"Wensleydale" Top 5 Page for this destination Yorkshire Dales National Park by nickandchris

Yorkshire Dales National Park Travel Guide: 137 reviews and 503 photos

Does It Ever Stop Raining In Wensleydale.........?

October 2005 half term and we made a long promised return trip to Wensleydale. In the late 80's and early 90's we used to camp at Simonstone, near Hardraw and enjoyed exploring the area. For some reason when we got the motorhome, we stopped our trips to Yorkshire and opted for pastures new. Now, coinciding with a friend's 50th birthday party, we finally returned. The weather was atrocious and never stopped raining from the Friday to theTuesday, when we came home. Still, it gave us the ideal opportunity to see the waterfalls in full spate. A sight worth braving the elements for.

Wensleydale stretches from Hawes to Masham and sits in the valley of the River Ure. Unusually, the name Wensleydale originates from the village of Wensley's name, rather than being named after the river, like most valleys. Swaledale is linked to Wensleydale by the famous Buttertubs Pass, so named from the deep limestone pots looking like butter tubs. Other dales connected to Wensleydale are Bishopdale, Waldendale and Coverdale. The spectacular Hardraw Force (Scarr) is just north of Hawes and is formed by Fossdale Beck pouring over limestone cliffs creating England's highest single drop waterfall. This then joins the Ure at Hawes.

The General Picture

It is great walking country, whether you are a serious walker or a novice. There are lots of nice river walks, some with spectacular water falls, others a more gentle stroll along the flat valley.
Castles and old churches are a feature of Wensleydale along with magnificent dry stone wall barns in nearly every field.
The disused railway line between Redmire and Leeming Bar has recently been resurrected by a private organisation and trains run daily.
Leyburn is the place for fresh produce, where Farmers' Markets are held every 4th Saturday of the month.
Hawes is home to the Creamery and Dairy where the famous Wensleydale Cheese is produced and Is open to the public.

Lots To See and Do....

Wensleydale to me means rolling hills and moorland, dry-stone walls, rivers, waterfalls and of course, barrns and more barns. The scenery is gentler than the Lake District and the villages appear far more wealthy. Money seems no object, villages are well kept, properties cost a fortune and everything is at a price. Private signs are prolific, money-making enterprises everywhere and pub meals expensive. We got the impression that children were not made to feel welcome, shunting families into dingy dining rooms and one pub even stating; "No pushchairs") Come on, this is big tourist country. I really don't think this attitude is to anyones benefit. Needless to say, we didn't patronise these places.
Wensleydale is without a doubt a very beautiful part of the world but it is also over-run with tourists and in all seasons, chock-a-block. Having had my moan, it is somewhere well worth a visit and is an excellent area for walking. There are also lots of exciting things to do and places to visit.

More info at:- www.yorkshiredales.org

Tourist Info. at Leyburn 01969 623069
Aysgarth 01969 663424/759
Hawes 01969 667450 / 663494

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lots to see and do
  • Cons:Too popular and too far from the coast!!!
  • In a nutshell:Hills, dales, rivers and waterfalls
  • Last visit to Yorkshire Dales National Park: Apr 2011
  • Intro Updated May 15, 2011
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Reviews (21)

Comments (8)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Feb 10, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    What a lovely vacation spot! Excellent page!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2009 at 12:18 PM

    Really enjoyed this page. It's a long while since I was in Wensleydale - don't remember it being so crowded then. Swaledale is lovely too & much less well-known. The Forbidden Corner sounds excellent - will have to go! And yes, I remember Jacob's Ladders

  • barryg23's Profile Photo
    Apr 23, 2009 at 12:10 AM

    I've never been to the Dales, but plan to visit soon, hopefully later this year. Looks like a great destination for hiking.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2007 at 2:14 PM

    Another nice page of beautiful English country side. And I have only been to London :( SL

  • Ben-UK's Profile Photo
    Apr 4, 2006 at 1:06 AM

    Planning to visit in a few weeks -- and hoping for better weather than you had! -- as you say though, it did provide you with some great waterfall views and excellent photos -- very nice page -- thank you.

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2005 at 4:16 AM

    I loved this area, so beautiful. Would love to visit Bolton Castle during the festivities not to mention the Forbidden Corner.. sounds really diffferent. Great tips.

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Nov 13, 2005 at 12:03 PM

    an interesting place ! The "Forbidden Corner" looks like my cup of tea !!

  • morgenhund's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2005 at 1:06 PM

    Like your tips on the Yorkshire Dales National Park - not been for years now - I forget how much Britain has to offer! Mike


“Take nothing but photographs. Leave nothing but footprints.”

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