Wensleydale & Swaledale Info

Wensleydale & Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales

…tourist information, local attractions, places to visit, things to see and do…
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On this page we provide some links to other web sites which may be of interest when planning your holiday or short break in the Yorkshire Dales. These links are provided for the convenience of visitors to our web site and we accept no responsibility for the content of these third party sites. All links to other web sites open in a new browser window.

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Wensleydale | Swaledale | Links to other sites of interest

Wensleydale – from Waterfalls to Arts and Crafts
Grange Gill Waterfall – on private land but viewed from roadWaterfalls are a major feature of the area with some – from West Burton to Aysgarth, Askrigg and Hawes area – seen on cinema screens, and are wonderful to see in miserable wet weather.


Askrigg was once a small market town with 18 clock makers but is now a village of 300 residents,

recognised world-wide as the vet surgery location for the TV series “All Creatures Great and Small” and for a delightful waterfall experience in a quiet wooded gill (deep ravine) passing several small falls, but stopping at Mill Gill Fall with a single drop, and at the top scramble down to the foot of Whitfield Fall. The half hour amble can be extended to a 2 hour circular walk. In spring the slopes are covered in primroses, followed by wild garlic and bluebells. The autumn shades are equally attractive, and the stark winter colours become alive with the roar of the waterfalls. You can finish your walk with a coffee at the deli, or pint and a sandwich at one of the pubs, and end the day with a gourmet meal in the village.

Askrigg has for many years encouraged professional arts and crafts people to work and live in its community. Today one can see painter Judith Bromley and her dog in the meadows or woods sketching landscapes or wild flowers. Her husband Robert Nicholls paints landscapes, but is well known for painting sheep and wild life. Etcher, painter and poet Piers Browne can be seen in remote areas searching for inspiration in all weathers. Local potter Andrew Hague produces decorative and functional ware in his studio and creates his own glazes.


Bainbridge is famous for the nearby Roman road and evidence of a Roman camp. At Bainbridge Janet Rawlings paints, creates collages and hooky rugs. Bainbridge now has an arts studio for visitors created out of a barn by the Quakers. It welcomes people for short courses in painting, rug making, yoga, literature, meditation and many more creative media in a tranquil and friendly atmosphere.
See www.bainside-arts.org.uk for more information. Two miles south of Bainbridge lies Semerwater, a lake nestling in the valley of Raydale.


Wensleydale cheese (as featured by ‘Wallace and Grommit’) is made here at Wensleydale Creamery which has an excellent visitor centre. Hawes is a place to wander in the shops, alleyways and into the meadows, visit St Margaret’s church, watch ropemakers create church bell ropes, barrier ropes, banister ropes and dog leads for premier league football clubs. On Tuesdays there is a live sheep and cattle auction market, and in the middle of town is an open air market with stalls, as well as an indoor market.

The Dales Countryside Museum and National Park Centre and tourist information centre in the old station yard welcome visitors to see the steam engine on the old railway line, a gallery with regular exhibitions, the museum of local history, a selection of short courses for adults, and in the school holidays activities for children, as well as important local information. Outside from the car park in summer you can take a horse driven ride around the market town, or local area such as Hardraw Force, England’s highest single drop waterfall of 98 feet, behind the Green Dragon Inn. Every Saturday evening the pub has live folk groups, and is a venue for a musical weekend at the end of July, and brass band contest in September.

To the south of Hawes is Gayle Mill, currently being restored as a working saw mill, and featured in 2004 on the BBC‘s Restoration programme. It will be open to the public later in 2005.

For train enthusiasts there is the famous Settle to Carlisle line to the west and the recently re-opened Wensleydale Railway to the east running from Redmire towards Northallerton for days out.

From Wensleydale it is one hour to the Lake District and Kendal to the West and one hour to Thirsk, home of the Herriot Centre, to the East.



Reeth is an attractive village with shops (post office and general shop, sweet shop & bakers), pubs and cafés, a community resource centre and national park centre, surrounding a large village green. Nearby is a garage, newsagent’s and workshops producing various arts and crafts, including furniture, clocks and clay models. This is the main village of Swaledale and a good starting point for walks along the river or high fells, and a tea break or pint at the end of the day. On Fridays there is a small market on the green throughout the year.


Muker is a small dales village, popular as a walking base and has a village shop and post-office, craft shop, hand

knitted woollen shop, café and pub for bar meals. The village has a well-known silver band and, in early September, has a sheep show with fell races.

Nearby villages with places to eat are at ThwaiteGunnerside and Reeth and Tan Hill at over 1700ft – the highest pub in England.

The area has a wealth of riverside and high fell walks and is not far from the Pennine Way. The nearest market town is Hawes only 7 miles over the Buttertubs Pass to the South, and Leyburn and Richmond to the East.

Attractions, Activities, Places of Interest…

There’s so much to see and do in Wensleydale, Swaledale and the other neighbouring Yorkshire Dales that we’re sure you’ll find something here to interest you! We include below just a small selection of other web sites providing useful information (in no particular order).

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  • Beckfisher Fly Fishing School
  • All levels from beginners to those wishing to improve their existing skill level. As seen on TV in Luke Casey’s Dales Diary, Roger Beck specialises in teaching fly-fishing as an aid to stress management.
  • Hawes Ropemakers
  • W R Outhwaite & Son, Ropemakers was established in 1905 and manufactures barrier ropes, bannister ropes, church bell ropes, dog leads, skipping ropes, clothes line, equestrian ropes and candlewicks.
  • Hazel Brow Farm
  • A 200 acre, family run, organic farm in the heart of Swaledale – famous for its beautiful Herriot scenery and only 1 mile from the picturesque ‘watersplash ‘ ford featured in the BBC series ‘All Creatures Great And Small’. This diversified farm offers a wide selection of activities for all the family: Visitor centre; Cafe & shop; Supervised animal handling sessions; Walks; Farm produce; Seasonal demonstrations; Souvenirs & Gifts; Children’s play area. A great day out for all the family. Note: dogs are not allowed on the farm.
  • Settle to Carlisle Line
  • Magnificent, scenic Pennine railway route.
  • Swaledale Woollens: Muker, Swaledale
  • Fine woollen garments knitted by hand in the area around Muker.
  • Wensleydale Creamery: Hawes
  • See Wensleydale cheese being made.
  • Wensleydale Railway
  • Recently re-opened stretch of railway running from Leeming Bar to Redmire – “great views, great destinations, a great day out”
  • Yorkshire Country Wines: Glasshouses, near Harrogate
  • Fruit wine producer – winery tours, riverside tea rooms and antiques showroom.
  • The Yorkshire Dales by Eagle Intermedia
  • Useful information about the Yorkshire Dales, including history, geology, places to visit and lots of photos.
  • Daelnet’s Guide to the Yorkshire Dales
  • A useful and informative site about “The Jewel in the Crown of Northern England”.
  • Yorkshire Dales National Park
  • The official web site of the National Park Authority.
  • Information about Swaledale from AboutBritain.com
  • Information about Wensleydale from About Britain.com