Just a small selection of the places to visit in the heart of our region
Head north from the Harrogate area and it will not be very long before you notice a change in the scenery. Although the countryside around the spa town has much to recommend it, nevertheless it is only when you get into the Dales ‘proper’ that the real beauty of Yorkshire reveals itself.
Nidderdale, Wensleydale, Swaledale are names indelibly associated with that priceless combination of barren moorlands, lush river valleys, sparkling limestone and picture-postcard villages.
And while there is more than enough beauty in this bigger picture to satisfy the sightseer, it is still worth scratching a little below the surface to find some hidden gems of attractions which can add extra enjoyment to a day out in the Dales.
Standing in grounds sloping down to the banks of the River Swale, just to the east of Catterick, Kiplin Hall is a Jacobean mansion, built in the 17th century and furnished with a fascinating collection of furniture, portraits and paintings belonging to the owners and their families, collected over the past 400 years.
From April 8 to 26, younger visitors are invited to become Easter Eggsplorers, searching the woods around the house for clues to track down a strange new creature – and to win some chocolatey prizes!
Boasting wonderful views across littleknown Coverdale, the Saddle Room is a superb venue for a wedding, a luxurious break or simply to enjoy a meal created from fine local ingredients. Nine bed and breakfast units and five cottages comprise the accommodation, while Bell Barn can host up to 110 guests for a wedding.
If you have marriage in mind, then make a date with the Saddle Room Wedding Fair on Saturday, May 6, and experience the unique setting and facilities for yourself.
Hidden from the road behind high walls, Jervaulx Abbey comprises dramatic ruins in a tranquil riverside location, where wild flowers flourish and visitors are free to explore the romantic nooks and crannies.
The abbey– a Cistercian monastery dissolved, like so many others, in the 1530s – is privately owned by the Burdon family, who have sensitively developed the site to include a tearoom and wedding venue, with a caravan site alongside.
Anyone looking to stay for a while cannot fail to be impressed by Bellfield, an elegant Victorian country house, on the outskirts of Masham, converted into a range of selfcatering apartments full of period features and character.
The apartments comprise one to three bedrooms, two are suitable for guests unable to manage stairs, and there are extensive gardens with plenty of room for younger guests to play.
Quality accommodation is also part of the offer at The Woodman, a country village inn at Burneston near Bedale, welllocated for travellers on the A1, which has five recently-refurbished bedrooms with en-suite facilities.
The family-run free house also offers wholesome traditional food, including Sunday lunch, a good selection of cask ales from local breweries and offers buffet-style catering for parties of up to 25 people. It also has its own taxi service.