Activities and Attractions
There are plenty of activities available in and around Swaledale, including: walks straight from the door, bird watching, cycling, fishing, and plenty of beautiful views for the keen photographer. Of course you can also just relax, enjoy the views from the patio or the indoor and outdoor games provided. Enjoy the Unesco world heritage flower meadows of Gunnerside and Muker in May and June, local shows in August and September and the perseid meteor showers in September in the unpolluted night skies.
Our favourite walks are: Gunnerside Gill Circuit, Old Gang Gill Circuit, River Swale Walk, Kisdon Island Walk, Keld to Tan Hill Pub, Fremington Edge, and the Yorkshire Three Peaks. Ingleborough, Pen y Gent and Whernside as well as the Ingleton Waterfalls trail.
For cyclists, we have storage for bikes and there are lots of trails for mountain bikes including the new Dales Trail. Try out the routes of the the Tour de Yorkshire on your road bike. You can hire all kinds of bikes, including e-bikes in Fremington near Reeth at www.dalesbikecentre.co.uk, where there is also a café and cakery, maps and lots of advice on routes. Best to reserve your bike ahead.
Children are free to roam around the fields around the cottages, or use the tree swings, spot the black rabbit, and paddle or swim in the river Swale. There is a sandy beach within walking distance from the cottages, next to Isles Bridge.
There are a wide range of activities for children within easy travel distance of the cottages. At Bolton Castle you can try archery, see falconry displays, and learn about life in the medieval period. The Forbidden Corner is perhaps the strangest place in the world and is not to be missed. At Berry’s Farm shop you can feed lambs and enjoy a the cafe, there are also ice cream parlours and sweetshops in the nearby villages of Reeth, Hawes, and Leyburn.
Places to Visit
Wensleydale Creamery, home of Wensleydale cheese, offer tours, well worth the visit for all cheese lovers.
For museum fans www.swaledalemuseum.org is a gem and will tell you all about the local area and lead mining history. Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle https://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk is a french style chateau and houses the famous silver swan automaton, which old and young are spellbound by. Beamish outdoor museum is also worth the journey. http://www.beamish.org.uk
Aysgarth Falls and the Buttertubs pass over to Hawes are perennial favourites, and Hardraw waterfall is nearby. Have a brewery tour of Black Sheep and Theakston beer in nearby Masham. The town of Middleham has Richard III’s castle and many racing stables. You can watch the horses on the gallops nearby.
For train enthusiasts, there is the Wensleydale Railway in Leyburn, the Ribblehead Viaduct and the National Rail museum in York.
The Dales are full of caverns, many offering guided tours. This is a great activity on a rainy day. To find out more visit: ingleboroughcave.co.uk, www.whitescarcave.co.uk, www.stumpcrosscaverns.co.uk.
The Punch Bowl Inn is a gastro pub a short walk from both cottages, additionally a fish and chip van comes through the village of Low Row every friday at 7pm. In Reeth The Buck Hotel does pub grub and good pizza and the Burgoygne hotel is more upmarket. The Black Bull is the most traditional pub in Reeth. The Bridge at Grinton has excellent food.
The Charles Bathhurst pub in Arkengarthdale is the sister pub to the Punch Bowl.
Further afield we recommend the Wensleydale Heifer in West Witton, the Blue Lion in East Witton, Yorebridge House in Bainbridge. For great italian food, family friendly and open all day La Piazza in Richmond.
Reeth (4 miles/10 minutes) – Post office/shop, newsagent, garage, 2 bakeries, toy shop. There is a market on Friday mornings.
Leyburn (14 miles/30 minutes) – Co-op and Campbells, an excellent independent supermarket. Leyburn has all of the shops, you would expect in a small town and a great shop for outdoor gear and walking.
Richmond (14 miles/30 minutes -Lidl, and a market place with traditional shops. The Station Cinema with cafe, microbrewery, shops and gallery.
Catterick Garrison (17 miles/45 minutes) – Large stores for most major supermarkets. Cinema and swimming pool/leisure centre.
Hawes (14 miles/45 minutes) – A delightful bustling market town with shops on either side of the market place, including a delicatessen, sweet shop, and many gift and clothing shops and famous for antique shops.