YORKSHIRE DALES NATIONAL PARK


Footpath in Yorkshire Dales N.P.Originally a market town trading in sheep and wool, Skipton became a mill town and then finally a tourist spot billed as the ‘Gateway to the Yorkshire Dales’. The market tradition continues 4 days a week in the High Street, when the town comes to life with stalls of all kinds. Continue up the High Street to see one of the country’s best preserved medieval castles. 

Layout
Skipton is intersected by the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and the River Aire as well as its two main roads, the Broughton/Otley Road and Keighley Road/High Street/The Bailey, which form a rough ‘x’ shape across the town. Skipton train station is situated at Broughton Road and train services connect the town to Leeds, Bradford, Morecambe and Settle. National Express run direct coach services from London Victoria to Skipton and there are also local buses connecting the town to Leeds and other smaller towns in the vicinity. The bus station is situated at Keighley Road. Visit here and here for journey planning assistance. 

Sights
Skipton canalNine hundred year old Skipton Castle (High Street, +44 1756 792442, £6.20) withstood a three year siege by the Roundheads during the English Civil War. The last Clifford incumbent, Lady Anne, worked hard to restore the castle and reputedly planted the yew tree in Conduit Court as a mark of this.

This stretch of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal around Skipton is one of the prettiest parts of the entire waterway. Canal Cruises are operated by a number of companies from the wharf right in the centre of town at Coach Street.

The graceful arches of the ruined 12th century Augustinian Priory at Bolton Abbey (+44 1756 718009, £6 per vehicle) are only part of the attraction of this estate: there is also the 16th century hunting lodge of the Lord Clifford of Skipton to be admired as well as a number of country pursuits such as fishing, walking, and shopping for local produce.


Hotels
The Unicorn Hotel
[Devonshire Place, Keighley Road, +44 1756 794146, £55] Convenient location but simple rooms and an even simpler breakfast.

Rendezvous Hotel
[Keighley Road, +44 1756 700100, £61-81] Beside the canal, this hotel has airy, spacious rooms and a great restaurant.

Park Hill B&B [17 Grassington Road, +44 1756 792772, £65] Nice location not too far from town but with lovely views of the countryside. Bright, clean rooms with complimentary sherry!

Poppy Cottage Guesthouse [Main Street, Carlton, +44 1756 792874, £75-80]. A beautiful rural retreat in Carlton on the outskirts of Skipton. Warm hospitality and wonderfully fresh styling make this place a great choice. 

Chinthurst (Otley Road)
[+44 1756 799264, £85-125] This B&B has comfy rooms, which are decoratively modern but still in tune with the Victorian character of the house. Good location and great breakfast menu too. 

Boutique 25 [25 Newmarket St, +44 1756 793676, £99-129] Modern and funky hotel, bar, and restaurant without a trace of chintz in sight! Brilliant breakfast menu.

The Devonshire Fell Hotel
[Burnsall Village, +44 1756 729000, £138-88] Bright comfortable rooms with a modern feel. Guests at the Devonshire Fell are also able to use the Health Spa at Bolton Abbey.

 




Wharfedale landscapeV
isiting Upper Wharfedale is like visiting the England of your imagination – rolling green hills, quaint villages with cobbled streets and tearooms on every corner, and friendly pubs with real ale. This region of Yorkshire is so attractive that it has been used as the setting for a number of movies and a very popular UK TV series. 

Layout
The Upper Wharfedale area is in the south of the Yorkshire Dales. It is best reached by car but there are train services from Leeds and Bradford to Skipton, the nearest rain station. From there, it is possible to use the Pride of the Dales bus services: bus 72 connects Buckton, Kettlewell, Arncliffe, Grassington and Skipton. Visit here  or here  for assistance.

Sights
Grassington (pop. 1,120) is a popular little town of tearooms, pubs, shops and restaurants. It has a full calendar of festivals, as well as regular events such as plays, live music, and markets. The Dickensian Festival every December is particularly worth a visit.  

History and archaeology buffs should take a trip to Littondale, which has Bronze and Iron Age sites in spades, while fans of TV’s Emmerdale will be thrilled to visit the original setting of the series, Arncliffe, also the main town of the area.

Every August the timeless village of Kettlewell holds the Scarecrow Festival: a range of fanciful straw figures can be found in surprising spots around the village.

Hotels
Kirkgill Manor
(Hubberholme, Upper Wharfedale, +44 1756 760800, from £60) This B&B is in gorgeous countryside seclusion. Sit at their lovely old oak table and admire the views.

Pennycroft Guesthouse (Far Lane, Kettlewell, +44 1756 760845, £65) Lovely views and comfy rooms plus homemade cakes and cookies.

The Racehorses Hotel
(Kettlewell, +44 1756 760233, £75-80) This 18th century inn has some nice views. Rooms are airy and clean. 

Yew Tree House B&B (Scar Street, Grassington, +44 1756 753075, £80) Simple rooms and a good location. This B&B is welcoming and just like home. 

Grassington Lodge
(8 Wood Lane, Grassington, +44 1756 752518, £90-100) The rooms shine with contemporary styling. Good location.

 




"Earth, sweet Earth, sweet landscape, with leaves throng and louched low grass"

ViaductRibblesdale has attracted its poets. The dales around the river Ribble are known for their beautiful limestone scenery of crags and caves. The Three Peaks challenge attracts walkers from all over the world who seek to conquer the three summits in 12 hours, while railways enthusiasts flock to see the picturesque countryside from the Settle-Carlisle train.

Layout
Settle (pop. 2,425) may be reached from Leeds via the Settle-Carlisle Railway (see below). There are also regular buses between Skipton and Settle. From Settle, there are public transport options available for getting out and about in the Ribblesdale area. Visit here for details about local buses or here for assistance in planning your journey to the region.

Sights
Settle
has been a pretty little market town since 1249. Climb the limestone cliff of Castleberg Crag for a nice view of the town and the surrounding countryside. Admittedly, there’s not a lot to see in this town, but it’s a pleasant place to while away the time before or after your train journey on the Settle-to-Carlisle Railway (+44 845/748 4950, adult Settle to Carlisle £16.80). One of England’s great railway journeys and open since 1876, the section from Settle to Carlisle is a 115km journey through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales with landscapes of rolling green hills, castles, tunnels, arched viaducts, and farms. The train passes through some very picturesque restored stations including Dent, the highest mainline station in England, and Garsdale, which differs from the line’s standard architecture.

The Ribblehead Viaduct is the longest on the Settle-Carlisle line. Its 24 arches span around 400 metres forming a wonderful sight for train travellers and hikers alike.

Horton-in-Ribblesdale is notable for the wonderful cave systems in the area: White Scar Caves, Ingleborough Cave, and Gaping Gill. It is also popular with walkers as it is generally considered the beginning of the Three Peaks Walk. This trail takes in three high peaks in the region, Whernside, the tallest at 736 metres, Ingleborough, which was the site of an iron-age hill-fort, and Pen-y-ghent with its distinctive shape formed by a ferocious thunderstorm in the 19th century.

Hotels
King William the Fourth Guest House
(High St, Settle, +44 1729 825994, £50-95) Individually designed rooms that do not clash with the atmosphere of this old former pub. The ‘King Billy’ is in the centre of Settle so it’s perfect for those who want a livelier base from which to explore the Dales.

The Crown Inn Hotel
(Hawes Rd, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, +44 1729 860209, £33.50 per person) This pub has a lively beer garden with good views of Pen-y-ghent. Rooms are decent. 

Broad Croft House (Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Settle, +44 1729 80302, £68) Simple comforts but good quality all the same. Delicious breakfast.

Littlebank Country House (Rathmell, Settle, +44 1729 822330, £75-95) Set in the heart of the Dales with beautiful views, this country house dating back to 1693 has bright, chic décor and a welcoming atmosphere.

The Willows B&B (Hawes Rd, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, +44 1729 860200, £80) Nice furnishings but a spectacular view of Pen-y-ghent. Great breakfasts, friendly hosts, and plenty of hot tea to keep you warm.

The Austwick Traddock
(Austwick, Settle, +44 1524 251224, £99-155) Beautifully furnished throughout not only the rooms but the public areas as well. The log fire is a nice touch. 


  



Ingleton FallsT
he village of Ingleton (pop. 2,050) dates back to the Iron Ages and it was for a long time associated with mining and quarrying, providing it with considerable industrial heritage. Nowadays, however, it is a favourite among hikers who come to explore the astounding natural beauty of the area. 

Arrival
Buses to Ingleton stop, quite handily, outside the Tourist Information Centre: bus 581 in particular has regular services between Settle and Ingleton. The nearest railway station is Ribblehead, which is situated on the Settle-Carlisle line and connects with Leeds. Bentham station is also close and is serviced by the Leeds-Morecambe line. Visit here for details about local buses or here for assistance in planning your journey to the region.

Sights
There are some bizarre rock formations in the White Scar Cave system (Ingleton, +44 1524 241244, £7.95) with impressive stalactites and stalagmites as well as the evocatively named Devil’s Tongue and Judge’s Head. The highlights of the tour are surely the waterfalls and the huge, 200,000 year old Battlefield Cavern.

The 8km Fall’s Walk (Broadwood, Ingleton, +44 1524 241930, Adult £4.50) traverses pretty woodland and waterfall scenery. Don’t miss the tree in Swilla Glen with countless coins embedded in its trunk like scales.

Hotels
Bridge End Guest House
(Mill Lane, Ingleton, +44 1524 241413, £25 per person) Well situated in the centre of Ingleton village, Bridge End Guest House used to be a mill owner’s house. Simply decorated and good value.

Riverside Lodge (24 Main St, Ingleton, +44 1524 241359, £31 per person) The lodge’s bright and airy rooms and public areas lead out onto a peaceful terraced garden with lovely views of the River Greta.

Holly Grange (Bentham Rd, Ingleton, +44 1524 242543, £34) Lovely comfy beds. This is a friendly and welcoming little place where you are always assured fresh hot tea and biscuits.

Marton Arms Hotel (Thornton-in-Lonsdale, +44 1524 241281, £45 per person) The Marton Arms dates back to the 13th century and the hamlet it is situated in was the place where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was married. Great selection of real ales.

Thorngarth Country Guest House (New Rd, Ingleton, £30 per person) Comfy rooms and good hearty breakfasts for all the walkers out there. Thorngarth is renowned for its friendly hospitality.

 




Near Dent railway stationT
he charming Norman village of Dent is nestled in the rolling, green dales. Once famous for the terribly good knitting skills of the inhabitants, Dentdale is now somewhat overlooked. However, it possesses all the charms of the Yorkshire Dales – quaint tea rooms and craft shops, real ale, and peaceful countryside that is perfect for a ramble. Dent Station on the Settle-Carlisle railway line is the highest station in England

Layout
Dent is on the Settle-Carlisle Railway line and thus may be reached from as far afield as Leeds. However, visitors must remember that Dent Station is around 6.5 km from the village: visit here for details. There are local buses, most notably the 564A and 564B, linking the train station, the village of Dent, and other surrounding villages: visit here for details. 

Sights
Learn about the social history of Dentdale at the Dent Village Heritage Centre (Dent, +44 1539 625800, entry free). The routines of everyday people in the area are revealed in this little museum.

Time your visit for the Dent Music and Beer Festival (Every June) and enjoy the finest ales and the best in folk music.

 


 


Bolton CastleWallace and Gromit did wonders for the humble Wensleydale cheese, which has been made in the region of Wensleydale for centuries. Aside from the pull of the cheese tastings, visitors flock to this area of the Dales for its lovely scenery and honeypot villages.

Arrival
The region of Wensleydale is formed by the valley along the River Ure. The Settle-Carlisle railway line passes through Garsdale, around 9km away from Hawes, the main town in the area: visit here for details. Another option is to use the local Dales buses after travelling to a bigger gateway town like Skipton: visit here for assistance. 

Sights
Hawes (pop. 1,180) is the home of Wensleydale cheese, for the most part a mildly flavoured crumbly cheese that is often eaten with sweet foods.  This popular market town is surrounded by beautiful scenery and is popular with hikers.

Well-known as the backdrop for the TV series All Creatures Great and Small, Askrigg is otherwise a little village of craft fairs and festivals.

The triple flight of waterfalls near Aysgarth is a beautiful sight. The Church of St  Andrew is reputed to have the largest churchyard in the country.

The magnificent fortress that is 14th century Bolton Castle [Near Leyburn, +44 1969 623981, adults £6.50] has played home to Mary, Queen of Scots and endured siege during the English Civil War.

Hotels
Manor House
[Main St, Askrigg, +44 1969 650986, , £29-34 per person] Set in a stately Georgian house that has been lovingly furnished, this B&B combines friendly service with a convenient location.

Bottom Chapel [Station Rd, Askrigg, +44 1969 650180, £60-70] This converted chapel provides a unique experience. Simply but comfortably furnished, the Bottom Chapel is a small and quiet place to come back to after your wandering.

Wensleydale Farmhouse [Aysgarth, +44 1969 663534, £34 per person] Well located close to the Aysgarth Falls, this is a cosy B&B of a good standard.

 




T
rust us: it’s pronounced ‘Mass’em’ and it’s a market town in Lower Wensleydale that draws in many tourists for its two popular breweries – Theakston and the Black Sheep. Masham (pop. 1,180) has one of the largest market squares in the country and regularly holds a variety of festivals including the Masham Sheep Fair and the Steam Engine and Fair Organ Rally.

Layout
Masham is a compact little town, which is very popular but does not have its own train station. There are, however, plenty of train services to nearby Northallerton, Thirsk, and Harrogate, so visit here for help in planning your journey. National Express run buses to or through Ripon and from there you can catch a local bus to Masham: visit here for local buses connecting Ripon, Masham, Bedale, Leyburn etc. or here for assistance.

Sights
Theakston Brewery [The Brewery, Masham, +44 1765 680000, admission is free but tours cost £5.75 for adults] Follow the brewing process from the top of the building to the bottom with an expert guide to explain all the wonderful sights, sounds, and smells.

Black Sheep breweryEnjoy a meal in the bistro at the Black Sheep Brewery [Wellgarth, Masham, +44 1765 689227, admission is free, contact the brewery for tour prices] or take a tour and follow the production of this traditional ale.

Hotels
Mandalina at Masham
(29 Park St, Masham, +44 1765 688019, £70) This is a friendly B&B of a high standard with well decorated rooms. It is conveniently located not far from the Market Square.

The Black Swan (Fearby, Nr Masham, +44 1765 689477, £90) Comfortable rooms and a nice location, though it’s definitely one for those with their own transport.

The White Bear Hotel
(Wellgarth, Masham, +44 1765 689319, £95) Very, very cosy with big beds and nice furnishings. It has a popular bar and a good restaurant too.

Swinton Park Hotel
(Swinton Park, Masham, +44 1765 680900, £175-370) This slice of heaven is an historic castle set in beautiful grounds. There’s a cookery school and a spa but you might not want to leave your room, they’re gorgeous.

 




Richmond Castle  stock.xchnge VixsT
here must be something remarkable about Richmond (pop. 8,200) – it inspired another 57 Richmond’s worldwide. Indeed, this market town is possessed by a majestic Norman castle that scarcely finds equal in England. Richmond is a town of exceptional historical heritage and its hey-day in the Georgian period left it with a number of stately buildings. 

Arrival
From the castle in the south, Richmond seems to spill out, with the greater part of the town fanning out to the northeast along the Darlington and Gilling roads. In fact, the nearest railway station is at Darlington, around 20 km away. Dales and District operate bus 31, the Richmond town service, as well as other buses which connect Richmond to neighbouring towns. Visit here.

Sights
The town of Richmond grew around Richmond Castle [+44 1748 822493, ad/ch £4.50/£2.30] a Norman stronghold dating back to 1071. The walls of its 12th century Keep are an astounding 11 feet thick.

Learn about the modern history of the area at the Richmondshire Museum [Ryder’s Wynd, Richmond, +44 1748 825611, ad/ch £2.50/£2.00]. There are displays about mining, transport, and the way people lived.

A colourful, Georgian playhouse, the Theatre Royal [+44 1748 825252, Victoria Rd, Richmond, check programme listing or call the box office, tours £3.50] has a full bill of productions. There is also a museum and guided tours are available.

On one bank of the River Swale - incidentally, said to be the fastest river in the country - there was a Benedictine monastery, which is now largely lost, but on the other side much of the ruins of the Abbey of St. Agatha or Easby Abbey [free admission] still stand. Here the Pre-Monstratensians or the White Canons founded their austere community in 1152.

Hotels
Nun’s Cottage [5 Hurgill Rd, Richmond, +44 1748 822809, £65-80] For a quiet getaway the Nun’s Cottage is perfect with a homey atmosphere and secluded gardens. There is also a self catering studio apartment.

Whashton Springs B&B [Whashton Springs Farm, Richmond, +44 1748 822884, £35 per person] A great price for a lovely country house setting with Georgian period detailing. Good hearty breakfasts.

Victoria House B&B [Linden Close, Richmond, +44 1748 824830, £80] Fresh, modern rooms and fabulous breakfasts. Good value for money.

Millgate House B&B [Millgate, Richmond, +44 1748 823571, £110-145] Located in the centre of Richmond with view across the River Swale, Millgate House is beautifully furnished in keeping with the period character of the house. 

The Frenchgate Hotel
[59-61 Frenchgate, +44 1748 822087, £118-178] The Frenchgate is in a great central location and it is certainly a stylish gem. Modern rooms combined with an excellent restaurant make for a wonderful experience.

The Burgoyne Hotel [On The Green, Reeth, Richmond, +44 1748 884292, £134.50-187] Overlooking the village green in Reeth, this lovely country house is a nod to the past. That said, the food is excellent and the welcome friendly.