Things To Do
Over the generations the people of Swaledale have shaped the landscape and it’s history.
The place names of Swaledale reflect the long history of Norse settlements and their language, still heard in the local dialect even today.
Our cottages make a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the many views and walks, whatever season you choose to visit us.
For local attractions and places of interest to create a great day out, here are a few ideas;
For walkers The Pennine Way passes through Thwaite and the Coast to Coast walk passes nearby Kisdon Hill. Why not follow them for awhile as they pass through this glorious part of their route.
Enjoy local walks to Keld, Muker, up and around Kisdon Hill. See the Hay Meadows in around June/July time, which are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
In Thwaite there is The Kearton Country Hotel, offering food and drink. ( actually, our family, the Hunter family, established the Hotel in 1956 and ran it till 1982. We named it The Kearton, after the famous Kearton brothers, they were born in Thwaite and went on to become pioneers of wild life photography.)
The village of Muker is 1 mile away, visit the “local”, of the upper dale, The Farmers Arms. It offers a warm welcome and serves good local ales and food.
There is also Swaledale Woollens, offering hand knitted products from local wool, ranging from sweaters to gloves.
There are various tearooms dotted around the Dale, visit Keld, (Rukins) see Kisdon Force waterfall nearby, Muker teashop and at Gunnerside, (Ghyllfoot tearooms).
Waterfalls of interest in the area are; Wain Wath Force, East Gill Force and Catrake Force.
For those of you who like a ghost story, visit Ivelet Bridge, Ivelet, near Gunnerside. Ivelet bridge is a high arched packhorse bridge dating form 1687. Legend has it that a headless dog haunts the bridge. It silently runs up the bridge before jumping over the wall into the River Swale below.
Further up Swaledale and near Arkengarthdale is, Tan Hill Inn. It is the highest pub in Great Britain at 1,732ft above sea level.
Also made famous by the Everest window adverts.
Travel down Swaledale from Thwaite, to visit Hazel Brow Farm, Low Row. It is a traditional rural farm, with organic farming, guided tours of the farm, meet the animals and visit their tearoom.
Low Row, also offers The Punch Bowl Inn, (considered to be a gastro pub).
The C.B. Inn (also a gastro pub) can be found in Arkengarthdale. Arkengarthdale is home to, Arkle Riding School. For mountain biking visit Dales Mountain Biking Centre at Fremington near Reeth.
Further down Swaledale is Richmond, considered to be the capital of Swaledale. The market town grew up around the Norman Castle, Richmond Castle. Building work for the Castle commenced as far back as 1071 as part of the Norman Conquest of Saxon England, It was built to subdue the unruly North of England (there was considered to be a year long siege, around 1174). Richmond Castle is one of the finest examples of Norman building in Britain. Today Richmond is a busy market town, with a cobbled market place and Georgian styled houses surrounding it. Richmond also has a beautiful Georgian Theatre, built in 1788, regular performances are still held today.
Take a drive over the Buttertubs Pass from Thwaite to Hawes, with it’s stunning scenery and moor land views. Stop and take a look down a Buttertub, (said to be used by local farmers to keep their butter cool on the way to market).
Buttertubs Pass has been featured in many TV programmes, (it is allegedly one of Jeremy Clarkson’s favourite routes.)
Hawes is a picturesque Dales market town, made famous by it’s Wensleydale cheese.
Visit the Wensleydale Creamery, well known for it’s connection with Wallace and Gromit, after all, Wensleydale Cheese is Wallace’s favourite cheese.
The Wensleydale Creamery has a viewing gallery so you can watch the cheese been made at various times of the day. It also has a cheese shop where you can buy and sample the cheese, a gift shop, Calvert’s Restaurant, and Coffee shop.
In Hawes you can also visit, the Ropemakers, Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes Play Park and a selection of tearooms, cafes and pubs. Hawes also has grocery shops,a butchers, bakers, newsagents, Barclays and HSBC banks, post office, library, chemist, electrical store, antique shops and many gift shops.
Just a short walk from Hawes is Gayle Mill in Gayle village.
It is a 19th Century sawmill, complete with working Victorian machinery and water powered turbines (featured on The BBC ‘Restoration’ programme.)
For more history visit Wensleydale’s very own castle, Bolton Castle. Bolton Castle is a medieval fortress built in 1379, (Mary Queen of Scots was one imprisoned there)
Wensleydale also has it’s very own lake, Semerwater. Semerwater lies south of Askrigg, it is Yorkshire’s only natural Lake . A well-known legend surrounds Semerwater, the lost village of Semer. For many years it has been told that ‘a town once stood where the water runs deep’ Legend has it that a weary traveller was refused and food and shelter in the town, he cursed the town to a watery grave. Some say that if you listen carefully, you can sometimes still hear the Church bells ring from time to time.
Wensleydale has some beautiful waterfalls, one of which is the famous Aysgarth Falls, featured in may films such as ‘A Woman of Substance’ and ‘Robin Hood‘. Hardraw Force was also in Kevin Costner’s , Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Hardraw Force Waterfall is claimed to be England’s highest unbroken waterfall, comprising a single drop 100ft from a rocky overhang.
Many locations in Wensleydale and Swaledale have been featured in a variety of films, Wuthering Heights (2011) was filmed just outside Thwaite. All Creatures Great and Small was filmed in most of the pretty villages of Swaledale, Wensleydale and the surrounding area. James Herriot’s surgery was famously placed in Askrigg, in Wensleydale.
Further a field visit White Scar Caves near Ingleton, they are the longest show of cave in England and UK, open from Feb- Oct daily, Sat and Sun, Nov-Jan, weather permitting. See the huge Battlefield Cavern, Witch’s Fingers Cavern and Devil’s Tongue Cavern.
If you like Folly’s and gardens, a visit to Forbidden Corner near Leyburn, is a must. Voted the best children’s attraction in Yorkshire and the Best European Folly of the 20th Century.
Not forgetting the older kids, they will certainly will enjoy the attractions at Lightwater Valley, it is considered to be one of the finest Theme Parks, in the UK, a great family day out. It is also famous for it’s biggest attraction, ‘The Ultimate’, Europe’s longest rollercoaster. So Hang On Tight
So You See, there’s plenty to do in the Yorkshire Dales!