NB: Most cafes and restaurants have now reopened either as a takeaway or eating in, most require bookings.
Yorkshire has so many wonderful things to offer, here is a small selection.
Of course Cycling has a great place in the hearts of Yorkshire people, even more so after the Tour de France 2014. If you fancy trying some of those famous hill climbs then Buttertubs Pass is not far away. For any repair or bike related purchases, the Dales Bike Centre is just a few miles away, even if you don’t have a bike we can highly recommend their cakes! The Swaledale Trail is a newly completed track for aspiring mountain bikers, it is 20 km ( 12miles) long and joins the scenic spots of Reeth & Keld.
You don’t even need your car for the stunning walk to the pretty Dales town of Reeth over the Moors, this starts directly from The Little Barn. It takes just over an hour there depending how many times you stop for a photo, the walk back is slightly more rigorous and takes up to 2 hours. Another good walk is to the Swing Bridge in Reeth.
You will be spoilt for choice for other walks around Swaledale and Arkengarthdale. In Leyburn, take the path in the corner of the car park near Campbells, this will lead to a walk called The Shawl ( see note in the castle section ) with the finest views of the surrounding countryside.
For more serious walkers the Coast to Coast walk can be found a few miles from Hurst.
Also have a look in the visitors book for previous guests recommendations.
Towns & Villages
We are blessed with numerous small towns and villages, all within a short drive. Historic Richmond is a stones throw away and has plenty of independent shops and cafes to while away a few hours. The Castle is worth a visit, or simply meander along the stunning Castle Walk with beautiful views over the river. The Station is a particular favourite, an old railway station which has been lovingly converted and now houses an independent cinema, artisan bakers, restaurant and brewery.
Reeth has the most scenic village green, surrounded by a variety of shops and pubs. Masham, Leyburn, Bedale, Northallerton and Barnard Castle are all worth a look around.
Food & Drink
You won’t be short of good food while in Yorkshire, whether you prefer to visit one of the amazing farm shops or independent food stores nearby to stock up on supplies or spoil yourselves with a meal out.
We love Mainsgill Farm Shop (just off Scotch Corner) and Campbells of Leyburn both of which have kept us fully supplied with flour, bread and the essentials during the recent crisis. Two Dales Bakery in Reeth sells the most delicious sour dough, cakes and pastries. If cheese is your thing then a visit to the Wensleydale creamery in Hawes must be high on your list. It is famous for its collaboration with Wallace and Gromit, and their tasty Wensleydale Cheese, they have an amazing variety of flavours which you can try before you buy.
Of course to go with all this amazing food you will need a drink! Masons Gin is made in Bedale, at their brand new distillery, just a few from miles there you will find The Black Sheep Brewery and Theakstons in the quaint Market Town of Masham, also famous for its two sweet shops and Masham sausages. A few minutes drive from Masham you will find Druids Temple which is a actually just a Folly, but thought to have been built in the 1700’s. Hackfall woods also just outside Masham is the perfect place to take a romantic picnic, a recently rediscovered ancient woodland, expect to find grottos, glades, rustic temples and waterfalls.
Pubs & Cafes
There is an abundance of fine pubs, cafes and restaurants nearby, we love The Bridge Inn at Grinton just a short drive away, another favourite is the Charles Bathurst Inn or CB as it is locally known, with roaring logs fires and locally sourced food, it is perfect after a days walking, the surrounding countryside is breathtaking. They also offer takeaway Fish & Chips on Friday evenings 5-7pm. The Sandpiper in Leyburn is also another guest favourite. For an extra special occasion the Blue Lion at East Witton is a delight, although we would recommend booking. No 29 in Richmond may be small but it is full of atmosphere, great tapas, gin and craft beer. Ramsay’s Fish & Chip van is in Reeth on Fridays 4-6pm ( pre ordering required )
You can’t visit Yorkshire without a trip to one of the famous Betty’s Tea Rooms the closet one is in Northallerton and the queues here can be considerably shorter than the Harrogate branch! As mentioned earlier the cakes at the Dales Bike Centre are amazing, especially the Friday Show stopper! ( wifi is available here should you need it )
Castles, Gardens & Historic Houses
Take your pick of Castles to visit, Richmond Castle is the closest, followed by many others in the vicinity including Bolton Castle which is in the village of Castle Bolton. Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner here for six months. The story goes that she escaped and made her way towards Leyburn only to lose her ‘shawl’ on the way, hence the name of the walk! Middleham Castle is also full of history. Thorp Perrow Arboretum is a few miles from Bedale, Fountains Abbey at Ripon and Easy Abbey at Richmond to name a few more places to enjoy
Waterfalls & Wild Swimming
We have some impressive waterfalls in the Dales, Aysgarth Falls has a pleasant walk to it and the nearby Aysgarth Falls Pub has a great beer garden, the Falls were made famous in the Kevin Costner movie Robin Hood Price of Thieves. Kisdon Force and Hawdraw Force are also splendid waterfalls.
Museums and Galleries
Scenicview Gallery in Reeth is run by a very talented couple Debbie & Gary, they take the most amazing photos of the area, in fact Debbie is responsible for our website photography. The Art Gallery & Craft Centre in Muker is also worth stop if you are out and about that way. The Swaledale Museum in Reeth is tucked away down a quirky side street and well worth a look.
Bowes Museum which is a stunning building set on the outskirts of Barnard Castle, famous for its Silver Swan and holds various exhibitions throughout the year.
Further afield ( over an hour )
If you are away for longer than a few days you might like to explore other areas while you are here. The Yorkshire Coast is beautiful, from famous Whitby to the very quaint Victorian seaside town of Saltburn, complete with Pier and Funicular Railway, as fish and chips are a must at the coast we can highly recommend The Seaview Restaurant.
York is famous for its Minster and fascinating history, from its dungeons to its ghost walks it is a fabulous place for a day trip.