the great ransacking by Henry VII.
The Druid’s Temple is in fact not a real temple but is one of Yorkshire’s quirkiest 19th-century follies. Inspired by Stonehenge and built in 1820 by the then-sheriff of Yorkshire and wealthy landowner, William Danby. The aim was to alleviate local unemployment, paying local workers a shilling a day for their labour.
At less than 200 years old, it is nonetheless an atmospheric and intriguing location with myths and rumours of mystic practices that have sprung up over its lifetime. There are tales of Devil worship and harrowing frights experienced by those who have spent the night there.
Aside from the myth, The Druids Temple is a tranquil spot to take a picnic and enjoy a stroll with the family, including the dog! There are many public footpaths to the main folly, with other standing stones throughout the woodland and the walking trails of various lengths. At a number of points, there are stunning views over the Leighton reservoir, surrounding moorland and the Yorkshire Dales landscape. Serene and perfect for bird watching with friends and family.
Not far away is Masham, with its lovely market square and with plenty to offer to groups of all ages. We love a trip for Brymor Ice Cream, to Swinton Park for a delicious afternoon team, or pub lunch at the White Bear.
On your next luxury holiday, why not pack up a bag and spend your day exploring acres of stunning woodland at Thorp Perrow Gardens and Arboretum? There is a great range of activities to entertain the children, including an adventure play area as well as the birds of prey and mammal centre.
Autumn is the perfect time to visit and witness the leaf colour changes which set the woodland ablaze with a variety of reds, gold, orange and brown at one of the largest collections of shrubs and trees in the North of England. Look out for the many seasonal events that are on throughout the year too, throughout October you can spot many spooky antics on the Halloween trail throughout the site!
Explore the Bird of Prey centre, housed within a walled garden, where a huge collection of birds of prey and exotic species from every continent in the world give visitors the opportunity to learn more about these fascinating creatures. There are also regular flying displays where you can get a chance to meet the birds up close! Alongside is the Mammal centre where you can spot meerkats on Meerkat Island or feed, stroke and pet the wallabies in Wallaby Wood.
The adventure playground will keep the kids entertained for hours with swings, zip-line, slides and an adventurous assault course to enjoy. Afterwards treat yourselves to lunch, treats and hot and cold drinks at the Tea Rooms. Highchairs and baby foods are available for the smallest of visitors.