Yorkshire Dales: All features great and small

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

From brass bands to Wensleydale cheese, the Yorkshire Dales are being celebrated in a new TV series. Rhiannon Batten has the essential guide

What's the attraction?

Go now if you want to enjoy some solitude in this particular corner of "God's own county". The Dales – a collection of river valleys and hills, most of which fall within the Yorkshire Dales National Park (0300 456 0030; www.yorkshiredales.org.uk) – may well get much busier following ITV's new 12-part documentary series, The Dales, which began this week. In it, Yorkshire-born comedian Adrian Edmondson visits the regional attractions and meets the locals – from vets to shepherdesses. The tourist board ( www.yorkshire.com) is expecting the series to have as positive an impact on visitor numbers this summer, as All Creatures Great and Small did a generation ago.



Get active

With supreme walking in the country close at hand, it would be a shame to visit the Dales without going for a hike. The latest long-distance route to open is the Six Dales Trail, a 38-mile ramble that runs a scenic – but little-walked – route up and down six dales from Otley to Middleham ( www.sixdalestrail.org.uk). It's easy enough to follow independently, but if you'd rather have your bags carried for you and your accommodation pre-arranged, walking specialist Contours Tours has recently started to offer the route as part of its self-guided holidays (01629 821900; www.contours.co.uk). Prices start at £260 per person for a four-night journey, B&B.

Also new this year is Ingleton Overground Underground – a new family-friendly weekend event on the western edge of the Dales where visitors can try anything from climbing taster sessions to safety-conscious "skills in the hills". Running from 27-30 May, its events are individually priced (01524 241843; www.ingletonovergroundunderground.co.uk). For more ideas on active endeavours in the Dales, see www.yorkshire.com/outdoors.



Pen to paper

At Craven Auction Mart this August, it'll be canvases rather than cattle under scrutiny. Skipton's Art in the Pen event is an annual exhibition of contemporary painting, jewellery, textiles, ceramics, photography and sculpture that takes place in a refurbished (and cattle-free) auction ring. Running 12-14 August this year, there will be art for sale and lively debate (01756 709666; www.artinthepen.org.uk; entry £1).

Festival fever

Festivals are almost as commonplace as dry-stone walls in the Dales during the summer. Kicking off the season is the Dales Festival of Food and Drink in Leyburn, which celebrates its 10th anniversary from 30 April to 2 May with Morris dancing and sheep shearing. Epicurean attractions include Turkish food created using local produce and a real ale festival (01748 828747; www.dalesfestivaloffood.org; admission from £8).

Other well-established shindigs include Grassington Festival, with a varied arts programme running from 17 June to 2 July (01756 752691; www.grassington-festival.org.uk) and the musically-minded Swaledale Festival, 28 May to 11 June (01748 880019; www.swaledale-festival.org.uk).

For something a little more offbeat, try the Hardraw Gathering (0113 250 9639; www.hardrawgathering.co.uk) folk music festival, from 29 April to 2 May. Although weekend tickets have now sold out, it's still possible to go along to the pub performances during the day for free. Alternatively, pay £2 at the festival's HQ, the Green Dragon pub (01969 667392; www.greendragonhardraw.com), for access to Hardraw Force, Britain's biggest waterfall. Behind the pub is also the site of an annual brass band contest; this year's takes place on 11 September.



Say cheese

Saved from bankruptcy by the promotional backing of Wallace and Gromit, Wensleydale Creamery in Hawkes is now doing a rejuvenated trade in all things cheese-related. And there's now more reason to visit, because its visitor centre has received an £800,000 makeover. It now incorporates a museum, viewing gallery, expanded cheese and gift shops and a licensed restaurant. You can even buy a truckle of Wallace and Gromit Real YorkshireWensleydale while you're there (01969 667664; www.wensleydale.co.uk; admission free, tours from £2.50 per person).



Raise a glass

With real ales flowing from the Black Sheep Brewery, Theakston's at Masham and the Wensleydale Brewery at Leyburn, it's unlikely you'll go thirsty in the Dales. To quaff with good conscience, though, there's only one place to head to this summer: the community-owned George and Dragon pub in the village of Hudswell, in Swaledale (01748 518373; www.georgeanddragonhudswell.com). Re-opened after a co-operative buyout last year, it serves a range of real ales (many of them local), as well as homemade food. It also serves as the village shop and library. And in summer, visitors can also enjoy its huge pub garden, where you can sit and sup before a vast Swaledale panorama.



Night navigation

Wandering around in the dark might not be the most obvious way to appreciate the majestic landscapes of the Dales, but it's certainly one way to escape the crowds. And if you join Team Walking's (01423 871750; www.teamwalking.co.uk) night navigation experience, you'll be in safe hands. Taking place 6pm-10.30pm on 17 April (from Kettlewell) and 27 November (from Grassington), the courses cover compass and distance-estimation skills with the aim of teaching how to navigate in poor visibility. The course costs £39 per person, including equipment.



What Google will tell you...

Yorebridge House hotel (01969 652060; www.yorebridgehouse.co.uk), in the Wensleydale village of Bainbridge, was voted "Most Romantic Hotel in the UK" by TripAdvisor users earlier this year. A former schoolhouse-turned-boutique hotel, TripAdvisor describes it as "perfect for a romantic rendezvous". B&B starts at £180.



What Google won't tell you... until now

"Lead mining was once a large-scale industry in the Yorkshire Dales," Andrew Denton, of Welcome to Yorkshire, says. "That its history can be traced right back to Roman times is fairly well known. What isn't, however, is the fact that Yorkshire lead has been found in the frescos of Pompeii and in the plumbing of classical Rome."



'The Dales', presented by Adrian Edmondson is on ITV1, Mondays at 8pm

Who said that?

"Gradually, little by little, [Yorkshire people] find a little corner for you in their hearts, and begin to acknowledge you when they drive past with what I call the Malhamdale wave. This is an exciting day in the life of any new arrival. To make the Malhamdale wave, imagine you are holding a steering wheel. Now take the index finger of your right hand and very slowly extend it, as if you were having a small involuntary spasm. That's the Malhamdale wave. It doesn't look like much, but it speaks volumes." – Bill Bryson, Notes from a Small Island (1996)

"Was the aim frustrated by force or guile/When giants scooped from out the rocky ground/Tier under tier/This semicirque profound?" – William Wordsworth, "Malham Cove" (1819)

"Yorkshire is a state of mind." – Howard Moon, The Mighty Boosh (2004)

Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum